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Clicking Through to Boost Numbers

Nov. 21, 2013, Vol. 11, Issue 23

Have you seen the ad where the Christmas carolers are singing their lyrics from their tablets, or the iPhones are playing a carol to which the carolers are mouthing the words?  I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to that kind of electronic nostalgia (do those words even belong together?). I guess it’s actually a pretty efficient idea — as long as the battery holds out . . . but nostalgia? —  not so much. Technology and the resulting connectivity of social media are here to stay, however, so I guess the best approach is to embrace them.

Personally, I admit that I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. One time when I was lamenting about Facebook, a colleague said, “Well, not participating in Facebook is like sticking with your horse and buggy when the automobile started taking over the roads.” Oh.

I do like keeping up with friends, speakers, and clients, and I must admit that I learn a lot from some posts — while other posts leave me baffled and asking, “Huh?” I’m sure you know what I’m talking about here . . .

On the other hand, have you ever wondered about using Facebook ads to promote your event or have you ever thought about having your speaker do a promo video for your event on your website? In case these are untested waters for some of you, I’m sharing a couple of our clients’ recent experiences in this issue. We’d love to hear your experiences, too — please share.

You’re Invited — Using Facebook Ads to Prompt Event Registration

Dr. Karen WolfeProvidence Health & Services, Southwest Washington, recently incorporated Facebook into the publicity campaign when they held a Women’s Night Out, called,  “A Change of Heart Changes Everything.”  Their Thursday evening program focused on heart health, and there were a full array of free screenings,  plus they featured our keynote speaker, Dr. Karen Wolfe.

One remarkable result: Where their goal was 400 registrations, they ended up — happily — with 497, nearly 25% over their goal. What did Facebook have to do with it?

Quite a bit, according to Angela Maki, Strategic Communications Project Manager, who said that they had good response from using Facebook ads to reinforce their promotional campaign. They started their event promotion by featuring it on the cover of their external newsletter, which is their biggest and most successful medium, and tying it to a story on page 2 of the publication. Then they created a landing page/registration page for the event on their website and supported it with online and print ads in their local newspapers.

“Then as a reminder to the public we ran ads on Facebook,” Angela said. “I feel that as a stand-alone, the ads would not have been nearly as successful. But when they see it on Facebook they are reminded to register for the event – it is an easy click-through to the registration page. We found that the newsfeed ads, not the sidebar ads, were the most successful because they showed up on mobile devices and looked like a post from the hospital, although they were marked as an advertisement.

“I think Facebook is a good venue if you have a ‘call to action’ – you want the audience to do something like take an online test or sign up for an event,” she said. “I am not sure I would ever use it for branding or other types of advertising.”

I find this all very interesting because I come from an advertising background. What strikes me is the accessibility that social media adds to the mix — making it easy for the end consumer to be involved and take action. I’d say anything that brings that many women out on a Thursday evening in October to learn their personal numbers and to hear a national health expert talk about heart health, is a very good thing.

Is Your Lifestyle Killing You?Dr. Karen was a huge hit too. The event was held at The Great Wolf Lodge (catch the synchronicity there?), just south of Olympia, WA, and less than 2 hours from Portland, so my husband and I attended. I’ve known Karen for almost 15 years and always love listening to her. Her presentation, “A Change Of Heart Changes Everything,”  was based on her most recent book, Is Your LIfestyle Killing You?, which covers eight simple steps for lasting weight loss and optimal health. “This lifestyle stuff is not fluff — it’s the real deal,” she said. “The power to create health rather than suffer from chronic diseases is in our hands.”

I could tell that people were relating instantly to Dr. Karen’s warmth, sincerity and sense of humor. But then many of them had met her as she had stood in line right along with them, getting her assessments done. As always, Dr. Karen’s very accessible and engaging presentation left them not only with information, but do-able action steps.

“Dr. Karen Wolfe is one of the friendliest speakers we have ever worked with,” Angela said. “Not only did she give a fabulous seminar about heart health wellness but she interacted with our health fair participants before the seminar. They loved it! I have received only positive feedback about our event.” You can see what Angela meant by watching Karen’s demo videos here. She’s the real deal. To bring Karen to your conference or special event, contact me at 503-699-5031 to check her availability or email me at

Another Dimension:

Speaker Video Invitations

I read an article last week in Successful Meetings online that said that the best speakers do a lot more than speak at meetings. This new report is titled, “The Speaker Report: The Use of Professional and Industry Speakers in the Meetings Market.”

While the report said that organizations were using professional speakers more often and spending more on them, the real news was that it also found that organizations are expecting more from their speakers: Approximately two-thirds (66.1 percent) of organizations that hire professional speakers said they’re looking for speakers to do more than speak — by writing articles, participating in pre-meeting online activities and recording promotional videos.

I agree, although I don’t think it’s the speakers willingness to do whatever it takes that is different. I think, rather, that it’s the availability of new avenues — like social media and video access — that allow the meeting planners to use the speaker’s inherent appeal to promote their event. Gone are the days when good videos required fancy staging, lighting, and big expenses. Well, they still exist for high budget advertisers, but the advance of smart phones has made video accessible to the everyday promoter the same way Starbucks has made coffee and conversation standard.

I’m very pleased that so many of our speakers have graciously and enthusiastically embraced video promotion for our clients. At the same time I’m conscious, and every speaker is too, after all, that talking to a camera up close is not exactly the same as talking from a big stage. It takes some preparation, and possibly more than one take. Those of us who only see the finished product will never know about the preparations behind the scenes, so I commend our speakers who have answered the call.

Speaker Video Invitations: Examples

ElizGUTubeVidant Health in North Carolina provided two great examples this year. Our speakers for two different events recorded invitation videos that Vidant Health posted on their website.

In February, as they publicized their series of eight heart health events at several hospitals across the state, they featured a video preview filmed by heart health speaker Eliz Greene that proved to be  successful in attracting people. Here’s the YouTube link.

DeLores Pressley Vidant Health Pink Power Promo VideoThen in October, they used the same approach to publicize motivational speaker DeLores Pressley, before she did the Pink Power Tour to the same hospitals for breast cancer events.  Tune in to watch the video here.

“We had great turnouts for both the heart event with Eliz and Pink Power with DeLores,” according to Sherry Brisson-Jones, Vidant’s event planner. “Both Eliz and DeLores filmed short video invitations that we put up on our website. I think that the interest was greater because our potential attendees could see and hear from the speakers. We also linked to their home pages. I heard quite a few of our attendees indicate they had watched these intro videos.

“I also think putting out the videos via Facebook is a good idea,” she said. “Another audio-visual tool we’ve used is to take photos from our events and create a short video with stills or clips as a summary, and that works nicely as well,” Sherry said.

And here’s an example of how Vidant put together a combination of stills and videos to showcase their 2012 tour with breast cancer survivor speaker Tina Pruitt.

Effective video marketing takes the meaning of “A picture is worth a thousand words,” to a much higher level. Movie promoters have known it for years — just think of all the previews you have to sit through to get to the main feature at the theater. That can be tedious — but a short teaser video on a website for your event is, I think, a brilliant use of your speaker’s talent.  And to get this added value, all you have to do is ask!

Grateful ME

‘Tis the season for gratitude, and I’ve decided to embrace the whole thing. The truth is the holidays have already begun and they will last all the way through New Year’s. That may not sound revolutionary, but I’ve resisted the creeping trend toward Christmas before Thanksgiving for years — especially with December family birthdays — including birthdays for my husband, granddaughter, brother, and ME!  It takes extra effort to honor these in the midst of the holiday mayhem. But I’ve made it a practice never to wrap a December birthday present in Christmas wrap, and never to give a Christmas-themed gift for a birthday.

ThanksgivingCookiesSo now, starting with Thanksgiving, we’re off to Berkeley, CA, next week to be with precious granddaughters, ages 5 1/2 and 2 1/2.  Granma B (that’s me) has baked sugar cookies in pumpkin, turkey, and leaf shapes. I’m taking some already decorated — because I love doing it — and some to decorate together when we get there — because I love sharing the fun, too!  I’m so looking forward to playtime.

And, last but not least, I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to work with so many clients and speakers year after year.  One client, Sherry Jones, and speaker Eliz Greene were kind enough to do a “selfie” video, touting their great experience working with me — and it’s posted on our website here. It’s a vibrant, lively experience that I think you’ll appreciate — I do!  Thank you, ladies!  You’re the best!

Until next time, I hope you have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving with your loved ones — and not too much shopping.  Take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,


For Your Well Being is published bi-weekly. We bring you insider speaker reports, exclusive stories about special events around the country, meeting planner tips, and fun stuff from the worlds of health and well being. Be well and be in the know!

The Speak Well Being Group is a specialized speakers bureau, focusing on speakers for hospital-sponsored community events, healthcare organizations, nurses, conferences and women’s groups. Our speakers are hand-selected. They are not only experts in their fields, they connect with their audiences while bringing them life-changing information, smiles of recognition and ultimately a sense of well being and hope.

Finding the perfect keynote speaker for your special event or conference is my personal passion, not just once, but year after year. It brings me great joy to know that your audience was delighted and moved by the speaker we selected together. I’m committed to making the process easy, pleasant and fun.

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