What started with a single telephone call 15 years ago has grown into something that Free Speech Speakers Bureau founder Ginny Richardson of Burr Ridge could never have imagined.
Richardson, founder and president of Ginny Richardson Public Relations in Hinsdale, received a phone call one day from a local Rotary Club. The club wanted a speaker for an upcoming meeting, and turned to Richardson and her connections in the community for help.
“I made a few phone calls,” she said, and found a local banker willing to take on the job, free of charge.
Soon other organizations had similar requests.
Free Speech now is a virtual warehouse of speakers and topics. There are 170 speakers from several communities and industries at the ready with unique presentations that range from informative to funny, enlightening to entertaining. All are available free of charge to anyone who needs them.
“We’re really just the matchmaker,” said Ginny’s son, Andy, who has helped put the entire operation online. Now individuals interested in arranging a speaker can do it with a few clicks of the mouse at free-speakers.org.
Speakers can join the network for a one-time $35 fee, which covers the cost of running the website and printing related materials.
“It’s our community-service project,” said Andy, explaining why it is important for the public relations firm to provide Free Speech.
“Many people don’t understand why we, as a PR company, would spend time on a project that doesn’t make money,” Ginny said. “But we are rewarded with loads of contacts and maybe more important — proof that some things in life are free.”
By Sandy Illian Bosch
The Hinsdale Doings – May 15, 2012