Our Transition to Working Exclusively with Manufacturers

30th Anniversary - Felber PR & Marketing

As most business owners quickly discover, you cannot be everything to everyone. Trying to serve multiple markets and customers often gives the impression of a scattered, unfocused brand. That was us until the late-90s. We would take any client (the joke was as long as their check cleared). We worked with non-profits, service companies, distributors, publishing companies, and even the author of a children’s book. To say we (and our tactics) were all over the place is an understatement. 

How we cemented our relationships with manufacturers

Fortunately, we were referred to a few manufacturers and quickly discovered a natural fit. We understood them, how they went to market, and how to help them acquire leads and increase revenue. Something just clicked with us and manufacturers; especially B-to-B manufacturers.

 We quickly learned how the trade and industrial media differed from the daily and weekly general business publications. Just like manufacturing planning that spans quarters and years, so does a trade publication planning its coverage of the industry. There were many publications for each industrial sector and they were hungry for content. And, manufacturers have a lot to talk about. From new products and processes to achievements, trade shows, and new facilities. We had our transition from dimensional promotions to public relations, and now we found our home with manufacturers – we never looked back! We put all our efforts into manufacturing and our branding “We Get Manufacturing.” 

Marketing and sales in ’90s

Manufacturers’ marketing pre-1993 was generations in the making (dare I say old and stale). It was smile and dial. We hit the road with a pocket full of quarters and lists of companies to cold call. The only tracking or measurement was in a (salesperson’s) paper calendar and the deals that eventually filtered down to closed sales. Other legacy tactics included trade shows and sports entertainment (golf, golf, and more golf). Trade shows have indeed remained a viable tactic and entertaining clients is still a strong relationship builder. However, lead generation cannot start on the 10th tee. You need the sales funnel full way before the first round of golf. 

[Need help building relationships or to fill your sales funnel? Schedule a 15-minute consultation and let’s talk about how we can help. RobFelber@FelberPR.com, (330) 963-3664.]

Manufacturers, like their production lines, needed to adapt

Manufacturers needed to compete and sell differently. Buyers and salespeople alike were younger. The internet, Google search, and smartphones created a more insular culture (when was the last time a Millennial answered the phone?) Oh, how we love leaving voicemails. Trade show lead generation had to evolve beyond the candy bowl and business card drawing. As manufacturers and the products they made became more technical, so too did the focus on the ideal prospect. 

Acceptance of digital tactics and the internet (and what we’ve learned in 30 years)

What do we love most about the digital world and analytics? Public Relations and its value can now be measured.

The old days of clipping services and receiving reports months later gave way to real-time lead generation and website traffic. Sales teams, especially those using HubSpot, now have the power of CRM and contact management in their pocket. Calling a lead in the magic 5-minute window closes deals.

Not convinced HubSpot is helping you follow up on leads & close deals? Our HubSpot audit ensures your portal is optimized for marketing and sales success.

Manufacturers invested in their websites as well. Ditching the brochure-ware layout that their sister’s kid made for them in his basement on an Apple IIe. Websites, search engine optimization, and Inbound Marketing continue to evolve, just as supply chain, AI, and geopolitics constantly challenge and shape the manufacturing arena. 

For us, and our clients alike, we know that we can never stop learning. Study, evolve, test (and fail sometimes) are what will make us all stronger. One key point has never changed: Nothing happens until someone sells something!

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What You Learned in Kindergarten Can Help You Attract Workers

Remember show and tell? We all wanted to have the coolest idea to wow our kindergarten classmates. Attracting workers for your manufacturing operation is much like that precious time in class. 


You have limited time and attention to get your message across. Your mission then was to quickly show them what precious bauble you brought from home and hope they thought it was as cool as you did. 


The same goes for attracting workers, however, you are not just speaking to a small classroom audience. Now, your audience is vast. While the geography of your target for workers might be limited by those that want to work close to where they live, you have to not only show & tell how great it is to work for your company, but you have to battle thousands of distractions competing for their attention. 

Speaking of distractions… here’s a photo of Rob Felber (center), Felber PR & Marketing President & Owner, dressed in a tuxedo at a family wedding when he was in kindergarten!

There are multiple strategies you can employ to “show & tell” potential employees. There is no one silver bullet tactic, you might need to use a combination of tactics.


Consider a mix of traditional and digital methods to advertise for new employees. Traditionally, radio is a strong and inexpensive way to reach a captive audience; the audience that aligns with similar interests to your current workforce. Consider sports or music genres. Poll your staff to see if there are stations that are listened to more. Radio, while you have the ability to focus on a particular audience, is a broadcast method that reaches thousands. But, not everyone listening is a prospect. Much like billboards or bus advertising, this method is used far and wide to reach as many people as possible (and hopefully some of them are looking to change jobs).


Digital advertising on the other hand can be both highly targeted and measurable. Digital, such as Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn allow you to drill down to target specific geographies, job titles, experience, and interests. You can adjust your budget or pause your campaign in seconds, unlike the commitment to billboards or newspaper ads which are all-in commitments.


Digital gives you more control over the creative message, and it’s easier to test-market multiple methods, reviewing the data to see where the best engagement is found. Using video on digital platforms allows for more show & less tell. Employee testimonials, plant tours, messages from supervisors and management, the sky is the limit on the creativity you can deploy with targeted, measurable online campaigns. You can even drive traffic directly to applications and interview schedules, giving the prospective employee control over the process. 


Use what you learned at show & tell in kindergarten to prepare the best, most diverse message possible to attract prospective employees. The impression you make now, during recruitment, will carry through to the company culture and retention for years to come.


To learn more about marketing to prospective employees visit www.felberpr.com or contact RobFelber@felberpr.com

Accelerated Revenue Growth for Manufacturers: How to Attract, Convert and Close Ideal Customers

Accelerated Revenue Growth for Manufacturers: How to Attract, Convert and Close Ideal Customers

Save the date! On June 7th, 7:30 AM – 9 AM, you don’t want to miss Accelerated Revenue Growth for Manufacturers!

Reaching and influencing decision-makers is no easy task, especially for business-to-business manufacturers, and only making cold calls no longer works. 

It’s time for sales leaders to think differently and strategically when it comes to top-of-the-funnel lead acquisition, nurturing, and ultimately winning new business.

WHO: Manufacturers

WHAT: Accelerated Revenue Growth for Manufacturers: How to Attract, Convert and Close Ideal Customers

WHEN: June 7, 2023, 7:30 AM – 9 AM

WHERE: 6161 Oak Tree Blvd, Suite 350 Independence, Ohio 44131

Join us for breakfast, networking, and presentations from PR, marketing and sales experts who work with real-world manufacturers that have developed measurable, repeatable marketing and sales strategies that impact net new and incremental revenue while also creating a culture of accountability to KPIs. 

Learn alongside other manufacturers and discover the best ways to accelerate revenue growth by attracting, converting and closing ideal customers at Alliance Industrial Solutions, 6161 Oak Tree Blvd, Suite 350 Independence, Ohio 44131

Presented in collaboration with Alliance Industrial Solution and M Sales Growth Advisors.

Reserve your spot here

Throwback to 1993 – What Was Going On in the World When Our Agency Was Founded

Throwback to 1993

30 years is a long time & we’ve enjoyed all the ups and downs along the way, in business and life. 1993, the year our agency was founded, was a big year for Felber PR & Marketing, but there were a few other big things going on that year…


USA News

President William J. Clinton was sworn into office.

A bomb exploded in the basement garage of the World Trade Center, killing 6 and injuring at least 1,040 others.

In Los Angeles, California, Rodney King was called as a witness in the trial against the four police officers who were caught on camera beating him in March 1991. Two of the officers were found guilty of violating King’s civil rights by “willfully and intentionally using unreasonable force.”

President Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, mandating federal background checks on those purchasing firearms in the United States. The Act also enforced a five-day waiting period on firearm purchases.

President Bill Clinton signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement removing trade barriers between Canada, Mexico, and the United States.



A few of the most popular movies of 1993 were “Schindler’s List,” “Jurassic Park,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “The Fugitive” and “Sleepless in Seattle.” “Schindler’s List”, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, and Ralph Fiennes, went on to win the Oscar for Best Film in 1994. Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” was the highest-grossing film to date, including a record $502 million in its opening weekend alone.

Michael Jackson was sued by screenwriter Evan Chandler for molesting his 13-year-old son. Jackson vehemently denies the charge. The two parties reach an out-of-court settlement as the singer was deemed by his legal advisors as not well enough to endure a lengthy trial.

Eric Clapton took home the Grammy for Album of the Year for his album “Unplugged.” “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton was named Song of the Year.

Whitney Houston entered the record books with her single “I Will Always Love You” as it entered its 14th week at number 1 in the US. This made it the longest-running number-one single at that time!



Following a rise in deaths related to the disease, tuberculosis was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). They predicted that tuberculosis threatened to kill more than 30 million in the next decade. 

The FDA approved using the synthetic hormone BST (bovine somatotropin) to increase milk production in dairy cows.

The first human cell cloning took place by using cells from defective human embryos to be discarded in infertility clinics and growing them in vitro. This process successfully developed up to 32-cell stages.



The Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl, making the Buffalo Bills the first team to ever lose three consecutive Super Bowl games.

The Toronto Blue Jays took the World Series victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The NBA Championship battle between the Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Suns ended with the Bulls, led by Michael Jordan, becoming the first team to secure a three-peat since the Boston Celtics in the 1960s.


It’s fun to reflect on the past & see how far we’ve come. A lot has changed in the last 30 years, in our lives, in the marketing and public relations industry, and in the world. We’re especially grateful for everyone who has supported us & our agency since 1993. Here’s to 30 more years!

Take the Lead! How to Follow Up after a Trade Show

Take the Lead - How to Follow Up After a Trade Show

It’s estimated that only about half of all leads are followed up on. We don’t have to tell you that’s just like leaving money on the table. But it’s hard to argue with a salesperson who says that it’s time-consuming to follow up on new leads, and hey, a lot of new sales come from existing customers. 

Because that’s true. 

It’s also true that following up on leads after a trade show is a sure way to build relationships with new customers. And, there are easy ways to make the process, well, a lot easier. 

How can you improve your lead-response process for everyone involved, including your customers? Glad you asked!


TLDR? OK, here are the 3 most important takeaways: 

1 – Effective follow-up starts before the show

2 – The sooner you follow-up, the sooner you’ll see results. 

3 – You already have most of what you need to respond to those leads! 

Important, specific info to help you improve your lead follow-up and sales process is below. Maybe grab a cup of coffee and keep reading?!


Smarter Lead Capture 

Before a trade show, you have a pretty good idea of who you will talk to at the event. There will be some familiar faces, and others who are new to the industry. You will see former customers as well as current customers. Before the show, draw up a list of the most likely problems they have, and how your company can help. 

Also consider their questions in terms of how soon they are likely to need your product or service, and how much influence they have on the purchase. 

Create codes for them – like shorthand for buyer personas, almost – and capture that along with their contact information. 

Free eBook: Trade Show for Manufacturers Guide

Manage Your Messaging

Based on the questions you know you’ll be asked, and the people who will be asking, craft short, helpful answers that are not overtly sales-y. 

You probably have a lot of the information on your website, maybe even blog posts or case studies that speak directly to some of their concerns. If you were in their shoes, wouldn’t you be impressed with someone you just met at a trade show who provided such helpful, relevant information in a timely manner? Of course you would! 

Craft a few short messages addressing the people (and problems) that your leads will be most concerned about. Incorporate top-line takeaways from those web pages, case studies and blog posts and include a link for them to read more. 


Set it and Forget it: Automate What You Can

With your leads sorted into a handful of categories, create an email funnel for each group. This makes your messages more helpful to your prospects, since they will be at different points in the buying process and have different levels on influence in the purchase. 

Need help creating an effective email funnel? Let us help.


Make Follow-up a Team Effort

Your entire team will have good ideas about what to include in those messages for different types of leads. Ask them before you develop your messages. And include your salespeople in decisions about the best point in the process for a phone call, product demo, or promotional mailing. 

Making lead follow-up easy is important, but making it effective is the greater goal. 

How can we help you? Please jump on my calendar for a quick 15-minute meeting now, before you’re panicking – er, planning – for your next trade show. 

How Do We Get Articles, Not Just Ads, in Trade Magazines? Manufacturing Masters Video

Rob Felber was recently invited to be a featured expert in a series of Manufacturing Masters videos!

Manufacturing Masters is an operational training platform that’s built by manufacturers for manufacturers. The site offers training videos featuring real industry experts who cover hundreds of different topics. The videos cover anything from supply chain, to HR and recruitment, or cybersecurity, finance, engineering and business strategy. No matter what topic you’re looking for, the training focuses on short wins that can be implemented in your business today. Manufacturing Masters is the “How To” site for manufacturing businesses.

How do we get articles, not just ads, in trade magazines?

In this Manufacturing Masters video, Rob Felber details how to get articles in trade magazines. It’s not always easy to get publications to cover your stories from an editorial standpoint. That’s why Rob shares a few industrial trade public relations tips that can help you establish your story’s newsworthiness and earn editorial coverage, not just advertising space! 

To download the full video for FREE, please submit your email address below.

Our Agency’s Transition to Public Relations

30th Anniversary - Felber PR & Marketing

For those who grew up in Northeast Ohio, we cherished those steamy hot days spent at Geauga Lake amusement park and sister property SeaWorld. Getting cooled off by Shamu while trying to keep your Dippin Dots dry was great fun.

When Six Flags took over the amusement park, they hired our agency to develop promotions for events and rides. Whether it was a postcard with a plastic spider promoting HalloWeekends or a printed roll of toilet paper indicating the ride would scare the–, well you get the picture, Six Flags had recognized the power of dimensional promotion. For our “origin story” see our recent blog The Road Less Traveled: Agency Skills Forged by Opportunity.

Our next fortuitous turn on the road less traveled came when we asked the question, who are these promotions targeting? The answer and the group we would soon come to know and love were the media. Why the media we asked? The answer then, as it still stands today, is the media are the folks that buy ink by the barrel and hold the keys to a much larger audience. If Six Flags could get reporters to attend a special media day preview event, they knew that photos, videos, and stories would abound. 

Around the early 1990s, I was also a civilian volunteer with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. At one organizational meeting, a division officer said to me, “so you’re in advertising, how would you like to be the public relations officer?” I remember thinking, “whoa what did I get myself into?”, just like the famous stuffed lion story, again, in the above-referenced blog

Mark Norfolk, president & CEO of Fabrisonic, LLC., & long-time client of Felber PR & Marketing being interviewed by the media at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2022. The Felber team conducted media research & contacted media personnel to schedule this and other interviews ahead of time to take place during the show.

Immediately, I called an older brother who had worked in PR and asked what a press release was and how to write one. I soon found myself writing responses to our local editors and being interviewed on the docks by local TV reporters, telling the story of the rescue volunteers that patrolled Lake Erie. This transition, from a simple roll of toilet paper to working with the media was the birth of Felber PR and Marketing’s public relations practice. 

Download our PR eBook

We learn by doing, and experience is the best education. We were thrust into the world of advertising when we started creating media promotions targeting advertisers for the trade media. And now, by working alongside editors and their publication marketing directors, we inadvertently learned the tricks of the PR trade, including how to use editorial calendars to understand what content worked with which industrial trade media publications. 

Terrence Mathis, Manager of Engineering-Cable Protection for PMI Industries Inc., being interviewed at the 2022 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas. He was asked his opinion of OTC2022, its value to young professionals, and what advice he would give to other young professionals about future OTC events. This at-show media interest in PMI Industries was in part generated by the Felber team’s public relations and trade show marketing efforts.

Armed with this knowledge, we built a skillset in targeting publications that cover countless manufacturing sectors. In a future blog, we will tie it all together, from pitching stories and factory tours, to trade show media interviews and building out a deep press room for our manufacturing clients. 

“It’s in There!” Why Pay Extra When It’s Included in HubSpot?

HubSpot, it's in there

For those of a certain age, you may remember the Prego commercial where the son convinces the father that Prego spaghetti sauce uses the same great ingredients as the old-world family recipe. The father keeps asking about this spice and that, and the line “it’s in there” is repeated.

Calendar Integration and Simple Meeting Booking

In sales, overcoming hurdles and converting prospects to customers quickly and easily is key. Any barriers, such as slow response to inquiries or landing appointments can send your coveted prospect looking elsewhere. Something as simple as booking an appointment directly with a representative may be the difference between getting an at-bat and being put on the bench.

There are many programs, for a fee, that allows scheduling. Calendly and TimeTap for example. For our customers, HubSpot is the default winner. Integration with their calendar is included in HubSpot at no extra fee. Book meetings online or in person. Embed calendars in blogs, emails, and landing pages to allow prospects immediate access to your calendar. You can have multiple meeting schedules (think Zoom, in-person, or just one event, such as the week of a tradeshow). With HubSpot, calendar links can be placed in email signatures, in chatbots, or even live on a website. And, since it is all within HubSpot, the history stays with your contact in one neat central CRM. Why pay for another application, especially when you miss out on all the free integrations? How easy is it? Rob Felber’s Zoom Calendar.

Live, Automated Chat Features

And, speaking of chat, why pay for that service? HubSpot chat allows live answering as well as automated responses. Don’t lose a prospect that has an immediate need or question by not being available. And, with HubSpot, you can start a CRM record with just their email address. Handle inquiries from pricing and material questions to order status and inventory, in seconds – oh, did we mention it does not cost extra?!

Survey Creation and Real-Time Data Collection

Creating surveys just got easier. Many of our manufacturing clients, especially those recertifying their ISO ratings, need to conduct customer satisfaction surveys. While Survey Monkey and Delight work, there are fees for using the premium features. All within HubSpot, we recently created a simple survey, complete with dropdown choices and comment text capture with a landing page – all branded to the client. Oh, and the data, collected for free, is captured on each individual contacts record. Did we mention this did not cost anything to execute?

HubSpot Has it All and is There to Help if You Need it

Calendars, chat, and surveys are just a few of the many features that enhance a modern, robust marketing software such as HubSpot. We use it, our clients use it and you should too. Reduce your tech stack by integrating multiple features and tools into one, easy-to-use platform.

By the way, HubSpot’s support is powerful, 24/7, and above all else, just pleasant, nice people that guide you through technology without making you feel, well, stupid. They know not all of us are tech wizards. They always ask what are you working on today and how they can help. Then they help.

Want to learn more? Here’s my calendar!

How to Pick the Trade Magazines to Target? Manufacturing Masters Video

Rob Felber was recently invited to be a featured expert in a series of Manufacturing Masters videos!

Manufacturing Masters is an operational training platform that’s built by manufacturers for manufacturers. The site offers training videos featuring real industry experts who cover hundreds of different topics. The videos cover anything from supply chain to HR and recruitment, or cybersecurity, finance, engineering and business strategy. No matter what topic you’re looking for, the training focuses on short wins that can be implemented in your business today. Manufacturing Masters is the “How To” site for manufacturing businesses.

How to pick the trade magazines that we want to target?

In this Manufacturing Masters video, Rob Felber details how to choose the best trade magazine for your business. There’s no sense in getting your business featured in a trade publication that isn’t being read by your prospects or potential customers. But how do you pick which publications to target? Rob shares a few industrial public relations tips that can help you make sure you’re delivering the right content to the right person at the right time!

To download the full video for FREE, please submit your email address below.

The Road Less Traveled: Agency Skills Forged by Opportunity

30th Anniversary - Felber PR & Marketing

The last three lines in Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” has always resonated with me. Consciously or perhaps subconsciously, this poem has framed my life and especially our agency.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Our evolution and the ever-changing business landscape have sculpted us into the focused agency we are today; well, at least for today!

When we started, we were trying to be everything and anything to anyone that would listen. And, often to those that would not listen. When I was young, my father had a manufacturing company that made sample books for the wallpaper and fabric industry, which branched into sealing and screen printing three-ring binders. This family history may have influenced Felber PR and Marketing’s print-production focus during our first few years. My brother and business partner were well-versed in printing and we became very focused on printing laminated folders, boxes, kits, and loose-leaf binders. 

The next step in our evolution came when our customers asked, “if you can print binders and folders, can you get us mugs, pens, shirts, etc.?” Tackling this question is how we established ourselves in the promotional products industry. I may be dating myself, but they were called advertising specialties back then. 

Our first adventure with promotional products started with a question from our client Crain’s Plastics News. “Can you get us stuffed animal lions with an imprinted t-shirt?” Of course, our answer was yes. “Can you place them in a printed box with jungle graphics, some decorative packaging, and a printed literature card and mail them to our list?” Sure, we’re on it. “Oh, and by the way, we need 1,000 pieces.” Whoa, what did we agree to? 

We made the graphics and learned how to handle the production graphics, and the logistics of assembly, packaging, and shipping. This was our breakthrough project, which pushed us down the road less traveled, beyond catalog orders and squarely into dimensional promotion. Our knowledge of packaging and shipping made all the difference in differentiating Felber from those that were middlemen in selling products. We became very proficient in design, copywriting, and countless print methods. 

Here are a few of our early and most memorable dimensional promotions.

In 1994, Contracting Business Magazine was celebrating its 50th anniversary by looking forward 50 years in the mechanical systems industry. As an editorial promotion, we chose the iconic magic 8 ball to represent predicting what the next 50 years would hold for the industry.

“Many more years ago than I care to admit, I worked with Rob Felber on countless editorial promotions,” said Gwen Hostnik, former Contracting Business Magazine marketing manager and long-time friend of Rob Felber. “Rob’s creativity, professionalism and dedication to service were an incredible resource for me as marketing manager for several of Penton Publishing’s industrial publications.”

In order to encourage advertising about indoor air quality in Heating, Piping & Air Conditioning Magazine, in 1995 we designed this snow globe to overexaggerate a poor air quality environment. This promotion won a coveted gold pyramid award from The Promotional Products Association International.

Believe it or not, our entry into public relations came courtesy of Six Flags of Ohio. You don’t want to miss that story! Stay tuned for our next 30th Anniversary Series blog for more.