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