I’ll Pay For a Gourmet Meal of Your Choice in 30 Years

I'll pay for a gourmet meal of your choice in 30 years

In 2023, to celebrate our 30th anniversary, we wrote about our history, what we’ve learned, and even entertained advice for your younger self, 30 years earlier. Thanks to all those who gave their advice & all those we’ve worked with over the last three decades.

Reflecting on our 30 years in business got me thinking about what could be in store for the next 30 years. I want to make a few predictions on the next 30 years, and if I’m wrong, call me up then. I’ll take you out for a full gourmet meal. Dinner in 2054 will probably be closer to noon – I’ll need to take my nap by 3.

All the rage across every business sector is Artificial Intelligence (AI). While this may certainly play out, I think in the end we’re still human. I predict we might simply call this “intelligence.” I truly hope there is nothing artificial about it, and we use our brains and subsequent technology to better feed the world, cure disease, and in my best “Miss Congeniality” moment, world peace.

I predict marketing will continue to segment. If, in 2024, I can get a replacement TV remote from Amazon in 8 hours delivered to my door, by 2054, I can certainly hope my built-in 5-dimensional printer can make whatever I want in seconds. “Earl Gray Tea, Hot,” Captain Picard. Talk about marketing segmentation! Maybe I can order you any dessert, from any menu in any restaurant in the world, and it will be printed right at our table?! 


I predict businesses and those they employ will still need to buy goods and services. Trade media, the journalists that research, write, vet, and disseminate information will continue to be the expert resource. How, where, and when the information is consumed will be very different. We already have the world at our fingertips, our heads-up displays, and our wearable devices. The battle, I believe, will still be the quality of the information that is delivered. Publishing needs to figure out a new model to survive while not losing the quality of writing and journalism that has existed since drawings were painted on cave walls.

With all the technology and opportunities to market to even the most minute market segments, I predict events called “naked meetings.” No, HR folks do not need to be concerned. These will be throwback events where no technology, wearables, or implanted devices are allowed. People will reconnect on a personal level. They probably will have to watch a brief holographic on something called network events and trade shows. Those really into retro might even have business cards they hand out from their card holders that look like mini briefcases (Yes, I had a black one with two gold latches and a handle). 

Can any of this happen? Maybe, maybe not. But as much fun as it was to look back thirty years, it is even more fun to predict the next 30. As far as my predictions go, I’ll happily eat more than just my words when I take you out for a gourmet meal in 2054. Cheers to a brighter and better future ahead!

Want to chat before 2054? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the future of business in the B2B space. Here’s my calendar!

The Evolution of Lead Generation: From Postcards to Real-Time Conversions

The Evolution of Lead Generation: From Postcards to Real-Time Conversions

Thirty years ago, all you needed to request company information was a pen and a free business reply card (BRC). Back then, these small white postcards (BRC) with prepaid postage permits seemed to fall out of every magazine. To request information, you’d darken a bubble or circle a number on the card, often corresponding to an advertisement in the same magazine. Then, you’d drop the postage-paid card in the mail and patiently wait for a response, which could take weeks.

Today, sales teams operate under the magic five-minute rule: respond to a prospect’s interest within five minutes, and your chances of success skyrocket. While it might sound simple, everyone is striving to boost their reach, increase closing ratios, and enhance their reputation. 

But fear not, because in our fast-paced business world, there are solutions and tools at your disposal. Here are five steps to digitally improve lead conversion.

Step One: Leverage the Right System

Embrace a modern Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool like HubSpot. These CRMs automatically capture leads from chats, emails, form submissions, and digital ads. No more manual data entry; everything is seamlessly integrated.

Step Two: Content is King 

Harness the expertise of your best subject matter experts to create engaging content that your prospects crave. Whether it’s a technical paper, an e-book, or a useful calculation tool, provide them with valuable insights into their problems. Content is your secret weapon in the digital age.

Step Three: Design and Trust

Incorporate design elements and excellent writing to generate a sense of urgency. This fosters trust, convincing prospects that clicking on your offer will provide answers to their questions. Make it visually appealing and information-rich.

Step Four: Cultivate a Culture of Immediacy

This step is pivotal. Establish a culture of immediacy within your team. Equip your team with the tools, platforms, apps, and guidance needed to make that crucial connection within the first five minutes. Modern CRMs can send text messages, emails, and create real-time tasks for your associates – there’s simply no excuse not to connect with a converted lead promptly.

Step Five: Track and Evaluate

Creating an efficient system is fantastic, but it’s all for naught if no one follows through. Make the call, track team activity, and evaluate the results. Steps 1-4 set the stage, but if no one makes the call and tracks the results, nothing will happen. Remember, in today’s fast-paced world, prospects can easily lose interest if you don’t act swiftly.

Yes, the pace of business has evolved since our company launched three decades ago. But, we love it. The tools, creativity, and real-time prospect engagement are not only exciting but also highly effective. And thankfully, reporting data to management no longer involves counting a year’s worth of tattered white postcards.

Want to learn more? You guessed it…click here!

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self? – Client & Colleague Feature

what advice would you give your younger self? word cloud

To celebrate Felber PR & Marketing’s 30th anniversary, I asked some of our long-standing clients and colleagues to share a piece of advice they might share with their younger selves if they had the chance. Here’s what they said:


Create a strong balance between work and home, You have the rest of your life to work so make sure you take time for yourself, your health, friends, and family, I was once told I should do “well” (income and work) before I did “good.” I disagreed and while income growth may have been slower, my life and family experiences were immeasurably enriched by volunteering, coaching my kids, and being involved in countless boards and community initiatives.

 – Rob Felber, Owner & President, Felber PR & Marketing


“If it was easy, anyone could do it!”

By that I mean that when faced with what seems like seems like a very difficult task or situation, we will be judged on how we approach and handle it. These are the times that require character and determination, and those traits can distinguish us from the competition. We may not always be the lowest-cost or fastest solution, but ultimately we will attract and maintain client relationships by demonstrating our willingness to tackle and solve the biggest and most important business challenges. We strive to be “indispensable!”

 – Bruce Newburger, President, Dynamics Online, Inc.


A couple of things I’ve tried to live by:

  • Work hard
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Take nothing for granted
  • Treat everyone with respect
  • Everyone has to “pay their dues”; no one is entitled to anything
  • Collect as many “tools” as possible to put in your “toolbox”, they will come in handy down the road
  • Relationships matter – develop and nurture as many as you can; sometimes they will help you and sometimes you will help them

And for my kids (28,26,23):

  • Nothing good happens after midnight
  • Life is about choices; you won’t always make the right ones – just don’t make dumb ones
  • When deciding on what degree or career to pursue, it is often more important to find out what you don’t want to do, as it is what you do

– Bob Centa, President, PMI Industries, Inc.


  • Don’t be afraid of hard work.  Hard work and passion for what you are doing will pay off
  • Struggles in life make us tougher.  The younger you are when you encounter these struggles the more accustomed to dealing with issues you will become.  These skills are valuable later in life and are more difficult to learn later in life. 
  • Instant gratification is not always something you will see.  Patience and consistency when working toward your goal are important.  In today’s day and age, we are used to the instant gratification of simple things like taking a picture and immediately being able to look at it.  

– William Barlock, Owner, IT Support Specialists


“Embrace curiosity and pose inquiries, as they create more long-term value than you’d imagine.” 

– Yogesh Ramadoss, Business Development, Cres Cor Health & Safety


Some advice from “Old Scott” to “Young Scott”

  1. When interacting with people, be empathetic to their situation, as it will serve you well regardless of the circumstance.
  2. Define your core values, and when making life decisions, be sure to rely on them.
  3. Remember that there is always a back-story to what you observe in your life, so don’t rush to judgement.
  4. Be an active listener and respond thoughtfully when the opportunity presents itself.
  5. Put your family first, be integrous in your actions, and tenacious in pursuing your goals.

Scott Moss, Founder & CEO, M Sales Growth Advisors


Be kind to yourself in all things. Allow yourself to make mistakes, learning from them of course with the goal of evolving into the best version of yourself. Explore! Keep trying new things. Complacency is the enemy of success, so always keep pushig yourself outside of your comfort zone. You will be surprised by all that you CAN do!  Your happiness is the key to living up to your fullest potential, so take care of yourself, physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally to be and stay happy, healed and whole. Finally, as you grow up and evolve into marriage, motherhood and your career, know that being sucessful at all 3 requires balance. Speak up about your needs, wants and desires and never settle for less than you deserve! You can have it all! 

Keren Johnson, Digital Marketing Manager, Dynamics Online, Inc.


I would tell myself to slow down and enjoy the ride. I have always been a very driven person who was diligently working towards completing a goal and moving on to the next. This has served me well as I’ve had many accomplishments both personally and professionally. But when you are always looking ahead, you are not fully appreciating the present. The present is really all we have. It’s important to have goals and plan for the future, but its just as important to be present and appreciate the moment that you are living. 

– Brian Lennon, CEO, General Die Casting, Inc., & Dart Casting, Inc.


The two pieces of advice I would give my younger self are, “set yourself up for productivity” and “protect your time.”

The first bit of advice means to have the materials and tools needed at the ready. Otherwise, it stops or delays progress on a task or goal. 

The second bit of advice means that it is easy to squander time, whether with colleagues, friends or other distractions. There are always more pressing things to do or reasons to verve from a task or project. Since time is a commodity, choose how you will use it. 

My kids have heard me preach these tips since they were young. 

– Kavita Sherman, Owner, Sherman Communications, LLC.


Money is the most important thing in the world, except for everything else.

– Lance Dumigan, Business Development Manager, Fabrisonic, LLC.


List your priorities in life such as:

#1 Faith through growing my personal relationship with Jesus.

#2 Self through strengthening my mind, body and having a productive work career.

#3 Others through engagement and service with my immediate family before others.

Remember: “Always try to be in the present moment of life”

List no more than 2-3 action items for each priority above and laminate some copies.  Post in a few places like on your mirror, fridge, bedstand and in your car.  Review every 3-6 months.

– Rio Degennaro, Director of Strategic Business Development, Cres Cor Health & Safety


I would tell my younger self that everyone makes mistakes.

It’s important to note your mistake so it doesn’t happen again but there isn’t any benefit dwelling on the mistake.

How you respond and correct the mistake is more important.

The below quote (not sure by who) kind of sums up what I am trying to say.

“You aren’t judged on the mistakes you make. You are judged on how you respond to them.”

– Rich Sinkovic, Sales Engineer, PMI Industries, Inc.


I wouldn’t advise my younger self because my mantra is, “Change nothing. It all happens as it’s supposed to and you end up exactly where you need to be.”

– Kellie West, Regional Sales Manager, Grand River Rubber & Plastics Co.


We’ve learned a lot over the last 30 years. In part, thanks to these people.

Thank you to our clients and colleagues for sharing their insights for this blog – and for doing business with us for the last 30 years!

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!

Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss our monthly 30th Anniversary series!

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!

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

trade media interview

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. 

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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. 

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.

Felber PR & Marketing is Celebrating 30 Years!

30th Anniversary - Felber PR & Marketing


Party like it’s 1993… with your Sony (radio) Walkman for $29.98, listening to redneck humor from Jeff Foxworthy and obsessing about finding the hottest Beanie Babies. Yes, that was 1993, and the founding year of Felber Public Relations and Marketing. 

In recollection, it was more like rubbing two nickels together, driving through downtown Cleveland in my 5-speed Chevy Cavalier with practically no heat, parking in the snow and walking blocks to pitch our services to prospects. I was thrilled if my pager went off indicating I had voicemail which meant I’d be looking all over the city for a payphone and quarters to hear that precious message.

I can hardly believe 2023 is our 30th anniversary! I still get excited about client voicemails. I no longer carry rolls of quarters. However, I do regret letting the dog chew up those collectible Beanie Babies. If you are one of those precious customers who have supported us for the past 30 years, thank you!

In January, we will start our year-long review of PR and marketing through the decades and the evolution of our company. You might even see a throwback to one of your own promotions or campaign from those early years. 

While “Jurassic Park” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” were the box office favorites, your PR and marketing campaigns were the lifeblood of our company that kept us from going extinct. Together we grew, became friends, and learned how to “get mail” and pronounce GIF. On top of the billboard charts was “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston. We are immeasurably grateful and we, too, will always love you and our journey together through the last three decades.

Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss our monthly 30th Anniversary series!