September’s Learn & Connect — Competitive Advantages in Manufacturing

Register through Eventbrite

September 24th, 2013

7:30-8:00 Registration & Networking

8:00-9:00 Speakers

9:00-9:30 Networking

Are you a manufacturer always looking for new strategies to gain a competitive edge?  Join us and bring your business cards because everyone –Genus Solutions, our partners, and attendees – will be ready to Learn & Connect.  Our goal tomorrow is that each person to leave with new information and new contacts that can improve and grow their business.

Speakers:

Rob Gilmore, Kohrman, Jackson, Krantz P.L.L.

‘Protecting Your Company’s Confidential Information’

Rob Felber, Felber PR and Marketing

“10 social media tactics you can do in 10 minutes a day – to build your manufacturing brand and get new customers.”

Chris Isble, Genus Solutions

“Improving Customer Experience = Closing More Sales Selling Engineered-to-Order (ETO) Products”

This group is geared to manufacturing decision makers.

Have questions about September’s Learn & Connect — Competitive Advantages in Manufacturing? Contact Genus Solutions

Creating Competitive Advantages in Manufacturing– Learn and Network

Register now: http://t.co/WhtSdOpbiz

This group is geared to manufacturing decision makers.

What will you do to improve business in 2014?  Join our discussion of thought-provoking strategic and tactical business concepts that can be further researched and implemented to improve your business in 2014.    Networking will be a vital component of each event with ample time before and after the speakers to grow your business contacts.

Speakers:

Steven Shaffer, Shaffer Consulting Group: “Drive Business Growth… Business is about Cash, Accountability, Execution, and Strategy.”

Chris Isble, Genus Solutions: “Looking for Bottlenecks…Can your engineering group be your competitive advantage?”

Rob Felber, Felber PR: “Identify the marketable aspects of your organization…And Let the World Know”

Register now: http://t.co/WhtSdOpbiz

Future Dates:

Join us again Tuesday, September 24th.  Topics and speakers will vary.

 

FREEDOM 5K RACE & MEMORIAL MILE WALK TO RAISE FUNDS FOR COST OF FREEDOM TRIBUTE

                                                                              Media Contact: Robert Felber

Cost of Freedom Steering Committee

                                                           Phone (330) 963-3664 x1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  RobFelber@Felberpr.com                                                        

FREEDOM 5K RACE & MEMORIAL MILE WALK TO RAISE FUNDS FOR COST OF FREEDOM TRIBUTE

Proceeds from event donated to Twinsburg VFW Post 4929 to assist in their commitment to bring the Cost of Freedom Tribute to Twinsburg July, 2015

Twinsburg, OH, August 7, 2013 – Twinsburg VFW Post 4929 to host Freedom 5K Race & Memorial Mile Walk Saturday, September 14, 2013. Participants will gather for packet pickup at Glenn Chamberlin Park (near the Twinsburg Community Center), 10260 Ravenna Road, Twinsburg, Ohio 44087 at 8:30 am. Event starts at 10:15 am (walkers) and 10:30 am (5K runners). Cost for event are 1 mile walk pre-registration of $10 (race day $15) and 5K run pre-registration of $25 (race day $30). Online registration and more information at www.TwinsburgVeterans.com. Deadline for online is September 9, 2013. Participants pre-registered before September 9th will receive a t-shirt. Race tag timing provided by Champ Racing.

Many sponsorships levels are available. Current Gold sponsors include Cleveland Clinic’s Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center and South Pointe, University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center and the Procop/Esser Family. To sponsor, please contact COFTfundraising@gmail.com

Join your local veterans, police and fire departments, neighbors and friends for this fantastic special event. Fun for the entire family! Residents from all communities are welcome. Post-race activities include military and safety forces vehicles, music, a balloon artist, chair massages, raffle baskets, snacks and more. Net proceeds from this event will be donated to the Twinsburg VFW Post 4929 to assist in their commitment to bring the Cost of Freedom Tribute to Twinsburg July 1-5, 2015.

The race site will also be a donation location for items for our troops. On race day, please consider bringing any quantity of the following items with you:

*individual shampoos/conditioners/soaps/mouthwash   *Q-tips *deodorants   *dental floss *chap stick *travel size shaving cream *eye/ear drops *bug spray towelettes *toilet paper (single rolls or travel size) *small cans of tuna/Vienna sausage/sardines *dry powder drink mixes *small jelly *tea bags *beef jerky                                                       *fruit snacks/roll-ups/raisins/dried fruit/peanuts/trail mix **NO GLASS CONTAINERS**

 About The Cost of Freedom event

The Cost of Freedom Tribute features the American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT). The exhibit travels the USA to provide a forum for members of the community to come together to honor-respect-remember all those whom we have asked to stand in harms way to protect and defend our great country and freedom as our way of life. They are the true American heroes and we have an obligation to pay tribute to them by celebrating the freedoms they fought for and stand to insure. There is no admission fee to see the wall. We encourage you to bring your children and educate them as to the significance of this important moment in history. The Cost of Freedom Tribute is a true depiction of the great sacrifices made throughout the history of our country.

The Twinsburg VFW Post 4929, a (501(c) 3 organization, is fortunate to be able to bring this event to Twinsburg, Ohio July 1-5, 2015. However, there are considerable costs to for the exhibit, related expenses and promotion of the event. If you wish to donate, please visit www.twinsburgveterans.com or call Joe Jasany (330) 425-7161.

-30-

2013-2014 Interns – apply today!

Internship Type: Public Relations/Marketing
Internship Database Entry: Felber PR & Marketing
Contact Name: Rob Felber
Contact Title: President
Phone: (330) 963-3664
Contact Email: robfelber@felberpr.com
Twitter: @FelberPR
Application Address:
8963 Darrow Road
Twinsburg, Ohio
44087

 

Internship Location:
8963 Darrow Road
Twinsburg, Ohio
44087

 

Job Description: Felber PR & Marketing is offering a college credit or paid internship for 2013-2014. The intern work hours can vary from 5-20 hours per week, depending on the student and our workload. Summer and school breaks may offer ability for more hours. Duties can work around school schedule, which should be considered a first priority. Work is completed in the office or at client offsite meetings. The intern may work remotely from home, but only when handling less time sensitive projects.
Candidates should be a university or college student who is self-directed, and possesses strong communication skills and excellent writing skills. Experience with Microsoft Office programs is a must. Familiarity with social media and graphic design are an extra plus. Students majoring in public relations, marketing, communications or business are encouraged to apply.Internship responsibilities include writing and editing bi-monthly e-newsletter, news releases, online content and collateral. Interns will also be responsible for media and business research, working directly with clients in meetings (including by e-mail and phone) and participate in the creative process for a wide variety of projects/promotions/events. Other additional responsibilities may include general office/small business administration.
Application Process: For consideration, please submit the following: (1) Résumé, (2) writing samples/portfolio (news releases, newsletters, articles, blog, etc.) (3) graphic design work if applicable. Only completed applications will be considered. Applicants should send all these materials together by email (PDF or Word) or mail to Rob Felber.
Internship or Company Web URL: http://www.felberpr.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FelberPRandMarketing
Application Deadline:
Comments: Learn more about our firm and our manufacturing clients at http://www.felberpr.com.
Career Track: B2B (Business-to-Business)
Market: Ohio
Compensation: College credit or paid

 

 

Join WIRE-Net now!

From humble beginnings, coordinating safety and security for Westside manufacturing businesses, WIRE-Net has grown to include supply chain sourcing and operational efficiency programs for Northeast Ohio manufacturers.  The organization is celebrating 25 years of serving manufacturers with a bold challenge to engage 112 new members this year.

They are proud to boast an industry leading 90% member retention rate, and excited to show you how WIRE-Net membership could be the best decision you make in 2013.

WIRE-Net member companies have similar characteristics:

  • they are committed to retain or grow their business in Northeast Ohio,
  • they value and invest in strategies to operate more efficiently and effectively,
  • they have a desire to share knowledge and connect to other leaders,
  • they work together to drive economic health locally to build stronger communities.

You are encouraged to connect to 280 business leaders who have made a conscious choice to belong to the WIRE-Net family.

Make strong connections with hundreds of people“WIRE-Net has been able to guide companies through governmental processes, introducing them to the right people to help eliminate obstacles”, says Bill Oatey. WIRE-Net is particularly effective in “working with the city of Cleveland to reduce barriers to doing business in urban areas.” – Bill Oatey, Oatey Company

Learn best practices to improve your bottom line: “The networking and benchmarking opportunities through WIRE-Net are a fantastic resource for manufacturers and Northeast Ohio. The friendships that are made are very valuable and genuine; people are very open and willing to help. The exposure and sharing of new ideas with local businesses has been an eye opening experience for Martindale employees as we further our own continuous improvement efforts.”   Linas Bilunas, Martindale Electric Co.       

WorkSource services will save you time and money:  “Being a smaller shop, WIRE-Net saves us time, gets the pre-interview and background check done. Then all we have to do is interview to make sure they fit with the culture of our company.” Eric says, “Boots on the ground – Saves you time.” – Eric Dales, Adams Automatic

Join Now and get 15 months of services and support for the price of 12. Membership year runs July 1st through June 30th, so you get 90 days free to get acquainted with your member account manager and WIRE-Net services. It’s easy and fast to join online at www.wire-net.org/how2join.htmlRick Dawson, Manager Membership Development, is one call away, 216.920.1960. 

Networking and Management Education: What WIRE-Net members say they like the most

  • Last year 1100 people from 450 companies attended over 40 learning opportunities and plant tours, roundtables, seminars, and after hours events (20% – 60% discounts for WIRE-Net Members)

Get Visible, Get Business: In the past 3 years, WIRE-Net has worked on 395 sourcing projects to connect buyers with suppliers, resulting in 1,223 referrals to local businesses.

  • Connect you to new business opportunities by filling out a short assessment online at http://data.wire-net.org
  • Your Business Listing in a downloadable, searchable Membership Directory and Link to your Company Website

Find out for yourself why Gary Davis of Aetna Plastics says, “WIRE-Net makes us a better company.” 

Top 5 Reasons YOU should be using Social Media to promote your company

Social media has been popular since the early 2000s, but there are plenty of businesses that have not taken advantage of this online power tool. The over-arching question is normally “How can social media really benefit my business?”

Here are the top five reasons that social media can benefit your company and enhance your online visibility:

> Enhancing consumer engagement

You know those customer service advertisements where the customer expects a voice machine to respond, but is then startled when they hear an actual person on the other side? Customers appreciate personal interaction with businesses, not a robot. They feel good knowing that your business is willing to listen to their feedback. Social media, especially, gives them another option to share their thoughts, and for your business to respond instantaneously. The more your audience connects with your business, the more they will want to work with you. “How will you engage your customers?”

> Promoting your business and products in a cost-effective manner

Spending money on paper and commercial advertisements shouldn’t be your only option. Social media platforms allow you to easily and quickly disseminate information about your business. This, too, enhances consumer engagement. Social media can help you continually interact with your consumers and make sure your business is sharing the right information out to your target audience. “What do you want your customers to understand more thoroughly?”

> Taking advantage of current news trends

Social media platforms give you easy access to the latest industry trends. For example, Twitter has a search box where you can easily look up industry news. Using hashtags to search such as “#manufacturing” will give you the relevant conversations happening on Twitter. “What trends will you discover via online searches?”

> Driving website traffic and encourage recommendations

The best PR tactic is receiving third-party endorsements. As more subscribers follow your social media pages, the more likely they’ll visit your website and refer your business to a colleague. Facebook features a recommendation comment box for your page where customers can publicly display their positive feedback. “How will you encourage and reward positive feedback and bask in the glow of happy customers?”

> Measuring return on investment

Here’s the bottom line: Implementing social media to your business strategy measures your return on investment. There are social media measurement tools where you can analyze and measure your return. For example, if you implement an online advertising campaign that offers a promo code or link to a landing page on your website, you can absolutely attribute the resultant revenue from the campaign and calculate ROI. “What gets measured gets done; what will you measure?”

We can help deliver all of these social media essentials to your business. Take a look at our publicity checklist and we will help you sort through the maze of social media tactics and tools.

Cultivate the March Madness hoopla into your business strategy

Businesspeople can learn a lot from March Madness, whether you’re a basketball fan or not.  To put it simply, March Madness is when “the small guys face the giants to see how good they really are.” Diane Hurd, guest writer for PR Daily, wrote an article providing five lessons from March Madness that PR professionals can learn from. Using the same key points, here’s my take for businesspeople:

>> Preparation is KEY.

It’s important to do your research. Coaches are always seeking reports on their opponents to be ahead of the game. Research your industry’s news and latest trends, as well as your competitors. You never know what you may find that may get you ahead of your industry. Our best PR campaigns start with industry, publication and even individual reporter profiles.

>> Each player has to be on the same page.

It’s important to make sure all contributing staff/employees are on the same page. It’s hard executing a strategy if your message is lost or if there is conflicting ideas among the team. For example, the goal for both sales and marketing is to increase revenue for their company. So, it’s absolutely necessary for them to be on the same page in order to integrate their tactics smoothly to achieve the main goal. The best way to find compromising ideas is to brainstorm and make yourself open and available for any new ideas, questions or concerns your team may have.

>> Adjustments can be made throughout the game. 

Sometimes plans don’t pan out. In a game, if a certain play isn’t working out as planned, the coach and team will make adjustments accordingly. Likewise, have a backup plan if your initial one isn’t delivering the results you expected.  This advice reiterates both #1 and #2: Be prepared, make sure everyone is on the same page and be open for new ideas.

>> Two lay-ups are still better than one three-point shot.

When a team begins to fall behind, players are tempted to go after more difficult shots to raise their team’s score. On top of that, the term “go big or go home” is not the type of mindset any businessperson should ever have. Both of these factors cause chaos. For example, it would not be savvy for any businessperson to spend thousands of dollars on neon lights for their exhibit at a tradeshow and ignore opportunities to pre-show promote, create interesting booth content and have a post-show plan in place. As Hurd said, be sure to “pace yourself to ensure that the momentum continues.”

>> Stay hungry.

UCLA has won more National Championship titles for the NCAA Men’s Division I than any other team. One taste just wasn’t enough for them, and it shouldn’t be for you and your business partners. It’s important for each contributor to stay motivated and passionate about what they do, which allows them to feel confident enough to take on risks. Risk-taking is a good to technique that allows you to learn from mistakes and improve on successes for the future. Being a risk taker can certainly shape you into becoming a stronger competitor in the market.

To see some of our client-partner risk takers, click here.

Is there such a thing as social media etiquette?

A few months ago, we sent out a tweet briefly describing our services. A twitter user replied a few hours later describing their similar services along with our post. Rude. Has that ever happened to you?  Have people hijacked and/or spammed your posts before? Although it is not explicitly written as “social media law,” there is such a thing as social media etiquette.

Imagine that you’re a door-to-door salesperson posting flyers that describe your services and you are personally answering any questions along the way. Another salesperson, who offers the same services as you, drops by the same neighborhood and places their flyer over yours. The competition may be “fair game,” but it is not a fair game when they place their ad over yours.

To avoid potential negative press, here are nine golden rules of social media etiquette (list provided by Charlotte Varela’s Virally Blog):

  1. Don’t “air your dirty laundry” – Be professional when you write. Don’t post grievances about colleagues, acquaintances and clients for everyone to see. No one wants to see/hear that.
  2. Don’t be ignorant – Self-explanatory.
  3. Don’t constantly push sales – No one likes it when salesmen follow and hover around you offering their help. This concept applies to social media too. Keep it at a minimum.
  4. Don’t let your page go stale – Visitors can “permanently tune out” if you have nothing to offer. Think about the window shoppers. Imagine what they’d like to see at first glance.
  5. Don’t spam people – As mentioned before, don’t hijack someone’s post to deliver the same message, but for your own benefit. You have your own social media platform.
  6. Don’t link inappropriately – Varela says it best: “Posting social media updates that only link back to your homepage will only serve to infuriate your following and make your brand look hopelessly unprofessional.”
  7. Don’t use bots to gain followers – Manually follow people to ensure that every follow would be interested in your content. Besides, this technique is more personal.
  8. Don’t run competitions that clash with guidelines – In general, make sure you are aware of social media rules and guidelines!
  9. Don’t stuff with keywords – “Keyword stuffing is considered as web spam. Keep it real and just write.”

Want to make sure you’ve got the hang of it? Here are some other great resources to watch what you write and how you write:

The Endless Referral System: cultivating new prospects and referrals (pt.3)

In part two of this series, we discussed meeting with new prospects to build referrals. But how do we go about looking for those referrals?

As mentioned before, it’s important not to come off as desperate. It takes time for prospects to get to know you and be comfortable with you. According to Bob, you can sense if people like you and it’s possible that you may not get that delightful feeling for a while. He describes the relationship building as a funnel.

The AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) funnel acts as good representation for this scenario. The first step, of course, is to get the prospect to acknowledge you (i.e. Hello, my name is…). The second step is to get their interest by making conversation, which we mentioned in part one. The third step is to create ‘desire’ in to do business with you or help you in some fashion, which I touched lightly on and will now expand.

After a few lunch meetings and some generous phone calls, lets say you and your prospect have bonded. It is now time to ask for a referral. Whether you meet with them in person or call them, here’s how you could  “pop the question”:

“[Name], I’m in the process of expanding my business/referrals. I find it helpful to partner with colleagues, such as yourself. Can we take a few minutes to run past names of people I might be able to help?”

It is likely that if your prospect knows you, likes you, trusts you and wants to see you succeed. If this happens, then you have yourself a “walking ambassador” for you and your business. Note, initially this may be an overwhelming process for them, so be sure to help “funnel down their world” to narrow down their group of people to ask. You can frame your questions by creating visuals for your colleague. For example, have them think about who they socialize with, play golf or associations they participate in such as Rotary, professional groups or even their children’s’ activities.  Your newly acquired prospects are absolutely important during this stage, so be sure to guide them into finding potential referrals. They don’t have to do this favor for you though, so remember to always give them an out. You can always preface, “John, as long as you are comfortable, can we run through a few groups that you are involved in?” A variation of this approach that we at Felber PR & Marketing have found helpful is to create lists of companies you would like an introduction.

Once they trust and like you, you can provide a short list of companies in your target market. This works especially well, since the company names trigger your colleague’s memory on who they may know at that company. Simply providing a “type of company” without a specific name often draws a blank. How many people can come up with names of contacts when you say “know anyone at a 10-100 million dollar, privately held business-to-business manufacturer?” We know, sounds precise, but it just does not generate referrals.

After you and your partner have finished the list, it is then time to contact these potential clients and/or new set of influencers! So in the next section, I will explain how to effectively communicate with this new group by emphasizing what value you can provide for to them.

The Endless Referral System: cultivating new prospects and referrals (pt.2)

 

In part one of this series, I mentioned that we should always seek and build more relationships with potential prospects in order to increase our business. And when we do, we should never seek in desperation.

We live an increasingly connected world, so there’s always a chance in finding that one special prospect who would be willing to help out.

When you meet potential prospects, briefly introduce yourself. Ask them “feel good” questions such as, “How did you get started in your business/field?” or “What do you enjoy most about your job?” Questions such as these bring value to his or her life and give them the opportunity to shine. You want “F.O.R.M.” questions that revolve around family, occupation, recreation and message in order to seal the deal with this prospect. But do not be pushy about it and always give them an “out” by saying, for example, “If you can’t do it, I understand.” As Bob puts it, giving them an out is “a way of letting a person feel comfortable with you and the situation by providing them an ‘emotional escape route’”, which removes any pressure they may feel whether from you or themselves. You have limitless opportunities out there. One less prospect will not hurt.

When you have connected with this prospect, send them a nice letter on a notecard (see Bob’s examples at that link, as well as ours below this paragraph) and perhaps, a small gift such as a scratch pad, pen and/or a information booklet on a business topic. Alternatively, you could include an article they might be interested in or a topic related to your conversation.  Doing this will absolutely make them feel valued. Since you have just built this relationship, be patient. Contact them when you are ready, not desperate, to ask for a referral. Lastly, don’t forget to include your new contact on your newsletter database. This increases familiarly with you and your organization and is yet another positive “touch” in the relationship. Want to receive our newsletter, Manufacturing Matters? Click here.

Do you have some favorite networking tips? Share your thoughts and insights in the comment box below!