The Tribe Discovers the Importance of Giving Industry Talks

Last week, the Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) tribe discovered the importance of using ghostwritten trade articles to create good public relations for both fire companies and fire company leaders. This week, the tribe discusses another common PR strategy: Industry speeches by key business influencers. Remember, fire = print.

During lunchtime, Org approached Marka, who sat in FEI’s conference room working on the company’s public relations plan.

Looking up, Marka said, “It’s the future star of our industry’s public speaking circuit!”

“So that’s the idea—industry speeches,” Org replied. “You know, the Organization for Fire Service Professionals (OFSP) once asked me to give a talk to its membership. I didn’t think it was worth my time.”

“OFSP is where we should send our operations staff to build up FEI’s internal network of industry professionals,” Marka noted. “As far as sales growth, the smart approach is to target speaking appearances at organizations for businesses that have been known to use fire services: The Association for Cooked Food, for example. Or the Primitive Industrial Manufacturers Association. Public speaking appearances in front of these core fire-buying audiences could be strategic means by which to introduce new products, educate listeners about our company or tout our technical expertise.”

“Sign me up,” Org said simply. “When prospects hear engaging, informative speeches by people associated with our brand, they’ll come to realize that FEI is a knowledgeable and capable company.”

Over the next few months, Marka booked many speaking appearances for various members of the FEI sales growth team. Talks included:

• Keynote speeches for Org, Marka & Zoot
• After dinner talks
• Seminar talks
• Round table discussion leadership

As the weeks passed and FEI reps got more speeches under their belts, Zoot noticed something interesting: in addition to generating new revenue opportunities that made Numo happy, FEI’s new public image made it easier to find and hire quality sales reps. The company’s information-first, industry-leadership approach was attracting hard workers hungry for recognition and not afraid of public speaking.

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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