The trade media can be a totally different beast from consumer and regional news titles.
These are the magazines, journals and websites aimed at specific industries and the people who work in them. For instance, there are several publications about the hospitality sector which go into great detail about the industry and the hot topics which would be read by those working in that field, as well as businesses which supply to the industry such as linen hire companies, but are unlikely to be of interest to the general public.
Here, our resident business to business guru, Helen Elson, offers five top tips on working with the trade media:
Introduce yourself – Before we can even think about firing out press releases, we begin by introducing ourselves to the relevant editors. We let them know which company we are working with and what they do. Starting up a two-way conversation about what the editor is looking for to fill their pages and what their readers will be interested in is a great route in, rather than bombarding them with the new product news regardless of their agenda.
Know your target – Ordering in a few back copies of the magazines you’re targeting and spending some time reading them is essential. Get to know the industry hot topics that are getting people talking. What tone of voice does the title have? Is it very formal and academic, or more casual and conversational? This way, when selling in a story we can even suggest which section or pages we think it would be suitable for and really help the editor picture it in their next edition.
Forward planning – In complete contrast to newspapers, many of the trade press will have planned out their content for the whole year well in advance. By requesting forward features (often found in the advertising pack or media information section) we can pick out editions which suit our clients and their latest news. They will usually give a deadline for when copy needs to be in, but it is always useful to speak with the journalist and give them a synopsis of what we can offer to check if it is going to be of interest.
Prepare to play the waiting game – Trade press have extremely long lead times. It is not unusual to wait three months after submitting copy before seeing it in print. Trade media with an online news section can provide that ‘quick hit’ of coverage while waiting for printed cuttings.
Be realistic – Look hard and you can find a title for just about any topic, no matter how niche. With titles as specialist as Onion World, Chimney Sweep News, and Coatings Comet, most releases will fit in somewhere regardless of how weird and wonderful they are. However, this can mean there may only be one or two titles where the story will fit, so be realistic about how much coverage will be received from these kind of stories.