4 reasons the best PR plans include a trade outlet strategy

Appearing in a trade outlet can give you more meaningful placements and make you memorable.
Appearing in trade outlets can give you more meaningful placements and make you memorable.

One year into my first reporting job, at the insurance magazine Property-Casualty360, I interviewed homeowners in Red Hook, Brooklyn, about how their insurers had responded after the Hurricane Sandy catastrophe. Climate change was barely on the radar for mainstream news outlets, but we were covering it extensively as a growing risk to the insurance industry.

Trade outlets may not be glamorous, but they are often ahead of the pack and on top of the issues and trends important to players in whatever industry they cover. And their editors are usually on the lookout for contributed content by experts (that’s you). Here are four reasons to include a trade outlet strategy in nearly every PR plan.

1. Tell your story the way you want to

Because trade outlets often accept contributed content (it’s a growing practice, which is another story), it’s much easier to control your message—as long as you don’t get promotional. Editors welcome strong viewpoints and may even have dedicated space for guest columnists. And because you’re addressing your peers or customers, you can geek out and get technical about how a solution works or go big-picture with your vision for the future.

2. Reach your target audiences

If there’s an industry or market segment, there’s probably at least one trade publication for it (half a dozen is more likely). Targeting these publications can allow you to slice your audience pretty finely by job title, expertise and vertical market as well as industry. And that means you can get your case studies in front of prospective customers, or your technology trend piece in front of CEOs and market analysts.

3. Build your reputation as an expert

Trade publications—created by experts for experts—give you the opportunity to get into technical and esoteric topics as well as analyze trends or industry practices. Their editors are also among the first to spot trends, and this is a key reason other journalists read the trades. For example, business reporters followed the Property-Casualty360 story about Hurricane Sandy and climate risks. And Waste Dive (you’ve all heard of it, right?) was among the first to report on China’s ban on accepting materials from U.S. recyclers.

4. Spread your content further

Trades cover news that more mainstream press ignores—company news and new products are prime examples. They often love case studies, which you can place in multiple outlets if the case studies cross markets. We have one client that reaches publications covering its tech sector as well as one or more vertical markets with every case study—not a bad payoff.

The bottom line is that appearing in a trade outlet can give you more meaningful placements and make you memorable with target audiences—and that includes mainstream journalists in search of their next story as well as prospective customers. Who doesn’t want that?