The trade magazine is dead – long live the trade mag!

I had a meeting with a new construction client the other day, they raised an issue which concerned me “We think that trade magazines have had their day, everything’s just online now, we don’t think printed coverage matters that much anymore.”  So it set me thinking, is the printed trade magazine soon to become a thing of the past and how important is the online equivalent?

Why we need trade magazines

Here at Dragonfly PR, we believe that there is much life, yet, in trade magazines and here’s why:

Not everyone likes to read articles online

Research has shown that many within the construction and building products industry, including architects, contractors and surveyors, prefer to receive printed magazines. These are retained for longer than their online equivalents and can often be found, after use, on reception desk in offices so have a much higher readership than their audited circulation.  We find that sales people within our construction clients’ businesses often take printed magazines to show customers projects where their products or services have been used – much more powerful and credible than just a sales brochure, or the hassle of having to get onto a computer or access Wifi at a customer’s office!

The quality architectural publications have seen their subscriptions increase

A clear sign that the trade magazine still has life in it, is that some publications have increased their circulation in recent years.  This includes some of the quality architectural publications, such as Architectural Review and Building, plus core construction magazines such as Construction News – although Construction News has seen its online circulation increase dramatically too.  Magazines understand that they need both a strong online and printed presence these days.  Many magazines produce good quality e-newsletters – for example Construction Enquirer is read by tens of thousands of people in the construction industry every day!  It’s true that some people prefer to subscribe to trade e-newsletters delivering fast news direct to their inbox, rather than waiting for the monthly magazine, so you’ve got to be able to provide content for both an online and printed audience.

Our clients tell us they get a great response from thought leadership articles

Thought leadership or white paper style articles are increasingly important in the construction and manufacturing sectors and many of our clients have reported that they have secured orders after customers have read them.  We find that the impact of a printed magazine article can be significant.  However, from a Search Engine Optimisation point of view, online articles can help to generate interest from visitors and when a link is included, can steer traffic back to a client’s website.

However, as any construction or manufacturing business knows, online coverage is increasingly important, so, if you are a building product manufacturer looking for a PR company that specialises in the construction sector, here are three quick tips for enhancing your online trade coverage:

  • Ask if your printed article can also appear on the magazine’s website too.
  • If the magazine does include the article online, ask if they can tweet about the article and link to it, to increase views (you should also tweet it on your own twitter account so your followers can read it).
  • Ask the magazine if they will give you a backlink to your website – some may wish to charge for this, but it can be worth it!

For more information, speak to our PR team that specialises in the construction sector on 01709 300130 or email

Call us on: 0114 349 5341