Top tips on working with the trade media

We often get asked about how we manage to achieve such good trade media coverage from our thought leadership articles, white papers and case studies. In this latest blog, we take a look at how to work with the trade press, including a few tricks of the trade and how this could help you.

The first thing step is to identify which magazines are most relevant to you.  There is no point blasting a press release or feature idea out to hundreds of different publications if the majority of them are irrelevant to your customer base.  

Tip 1. Carefully tailor your media list to your audience.  Often if we are looking to secure exclusive in-depth articles, we select just the top 3 or 4 titles for each industry sector and work specifically with them to target features throughout the year.

It is important to read through the magazine’s media pack, looking at who makes up their readership, but also their digital site and e-newsletters. It’s equally as important to choose a magazine with a good digital footprint as one that has a quality printed format.  Here, some of the long-established magazines lead the way, such as the Manufacturer, Professional Engineering or Construction News.

Tip 2. Choose magazines to target which have a strong domain authority.  This has the added benefit that if they feature an article by your company, with a backlink, it can be very valuable to your SEO.  It may be the case that when you approach an editor about a feature opportunity they tell you that the feature is full. In this case, it is always worth asking if you could write a thought leadership article (with keywords optimised) for use online.  Often the editor is happy to accept this.  There is no cost, often no deadline, limitless word count and in some cases, they may agree to a backlink, which can be of great value to your website.

Tip 3. Think carefully about the topic of the article, make it generic and tailored to the audience.

One thing that the trade press are very keen on is that the article you supply must be exclusive to them and directly relevant to their audience.  For example, if it is for Building Products magazine, it needs to be aimed at specifiers or developers – there is no point talking about contractors or builders’ merchants.  Similarly, they may decline the article if it has appeared elsewhere.  In the first instance, ask for the magazine’s article guidelines to be sent over, then you can be sure the white paper, through leadership or Q&A article meets their requirements.

Tip 4. Make sure the article is well researched and contains good content, diagrams and relevant photographs

The trade press are looking for articles on topical, relevant subjects that they may not have covered before but that are of interest to their readers.   As well as producing a well-researched article, with references to any sources quoted, it is also useful to provide diagrams and CGIs (computer generated images) to support the content you have produced.  These help to bring the article to life and to explain any technical descriptions.  Any photos you supply shouldn’t be of products, but of applications where products are used, or of experts working in the field. The magazine may well also ask an author biography, plus a head and shoulders shot of the author.

Tip 5. Don’t miss the deadline!

Too often a good relationship with a trade press editor can be affected because a deadline is missed.  It is important to stick to the deadline that you are given at the start.  If, for whatever reason, it looks like the deadline may be missed by a couple of days, then give the editor plenty of notice and request an extension.  Often, they can grant an extension, but don’t assume this will be the case.

Once the article has appeared, make sure you thank the editor for running it, as it is important to retain a good relationship for any others you may wish to run in the future. 

For more help with writing thought leadership articles and white papers, visit the website or email our team  As a PR agency with over 20 years’ experience in the construction and manufacturing sectors, we have well established contacts with trade press editors and a great track record of success.

Call us on: 0114 349 5341