by Thomas Gabbidon
As the number of publications and widely accessible media sources increases, PR professionals are continuously rethinking how effective mass circulation is when compared to niche trade publications.
Reaching as many people as possible is great, but which approach the best way to reach the right audience?
Less is more
Naturally, it is easy to assume that national publications with high circulations are the best way to promote a brand or raise awareness of a particular subject. While there is an element of truth in this, many PR’s find trade sources to provide the best response to brand engagement.
Trade publications are more than industry-specific news, they connect to a niche audience with articles written by the industry – for the industry. Content provided from national publications can be broad, less specialised, and may be written by someone outside the area of expertise leading to less overall engagement.
The main advantage trade publications have over nationals is that they can be seen as more trustworthy and credible, by offering specialist and technical perspectives more aligned to the target audience.
Know your niche
Trade press for many is the first call for industry-specific news for people in their respective sectors and each word carries significant weight to readers.
Key decision-makers tend to view the trade press as an essential instrument to find out what is going on in their industry through information, trends, and analysis without having to flick through unrelated articles.
That’s not to say nationals do not have specialists in respective industries contributing to columns or features. National broadsheets contain journalists at the top of their specialist subject, and many started out in trade publications before widening their scope. However, the topics covered by each correspondent can be broad, and may not deliver the right messaging – making the outreach less impactful.
As important as it is to reach as many as possible, it is also equally important to know who your audience is and cater to them. One reader might find value in being kept up to date regularly through accessible nationals - another might find value in fewer updates but more niche analysis-driven content.
In an era with an increasing amount of information on multiple channels, credibility has led journalists, PRs, and readers to reassess where or how they digest their information. The increased focus on building relationships between journalists and readers for national publications has already been a feature for trade publications who utilise the industry familiarity to engage with readers further.
Readers browsing a trade news source online or picking up a trade magazine already know the type of news they want from the people they want to hear it from. With an industry respected trade source, many organically find they pay more attention to a voice in an industry they are already immersed in.
For those that know their respective sector, digesting specific information from the trade press is easier when someone else is talking your language, and readers will feel more inclined to trust that respective publication.