As PR professionals, one thing we know is that all clients are excited about being featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, or Bloomberg. We also know that these can be rare occurrences, especially for private, middle-market companies. Trade publications and blogs are often overlooked and not given as much attention by clients as the above mentioned big players. But these publications can have tremendous value and, when used correctly, can bring a lot of positive attention from a high value audience.

Smaller trade publications and blogs have ongoing opportunities for features. It could have similar value to get a company’s message and outlook put on the front page of the publication that all of its clients read, rather than page D23 in The New York Times.

Another favorable aspect of these industry publications is the ability to have more control over shaping the narrative. They are actively looking for new opinions and stories rather than one-line quotes to back up information from headline news. In addition, reporters at the larger news publications regularly read the trades to gain perspective and to seek out potential experts to interview.

Another benefit of getting featured in these trades that is typically underutilized is their ability to spark discussion in the community. Too often, companies featured in an article that is not in a major publication will neglect to share it with their audiences. This is a missed opportunity. More articles result in more content to share directly with customers, partners and prospects, and indirectly on social media for a larger and more enhanced social following.  These features also create credible content to place on a company’s website.

Another form of media often underutilized by clients are blog sites. Some clients pass when public relations professionals present an opportunity to comment on an industry blog, because it is not viewed as a “legitimate” media outlet.  But more and more media outlets are now turning to the blog format, and in some industries, like technology, blogs are more influential than national business news brands. Many bloggers have great influence and are closely followed by industry leaders. You’re reading a blog right now!

Trade publications and blogs are never a waste of time when approached strategically. The reach of these stories goes far beyond the front page of the publication. When a story is correctly shared and utilized, it will certainly contribute your spokespeople’s’ stature as respected voices in the business community.

Gabe Ross

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