How Tech PR Firms Increase Brand Awareness with Targeted Trade Coverage

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Michael Tebo

“I want to be in The New York Times!”

If I had a dollar for every time a CEO made this declaration during a kickoff meeting, I’d probably be in Jamaica right now. But I digress…

It’s natural for clients to want to command attention from the nation’s top news outlets. But, for most – especially those working in B2B industries – a quote in The New York Times can be more of an ego boost than a tactical move toward a sales or revenue goal.

Trade media, which traditionally refers to trade journals and industry publications, has expanded in recent years to include podcasts, blogs and social media groups. Although audiences are smaller, trades offer a more valuable opportunity: sharing the right story with the right audience – your prospects.

Don’t mistake tactics for a complete strategy, however. Great public relations strategies always leverage their connections and authority for nationwide coverage and spectacular headlines.

Playing that tactic alone, however, leaves great opportunities rusting in the arsenal.

So, how does focused coverage play into a comprehensive PR strategy?

It’s a Go-To Public Relations Strategy for Targeting the Perfect Audience

If you kick off a PR strategy with air cover for the sales team, product credibility and pre-qualified web traffic leads as your chief objectives, focusing on big business press like the Washington Post probably won’t align with those priorities.


Well, if your business sells, for example, a highly specialized type of enterprise data storage, a feature in The Washington Post will matter little to their average reader. Yes, hundreds of millions of people read the newspaper every month, but how many are your likely buyers? How many even understand what enterprise data storage is?

On the other hand, if you secure coverage in StorageNewsletter, with a readership of about 50,000 readers, you’re reaching a far smaller audience, but also an extremely targeted and engaged audience. The readers of this publication are IT professionals and decision-makers who are much more motivated – and likely – to buy your product than the readers of a broad national media outlet.

That being said, if your chief objectives are to get funding, attract an acquisition partner, increase your valuation or establish thought leadership on trends and issues that affect our society as a whole, focusing on national and widely read media outlets should be top on the list of things to do, without a doubt.

Is Your Story a Technical One? Think Trade Press.

Major publications usually cover broad topics in very general terms, but B2B publications dive into the nitty-gritty. Editors of trade media, hosts of podcasts and industry bloggers all understand their subject matter and are more likely to appreciate the significance of your business, its technicalities and value.

This industry-specific knowledge cuts down on explaining concepts in interviews and gets to the heart of the issue much more quickly. Since both the reporter and the eventual reader of the article already have a better understanding of the subject matter, you’ll likely get a better, more accurate piece of coverage than you would in a top-tier outlet.

Get Off the Ground Quickly

Coverage in trade verticals is especially useful when you want to create a steady drumbeat of news and quickly build brand awareness.

Because trade media typically work on a shorter cycle, this means they’re looking for more story ideas and can respond to pitches more quickly. As a result, turnaround time on publishing is greatly reduced. These kinds of media hits are great for keeping your business in the news consistently and making your name easily discoverable in internet searches.

As an added bonus, trade press more frequently includes links in stories, whether it’s back to your company website or the landing page for a product or webinar. And, trade reporters are some of the most active posters to social media channels, which means a trade story has a greater potential for amplification on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Trade Media Coverage Establishes Credibility

If you’re trying to build a thought leadership platform for your company, trade outlets are a great place to start.

Targeted trade publications, podcasts and blogs are typically shorter-staffed than major news outlets and are more likely to accept bylined articles and contributed content. A consistent presence in the right industry news outlet can announce the launch of a new company as a legitimate player, or it can establish a company founder as a thought leader.

Targeted Coverage Is an On-Ramp to Major Coverage

Major media coverage is still a win in terms of brand recognition and buzz.

How do they connect?

Journalists and editors for major newspapers and mainstream magazines often use trade journals to conduct background research for articles and identify the leading voices on specific issues. This makes trade coverage the perfect vehicle for attracting the attention of reporters working at larger publications.

Building PR for Tech Companies

While strategic targeting of trade vertical media is a valuable piece of B2B PR strategy, it’s just part of a bigger picture. That picture, as many of our clients have seen, can include the likes of The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Forbes, NBC News and, of course, The New York Times.

Ultimately, the choice of PR tactic comes down to knowing your specific PR goals and going after the right publication along the way.

Want more help?

Take the next step in building your business’s PR strategy with our free e-book: “The Five Required Strategic Elements to Maximize PR for Your Tech Company.

From the Blog

Leah Nurik