Getting Media Coverage in Trade Magazines

by : 

Megy Karydes

February 23, 2015
Marketing Mondays - Getting Media Coverage in Trade Magazines

Earlier this month, we covered how to secure media coverage in various media outlets during our weekly Marketing Mondays articles. Yet, an often overlooked media outlet for many retail and wholesale businesses is the one you’re reading right now: trade magazines.

Many retailers and manufacturers alike don’t bother to promote their stories to trade industry websites and print publications for two reasons:

  1. They don’t want to give up their “trade secrets” to other—competing—independent businesses.
  2. The audience is other retailers and wholesalers. For wholesalers, this is fine, since they’re trying to attract new retailers, but retailers aren’t going to find their customers reading trade magazines (or hope they aren’t), so what’s the point?

Both of these reasons are short sighted. Frankly, there are no “trade secrets” these days. Secondly, what most people don’t realize is that many good national magazine editors and producers scour the trade magazines for “what’s new” and trending in various industries because this is the best way to scoop their competitors.

I write for many national and local consumer magazines and online outlets, and I can’t tell you how often my best ideas for articles come from trade magazines. As a freelance writer, I’m also looking for sources all of the time.

Another perk of stories in trade magazines is they tend to delve deeper into the story of a retailer, manufacturer, or designer, giving the reader a nice overview of the company.
Also, coverage is coverage, and it’s worth bragging about in whatever form. A nice, long story in a trade magazine can be shared on your website, social media platforms, and emails.

So how does one get covered in a trade magazine?

The easiest and fastest way to find out if you’re a good fit for a piece is to read the magazine’s past issues to see what kind of articles it covers in depth. Does it do profiles, trend pieces, or any state-of-the-industry pieces? Once you’ve determined a publication is a good fit, pull up their editorial calendar (most have their calendar posted on their website under Advertising or Editorial sections). The editorial calendar is exactly what it sounds like—a calendar of what the magazine will be covering editorially by issue. One issue might be focused on jewelry while the next home accessories. Regular sections like “Profiles” will be listed, too. Depending on what your focus is, zero in on your focus and pitch your business to the editor for that particular issue.

Another way is to find out if they’ll be visiting an upcoming trade show that you will be attending and ask to meet them there. Or, find out if they’re heading to your local area and either invite them to visit your store or meet them near where they are.

I’ve worked with almost every editor in the gift and home industry in one capacity or another and I have to say, the editors are among the most down to earth and approachable I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. They pour their heart and soul into each and every issue, reviewing countless catalogs, websites, and press releases and walking miles upon miles of aisles at trade shows to find the best material for their readers. Even better, I don’t think I’ve ever had a situation where I’ve emailed them something specific and they’ve not returned my email.

Megy Karydes is principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing and communications firm and freelance writer who often covers retail for various magazines. She likes her calendars, whether digital or on paper, and has her editorial calendar pinned to her board in her office to remind her what day it is! Find her on Twitter at @megy.