Often clients come to us saying they want to feature in all the big titles. “I want my research to be published in the FT, The Economist, The Guardian, Forbes!”. But is it what you need? While featuring in national publications is definitely rewarding for your business and will raise awareness, we recommend clients think hard about their objectives first.
Let’s take The Guardian for example. Their newspaper print circulation is approximately 100,000 while online they gather over 23 million unique visitors a month. It is undeniably a big audience, with rich opportunities for a company to be noticed. But out of this multitude of people, only a very small portion is the readers that you really want to reach.
If your research is about the latest trends in the food industry, chances are the most relevant readership will be subscribed to The Grocer or Food Navigator. These publications might not have six figures circulation numbers, but they do target the right niche with greater chances of your PR activity translating into leads from interested clients. Featuring in a publication that targets a smaller – but engaged and passionate audience – can bring more value to your business than a wider but general poll of readers. Sometimes less is more.
Another question that we ask our ambitious clients is “is your content suitable for national publications?”. There are some criteria for a story to even be considered by a journalist who works for a national. You have to have the numbers; the more people you’ve interviewed the more chances you will have to be published. Your sample size needs to be at least 2,000 people and the data need to be ground-breaking. The story needs to be topical and add a new angle to an ongoing debate. On top of that, because you’re talking with such a wide and non-specialised public, you can’t be too technical. This kind of audience might struggle to understand a specific industry message, let alone have any idea what you or your company do, thus quickly losing interest in your article.
Vertical publications, on the other hand, reach an audience who have a good grasp of a specific subject. This will allow you to focus on analysing an in-depth concept rather than spending time explaining basic knowledge to the general public.
National publications are a crowded space. Thousands of new items make their appearance on these content rich platforms but only the globally important ones reach the front page. Most of the other stories get relegated to a note at the bottom of the page or to some obscure website pages accessed by very few people.
However, trade publications offer your story more visibility. Unlike the broader publications, they only cover one specific industry, narrowing down the amount of news that is actually relevant to them. This gives your business the chance to shine on the home page and even appear as the main cover story.
So, although getting your company’s research on the national pages is definitely important and can fit with your strategy if you are looking for investment, don’t let the numbers go to your head! As a business you need to consider more than one factor and pay attention to which strategy will benefit your company reputation and income most effectively.
Finally, remember your trade media is your trade media. It is vital to have strong, long-term relationships with the sectors you work in. With the help of communication experts, you can easily identify which audience to target and consequently which publications will do the trick.