6 Steps to Using Trade Magazines To Reach Customers
by Martin Cohn

When developing a publicity campaign for their business many owners overlook the importance of trade magazines and journals as vehicles for reaching new customers. While mass media publications have widespread readership, the targeted nature of trade publications make the information that appears within them even more powerful.

Unlike general interest publications, readers of trade magazines and journals already have an established interesting a specific subject. for example, it is safe to assume that readers of American Printer are generally people who work in or have an interest in that subject.
Writing a how-to-article that appears in a trade publication establishes your business as an "expert" in that specific area. Think about it - reading an article written by your company in trade magazines provides a different level of exposure and a new image of your business to potential customers.

Here are a six guidelines for writing material for trade magazines:

1. Familiarize yourself with trade magazines in your industry - Trade magazines usually publish industry news, case studies and educational articles. New is primarily written by the editors. Case studies and educational articles are available for contributing authors. case studies describe how a service solved a particular problem. Educational articles teach the reader how to do a particular job or activity. These two types can be great in establishing additional credibility among potential customers, portraying the author as an "expert" in that area.

2. Know your targeted publication - Read a few issues or the publication that your are targeting. Review the contents to make sure that magazine publishes the type of article you have in mind. Review the publication's headings to get a sense of what specific subjects are covered in each issue. Obtain a copy of the publication's editorial calendar, if possible, to see if your idea fits into a specific theme or issue. Tis background knowledge will better your chances of publication.

3. Contact the editor - Discuss with he editor the article idea you that you that are interested in writing. This will avoid any misconceptions and duplication of effort. For example, you would not want to begin writing an article on spill control products if an article on that same subject appeared in the last issue. In addition, this give the editor a chance to provide his/her input into the development of the article. Editor feedback can be very valuable, both from a content and final publication point of view.

4. Write concisely - The key to writing for publications is making the material as easy to read possible. do not use jargon; be clear in your writing. Short sentences are the rule. No matter how important the topic, if the article is long and difficult to understand, it will not be published.

5. Provide illustrations - Investigate the publication your are writing for to see if they use photos, illustration or graphics with the articles. Innovative, clear graphics can help sell an article and better your chance of being published.

6. Ask an expert to review the article - Often having another person read your work can provide a fresh perspective of what your article is actually saying. Have a colleague review the final manuscript for accuracy. If possible, have a proof-reader review the article for any inconsistencies prior to submission to an editor.

Trade magazine publicity and media relations can be an important part of an overall public relations and marketing program. The development of a consistent public relations program can result in the creation of a positive reaction to a company's product or service from its target audience. This, in turn, helps a company achieve another goal - increased bottom line dollars.