Digital Transformation Agency

You need to invest your time (and dollars) in trade media, now

By Mary Cirincione | Vice-president, US

Propeller Group

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The Drum Network article

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August 11, 2022 | 4 min read

The lion’s share of B2B PR happens in a rich tapestry of trade publications – but many who want coverage don’t involve themselves in that ecosystem, says Mary Cirincione, vice-president, US at Propeller. Cirincione argues that PR seekers ignore the trades at their peril.

Propeller reevaluate the significance of trade media.

Propeller reevaluates the significance of trade media.

You want PR. You want press, you want attention – a feature, a byline, a podcast.

But you hate a paywall and don’t have a subscription. And when prompted further, you try your hand at an incognito window or ask your PR team to send you a PDF copy. Or worse, you abandon the effort.

It’s not functional. It’s not fair, and more than that – it’s not sustainable.

If you’re not regularly consuming the media you want to be a part of – as an individual, a company, an agency – then you’re not actively participating in the media landscape. How else can you consistently know what’s of interest to those editors and reporters you’re hoping to break through to? How else can you know what the media is covering off on and be able to feed into that cycle in a thoughtful, informed way? (Other than looking to your PR rep to tell you – but that’s a topic for another day.)

This is why I like to give a ’tough truths’ talk when I onboard a new client. I’ll ask the questions that quite frankly need to be asked. I’ll gauge the names of the trade publications you’re consuming, how frequently you’re reading them, and the angle of the last piece that caught your eye. And of course, I’ll ask the real big one: are you a subscriber?

The responses I get are beyond telling. If you want substantial coverage in the likes of Fast Company, AdAge, Adweek, Campaign or The Drum, but you’re not willing to purchase even an individual subscription, I’ll give it to you straight: You’re missing the point.

True, corporate subscriptions based on an agency’s size can get pricey, but here’s the catch: if you want these publications to survive – to hire and retain editorial talent to cover our space – they need your dollars to do that. It takes dollars to keep a newsroom open and thriving. But more than that, it takes participation. You need to read them, engage with their content, share and comment. Just as brands require engagement with consumers to grow and break out in an over-stretched world, the same goes for trade media.

So the next time you see that paywall, scoff and ’x’ out, think twice. How committed are you to the world of B2B PR? How committed are you to becoming a bonafide thought leader and securing the sort of bylines that will beef up your LinkedIn presence and (ideally) capturing the attention of CMOs at the brands you’re hoping to work with? Then remind yourself that everything boils down to participation and support – your participation and support – and action accordingly.

Digital Transformation Agency

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Propeller Group

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