pos·si·bil·i·ty n.   One that is capable of being chosen or of being made real.
December 19, 2023

Is Earning Trade Media Coverage Right for Your Brand?


Earned media coverage of your brand plays an important role in an integrated communications plan. When a third party talks about your brand, it’s very effective because it builds credibility and trust with your audience. Earned media is also the toughest media type to get, and there is no guarantee of coverage or control over the outcome since you’re not paying for it. 

There are many ways to earn media coverage and many different types of outlets to pursue. Determining your audience and goal will help you prioritize the appropriate media outlets to target.

Trade Media

If your goal is to reach businesses or professionals in a certain industry, trade media is a great option. Typically utilized by B2B organizations, trade media outlets have a focused audience. Examples of trade media outlets include Inside Higher Ed, Progressive Farmer and Travel Weekly. These outlets support professional development and offer the latest research, current trends and unique perspectives on a variety of topics related to an industry or profession. In addition, these outlets are often among the most trusted sources of information for professionals.

Trade publication circulation numbers are often smaller than consumer-facing media outlets. However, earning a trade media placement can be much more influential because you’re speaking directly to the industry you’re targeting. These outlets provide a platform for detailed, technical stories, which allow for a deep dive into your product or service. They also offer opportunities for thought leadership, which affords members of your organization the chance to showcase their expertise and industry knowledge. When done properly, this leads to greater credibility of your organization within the industry. 

The secret to successful media interviews? Training. At OBP, our team of experienced PR professionals has trained individuals for thousands of interviews. We coach our clients, turning super people into superstar spokespeople.

Consumer or National Business Media

Consumer or national business media outlets are general, public-facing outlets that don’t focus on a specific industry, instead covering business as a whole. Examples include the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Insider and Bloomberg

Earning coverage in outlets like these is great for boosting prestige through high visibility. This can be a good option for companies preparing to go public and wanting to attract or educate potential investors.  

Because these outlets aren’t focused on a specific industry, you often are not able to tell detailed, technical stories. Reporters for these outlets may have a larger learning curve, so earning coverage can be more challenging. 

Balancing Trade and Consumer or National Business Media

While earning media coverage in both types of outlets can be beneficial, it’s important to align your business goals with your media relations strategy. While earning national media coverage can be beneficial in certain circumstances, simply “getting in the New York Times” isn’t a strategy.   

In addition, it’s important to remember how trade media influences consumer or national business media. Earning coverage in trade outlets is a great first step to establishing your credibility in an industry. For example, a journalist at a national business media outlet may search your company or product after receiving a pitch from you. They’ll use trade media coverage to learn more about you and decide if they want to cover what you pitched. In addition, many journalists peruse trade publications in their coverage areas to look for trending topics and to stay on top of industry news. 

Earning media coverage proves challenging as the landscape continuously evolves, but the value of a third party talking about your organization can be incredibly effective. To learn more about how OBP can help earn media coverage for your brand, drop us a line at biz@obpagency.com. We can’t wait to explore the possibilities of greatness with you.

Nicole Schulenburg is an associate director of public relations at OBP. She specializes in tourism clients.

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