When we ask our clients what their media goals are, many say they want Oprah or the front page of the Wall Street Journal. These are lofty goals — and while there’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, oftentimes such an elusive placement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Oftentimes trade or niche pub placements will better serve your business and your goals.
How can I say this when a mainstream media placement is guaranteed to be seen by millions and boost credibility almost immediately? Because it matters who is reading it.
It is all about quality over quantity.
Target your audience.
The readers of media such as Oprah or the WSJ are going to have all sorts of interests and professions, thus the information they get from you isn’t necessarily going to make them act. PR 101 is that you want those reading your message to do something. If you specialize in, say, diversity and inclusion programs, it is better served for you to have a placement in an HR or management-related pub read by people who work in that space daily and have a vested interest in what you’re talking about.
Trade pubs are consumed by people who are likely the best in the business. Therefore, being cited in one shows that you are credible, legitimate, informed, and even a thought leader. Bonus: many trade pubs are online-only in the form of specialized sites, blogs, and internet radio, where your insights can live on the worldwide web forever and get pushed through these outlets’ robust social channels.
Get past nuts and bolts.
Because the people consuming these pubs speak your language, you can get down to the nitty gritty with your insights. No need to oversimplify your content. You can also publicize news that mainstream outlets wouldn’t give the time of day. This includes republishing press releases and sharing them on social channels. Also, because trade outlets are often short on staff, they’re more open to accepting relevant contributed articles.
More timely coverage.
Pitching a major media outlet can take years to be successful. It requires patience and persistence, and by the time it comes through, the story may be stale or irrelevant. The wait time is shorter for niche media and thus can print timely stories that immediately benefit your business.
All this is to say, no need to let go of that dream to be featured in the WSJ or Oprah, but trade coverage may be more suitable for your immediate goals — and also help you hook that big fish.
Whitney is the public relations director at WI. She started her career in communications as a TV news anchor/reporter in Virginia and Tennessee before switching to public relations. Whitney earned her bachelors in government at Georgetown University, and masters in PR from the University of Tennessee. She enjoys spending time with her family in Knoxville, TN, and running competitively.