In our ongoing exploration of the current state of earned media, this third installment of Xenophon Strategies’ blog continues to share PR professionals’ views on varying difficulties of securing media coverage across different platforms. The Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) survey provides a detailed landscape, highlighting the challenges faced in national, local, and trade media.
Part one of this series discussed the unanimous finding that securing earned media is more difficult than ever these days. Part two looked at how national vs regional coverage has changed over time. We mentioned how trade publications are generally seen as the least challenging for securing coverage, but this doesn’t imply a guaranteed success. Let’s dive into what securing coverage in trade publications looks like.
The consensus among PR professionals is clear: securing coverage in trade media, although relatively easier, is not without its hurdles.
This trend reflects a broader shift in the media industry, where even specialized trade outlets are becoming more selective and competitive. PRGN professionals noted that many trade outlets now show a preference for guest articles over traditional interviews. This change represents both a challenge and an opportunity for PR professionals.
“…A lot of trades are searching for new content and gladly accept pitching content.”
It’s also interesting to note the growing inclination towards sponsored content and advertisements in trade media. A pitch to an editor in today’s trade media landscape might result in a conversation with a sales manager. This blurring of lines between editorial and advertising content presents a new dimension for PR strategies, requiring a nuanced understanding of how to navigate these opportunities effectively.
Implications for PR Strategy
Content generation has become a critical element in dealing with trade media. These publications are increasingly likely to run bylined or contributed articles, welcoming pre-written content that requires minimal editorial intervention. This approach benefits trade outlets by reducing the burden of research and writing on their staff.
“We’ve hit a sweet spot with insurance trades where they accept bylines or contributed content pretty regularly,” and “Trade media is very receptive to contributed content. They tend to be less interested in doing the writing/reporting themselves.”
As the media landscape continues to evolve, trade media remains a valuable avenue for targeted, industry-specific outreach. Understanding the shifting preferences of these outlets – from a growing appetite for owned content to an openness to sponsored material – is crucial for PR professionals.
At Xenophon, we highly value trade media coverage for its role in establishing our clients as thought leaders within their respective industries. Trade media is instrumental in reaching niche audiences, which is crucial for building and enhancing a client’s reputation in their field.
If you’re facing challenges in this new era of earned media, Xenophon Strategies is here to assist. Our team of experienced PR professionals is adept at navigating the complexities of the current media landscape. Contact Xenophon Strategies today to elevate your media relations strategy and achieve your communication goals.