Trade pubs. You know, that stack of likely unread magazines taking up permanent residence on a corner of your desk. They arrive each month, and you have every intention of reading them until actual business calls you away.
Well, here are a handful of reasons to reconsider that stack and try to carve out some time to stay current with trades.
Know what people are saying about you (or your clients)
If your company placed a media article, this is where it shows up. You’ll want to read it so you can be prepared if people reference it during meetings, and so you can use it as a merchandising tool at your next coffee with a prospect. Trade publications also are a great place to find articles on your clients or customers, which gives you a chance to reach out and offer congratulations.
Know what they’re saying about your competitors
You and your customers aren’t the only ones who may get coverage in a trade mag. Your competitors will be there too, and it’s a good way to stay informed on what’s happening with them, get indications of their next strategy or M&A announcement, and determine how your company might need to respond.
Stay on top of industry trends
This is a big one. Trade publications, by name, are designed to focus on a particular trade or industry. They drive a lot of the news for that industry sector, so you don’t want to fall behind emerging developments or market changes simply because you weren’t paying attention.
Reporters and editors at trade publications can be invaluable connections for many companies. Not only are they the ones you’ll pitch with your next story or product launch, they’re also out and about at trade shows, conferences and other industry gatherings. Follow the articles of the reporters most closely tied with your area of expertise, and try to get a desk-side meeting with them once a year to build the relationship.
ID story opportunities
By reading trade magazines, you’ll have a stronger sense of editors’ interests. Check their editorial calendars to match upcoming article topics with your company’s own news and stories. If you read five articles about Topic A in a month, follow up with the reporters who wrote those articles to pitch them Topic A + B as a logical continuation of their coverage.
So, find a comfy chair, dust off those languishing trade pubs, and enjoy a little summer reading!