Why local and trade press are important


26th February 2020


Leigh-Ann Hewer

Reading time

5 minutes

Working meeting with coffee

Setting up and running a business is something to be extremely proud of; you’ve worked hard, giving blood, sweat and tears (and possibly a lot of your hard-earned money) into a new venture so, no wonder you want to shout about it from every rooftop you can find. Hiring a local PR agency can be a great way of pushing out your message, product and/or service into the world. By investing in a long-term, stable strategy, there’s no saying how much your business could benefit in a matter of months.  

However, the phrase don’t run before you can walk is both apt and important when it comes to a PR strategy. Whilst all business owners strive to be in national outlets such as The Times, The Economist and The Guardian, not only is not always achievable but, more importantly, it’s not always the best strategy. 

Contrary to popular belief, national newspapers aren’t always the key to success. Many businesses overlook local and trade press, not realising that they are important for growth. Here are three reasons why smaller, niche titles are your best friend as you start up.  

1. Press coverage is like building a house – build foundations

Now, by no means does this mean that you shouldn’t aim high. Within your PR strategy, you should always have a box for the national newspapers; there’s no telling when the perfect opportunity may arise. However, by limiting yourself to only these titles, you’re cutting yourself off from a huge variety of other different outlets; some with high value readership valuation, good domain authority online and some which offer back-links to your website – a great asset for search engine optimisation (SEO). 

Don’t underestimate the big impact those smaller titles can have on your outreach, especially at the beginning of your business journey.  

‘Starting small meant we reached figures 54.3 million online readership across 26 pieces of coverage internationally’​ – Encore Digital Media.

2. Big-small mentality 

Not only do smaller outlets help you build those foundation blocks, they can simply be more effective at pushing out your message than the big publications, no matter how far into your business life-stage you are. 

For trade commentary, specialist expert opinion or specific research, it may be more beneficial to appear in trade press over big nationals for three reasons: 

  • Niche outlets are more likely to want to feature what you are talking about as that is what they specialise in which in turn means that they may feature more of your key messages. 
  • Those outlets are more likely to be read by your sector and therefore, help increase the chance of potential business leads and sales opportunities.  
  • People are sometimes concerned that only their peers will read trade press but, in our experience, online bulletins and newsletters have a much wider reach than anticipated including target audiences.  

For example, a recent we worked on with our client, Encore Digital Media, was all around the Electric Vehicle (EV) technology market. Whilst many conversations have started around this topic in national newspapers, the goal of our particular strategy was to get the Encore Digital Media automotive team noticed for their expertise and knowledge in front of car manufacturers and sellers more so than the general public.  

Gathering a wider reach to niche publications such as motor1, insidevs.com and automotive IT not only created a lot of impact in the right sector to the right people, it was then syndicated onto much bigger platforms such as Yahoo News which caused the research release to ripple onto international platforms, gaining pick-up in France and other European countries. All in all, starting off small meant we reached figures of 54.3 million online readership across 26 pieces of coverage and Encore Digital Media had business leads within a week of publication. 

Fantastically big results don’t just come from fantastically big outlets.   

3. National journalists often turn to trade press experts  

Building upon your press profile is key if you want to be seen as a serious player in your sector; the bigger your profile, the more likely you are to be sought out by journalists.  

The bigger newspapers and media outlets will turn to trade press to look for respected trade experts when writing news stories that regularly require commentary. Also, many national journalists will seek experts for monthly columns or one-off articles and again, the bigger your profile in the trade press, the more likely you are to be considered as a worthy candidate for the national outlets. 

Remember, when it comes to targeting press within your PR strategy, bigger doesn’t always mean better. Keep an open mind and don’t overlook any potential media opportunity.