Trade publications

A trade publication…what’s that? As opposed to a general interest magazine or research journal, a trade publication targets a specific industry or profession. For example, Forbes is a general-interest business magazine, the Journal of Business Research is a peer-reviewed research publication, and Manufacturing Today is a trade publication geared toward the latest trends in manufacturing. Collectively, trade publications make up what’s known as the trade press.

Manufacturing-Today1Trade publications have many unique advantages for businesses looking to promote their products or services to other businesses. First is article length. Trade press articles are generally short: 750-1,250 words, while a magazine feature might run a few thousand words. Trade press articles are also usually written in a less formal style than a research article, but more specific and industry-specific than a general-interest publication. The idea is to appeal to practitioners within an industry, who may understand the lingo and acronyms but don’t require the formality of a research journal. Features in trade magazines generally provide solutions to common challenges, practical ideas and tips to improve performance and productivity, and new information for ongoing education.

And while trade press articles may use citations or summarize current thinking or research in a field, they aren’t generally held to the same standards as a research publication, in which every statement of fact must be referenced. There is also room for opinion in the trade press, unlike peer-reviewed research publications. Trade publications are also targeted. You probably don’t want to read about the government bond market if you’re a manufacturer.

Here are some common topics that can be found in a trade publication:

  • Recent developments in the field. These may include new products or services, promotions, hires, departures, mergers, awarding of bids and other timely news.
  • Job opportunities. Trade publications frequently advertise vacancies within the field (for a fee)—after all, if you’re looking for an engineer with a certain background, why not place an ad in a publication they’re likely to read?
  • Product or service ads. Often, companies will purchase display ads to promote a new product or service.
  • Features. These are articles that cover a particular subject, company, or person.
  • Opinion. Here is where the publication’s editorial staff can give their take on issues, or invite professionals in the field to give their perspective on what’s taking place in the industry.

Trade publications are widely read by decision-makers working in the field. Staying abreast of the news in their industry’s trade journals enables them to make better decisions, think strategically and identify the need for future purchases of goods or services.

Trade Press Services specializes in getting you into trade publications that put your products, services and ideas front and center. You don’t have to be a writer—just someone who thinks that your products are better than the other guy’s. Contact Trade Press Services today at (805) 496-8850 or e-mail

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