Asked to provide examples of marketing and public relations efforts, most people mention brochures, folders, advertising, and news releases. Often overlooked are articles submitted to trade and association magazines.
That’s unfortunate. Trade articles offer great opportunities to promote your firm in a subtle way and get you noticed among your industry peers. Follow these guidelines to help ensure that your article is published.
Review copies of magazines
Gain an understanding of the writing style and lengths of articles found in the magazine. Also, try to determine whether your topic has been covered recently. Some magazines include an archive on their websites. If not, contact the magazine for back issues. You may incur a small charge for this, but it’ll be worth it. Contact the editor if still in doubt.
Review the editorial calendar
Often available online, an editorial calendar provides the themes for upcoming issues. Search the list for an issue that is appropriate for your topic. Mention that when you submit your article. It shows that you have done some homework and have the editor’s interest in mind.
Choose a relevant topic
Appeal to the readers’ needs and interests. Write about how a new process or procedure enabled you to enhance revenue, cut costs, or boost productivity. Business owners and department heads are always looking for ways to improve the bottom line.
Case studies are valuable, too. Write about the challenging problem you solved, the fascinating project you worked on, or some unique situation you encountered.
Perhaps you have expertise in a particular sector. A theater rigging firm, for example, has done a considerable amount of work in churches around the country. Several of those projects formed the basis for a case study.
Include photos if available
The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is still true. The right photos enhance your article tremendously. Remember to identify the equipment or processes depicted, and get permission from anyone shown in the picture.
Magazines generally prefer high-resolution images. Contact the editor if you have questions about your images.
Stay on good terms with editor
Editors are businesspeople, too. Be considerate of their schedules and needs as you establish a working relationship. If an article is rejected, accept it gracefully. Ask why, and use the advice to improve your chances of getting published next time.
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