How to Pitch to a Trade Press Journalist

How to Pitch a Trade Press Journalist

Imagine you’ve got some great news you want to share with the industry about your brand. Perhaps it’s a new product launch, a partnership or business success story. What’s the best way to go about it?

At Action PR, we pride ourselves on our ability to get our clients in front of the right audience, liaising with the industry press on a daily basis. We recently wrote about what makes a good PR pitch, and while many of the tactics are similar, pitching a trade journalist requires a slightly different approach.

Here’s a few things we’ve learnt along the way…

Understand the title or journalist you’re speaking to

Make sure to do your research and see if the title would actually cover your story. While trade press may speak to a similar industry, their area of focus may be different. For instance, a fitness trade magazine may specifically focus on gym facilities so don’t pitch to them a story on tips for Personal Trainers.

Before you reach out, it’s also worth checking what that individual journalist likes to write about too. Highlight previous stories they’ve written that caught your eye and make sure you explain how your brand fits into their publication. Compliments on their content can go along way and it shows you actually have an interest in what’s going on in the industry.

Some titles also have regular slots, so it’s worth checking who writes these features. For instance, if they have a regular section on product news, go directly to the person that looks after that section and make sure your pitch is tailored and specific for that slot.

Listen to what the journalist wants

Once you’ve successfully pitched your brand for a particular feature, the next stage is to really listen to what they are after. For instance, if a journalist is looking for 500 words don’t give them 1000. Stick to the brief you’ve been given and be precise. A journalist won’t thank you for giving them unnecessary detail as you’ll be creating extra work for them.

Know about your experts and what they can offer

If you’re offering up an expert within your business, then make sure to send a journalist a bio about who they are and their areas of expertise / interests. If you say they have industry expertise and knowledge, you’ll need to prove it. Also, make sure you have a high resolution headshot of your expert before you pitch them, so you’re not scrambling at the last minute to get one.

Don’t push your luck

It’s worth noting that most editorial teams within the trade press are small, likely to be only a team of two or three journalists and sometimes even one. So, from time to time they may commission you to write a whole feature and submit it if they like your idea. But it’s important not to use this as a way to shoe-horn in every key message about your brand. Make sure to offer real insight that is of use to the wider industry and that isn’t too self-serving. If it’s well-balanced editorial between your brand and industry issues, then you are much more likely to be invited to contribute again.

If you need help getting your product or brand included industry titles, get in touch! We can help.  

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