Press Releases Beat Trade Magazines

    June 6, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The ever-slimming trade journal may become even thinner, as more professionals in a variety of fields choose the Internet over print for their information needs.

Once upon a time, about a decade ago, trade journals like InfoWorld were big magazines, in a physical sense as well as influence. If you were in IT, or wanted to be in IT as I did, InfoWorld served as the road atlas to the industry, and writers like Bob Metcalfe, Stewart Alsop, and Brian Livingston were the guides.

And Computer Shopper was so thick, you could probably stun an elk with one wielded in a two-handed, Captain Kirk-style swing. Wham!

Now when professionals from market sectors like corporations, government, healthcare, and academia look for information, they don’t turn to the weekly mail. They head online. MarketingSherpa reported on Outsell, Inc’s research into Internet usage by those professionals.

After talking to some 7,000 people about their usage habits, Outsell noted that those users spend 12 hours a week online, up from 10.9 a year ago. They are finding information in the form of press releases more than they do from trade journals or their supporting web sites.

That breathless little gasp you may have just heard emanating from publishing houses was the sound of The Fear taking hold of publisher hearts in its icy grip.

MarketingSherpa’s president Anne Holland wrote in the article how businesses should consider “posting your knowledge-offer promos such as white paper, article, and webinar offers as press releases through the wires.”

Nearly half (47%) of the respondents read content like news on their mobiles regularly. Holland suggested that businesses whose “prospects are unusually heavy mobile users– such as doctors, young adults, and field sales development reps” need to make providing content suited for the small screen a high priority.

Companies that write blogs should link from their press releases to their blogs . The Outsell study said the average respondent reads nine blogs per day as part of their job duties. Holland expanded on this topic:

Also make sure your blog can be read via handheld device. Best way — add an email opt-in form to the blog as a standard part of the page template and then start emailing out updates to your opt-ins. (Don’t rely on RSS feeds alone, there’s a big population of professionals out there who don’t use them routinely.)

Businesses in a specific vertical niche may wish to think about Holland’s suggestion they look into blog sponsorships. “You may only hit a few readers per media buy, but they could be incredibly qualified candidates for your goods and services,” she wrote.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.