Where the Rubber Meets the Road

What do the following publications, Government Computer News, Pharmaceutical Engineering and Maintenance Technology have in common? They are the publications that cover how software solutions are actually being used by real industry customers. They are the vertical publications for these industries … and on their pages is where the “rubber meets the road.”

My very first PR assignment back in 1995 was to explore the world of vertical publications for Microsoft. I proudly set up binders for each vertical industry and filled those binders with all of the information I could find on the publications within each of those verticals. When I would proudly tell my co-workers what I was working on, they looked at me with pity. They saw that I wasn’t working with the big IT publications such as PC Week (now eWeek), PC Magazine, or Information Week. I didn’t care. I loved my vertical pubs — even Waste Management. Of course, I also got to work with those bigger IT publications and I still do. But, it’s like coming home for me when I can lead a vertical program for a client.

There’s a reason why I feel so strongly about the importance of a solid vertical PR program. In my opinion, these highly specialized industry publications that often go unnoticed by a client can actually give the biggest bang for the buck because they directly reach target industry customers. Yes, you do have to have a customer reference that is compelling. And, you need to persuade the customer to tell their story, to explain how they are actually using the solution and how they’ve been able to specifically relate the solution to their industry. Most of the vertical publications are particularly interested in the ROI the customer has experienced. When this story all comes together … JACKPOT! And now with all of the social media at our fingertips, we have a new outlet for our vertical market friends in vertical market blogs: http://www.zibb.com/business/interstitial/newsblogs/Business_Vertical+Industries+%26+Markets Now we have a whole new way to engage with the vertical market community!

Megan McKenzie

Author: Megan McKenzie

Megan McKenzie provides strategic leadership to McKenzie Worldwide and the agency’s work with technology companies in enterprise, consumer, wireless, networking, & cybersecurity.