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Sarah Samways

Sarah Samways

Account Director at Notts PR.

Knowing your audience is the number one rule when it comes to your PR and will help identify the campaign your business needs.

There are two main types of PR campaign, trade and consumer.

Put simply, a consumer campaign reaches the end user. A trade campaign will target people within your sector interested in the product or service you offer.


When it comes to a trade campaign, there are lots of publications, many you may never have heard of, that will be applicable to your business. This ranges from journals for the building trade, to glossy titles on hotel interiors, to retail press who may be interested in the new ready meal you’ve created.

This is a relatively straightforward campaign. The sector specific titles are niche, but you can be certain you’re targeting the right people who could make a difference to you business.

This campaign is about reaching the end user and the person making the purchasing decision. A Mintel report in 2015 said 84% of women influence purchasing decisions at home, opposed to just 49% of men. Women are very important when it comes to a successful consumer campaign.

Let’s look at a few examples -the mum who buys the gift from your small independent store, the gardener who shops at your national chain garden centre to give their outside space a makeover, or the runner who buys their trainers from your online sports store.

Your business may be very different to these, but each example identifies the person they’re trying to reach and reaching them successfully makes a good consumer campaign.

Take each example:

  1. Small independent store and mum – for this business, women, age 25 plus are going to be your main audience. If you’re a one store independent, then your audience will be close to you. A good PR campaign will target your regional print and online publications. If the store also retails online, then a national campaign focused around key selling times will help reach a wider audience.
  2. National garden centre and gardener – this audience will be men and women, most likely homeowners and with disposable income to spend on a garden project. Home and garden press and writers will be a must. As a national outlet, this will be a national campaign although there may be an element of local PR to reach those people who live close to one of the garden centres.
  3. Online sports store and runner – this business has a very clear target. People who actively participate in sport and run. There are magazines and online publications that cater purely to this audience and they will be where you need to be seen. As an online retailer, this store can sell to anyone across the UK or globally to a well-planned campaign to national online press will work well.

As with a trade campaign, there are hundreds of online and off line publications to target. It’s about hitting the right ones, with the right message and in some cases, the right product, to ensure the campaign is effective.