Technical and trade publishing often includes an element of travel writing. In a global economy it is important for periodical editors to demonstrate their publications have strong connections with international trade fairs and to manufacturers from around the world. A special envoy researcher-writer can cover events and meet engineering and sales staff to bring back valuable technical and economic information for the specialist industry reader. The publication itself gains the image that it is in touch with world developments. The cities and trade fair organisers also gain the coverage that may encourage readers to become tourists the following year and visit their trade and technical shows.
In this Work-Out, please look at the two attached trade articles, PDFs below:
Mansfield, C. (1984) 'Austria goes for the economy-spec tractors' Tractor & Farm Machinery Trader 24(Oct) pp.24-26. [online] Available at: eserve.org.uk [Accessed 17.1.2015].
Mansfield, C. (1984) 'The enthusiastic machinery producers of East Germany' Tractor & Farm Machinery Trader 16(Feb) pp.31-33. [online] Available at: eserve.org.uk [Accessed 17.1.2015].
Use these questions to analyse the contents and approach of, firstly, the coverage of the Austrian Trade Fair:
How is the photography used to support the writing and the character or stock-in-trade brand image of the special envoy or travel writer?
Does the writer spend any time on place writing?
What does he feel is important for his readers about the place?
The contextualisation of the pages of the East Germany article shows more clearly than the Austrian Show piece that the life-blood of the trade and technical press is the advertising surrounding the articles. These publications are read for the constant updates of technical and economic intelligence they can bring to the industries they represent. How does the writer engage with this aspect of trade and technical publishing in the Austrian article? Clues: name-checks, tech-specs.
Discussion: In marketing terms, three business types are involved, and all adjust or market themselves: (1) the readers, who buy tractors and machinery from manufacturers to re-sell to local farmers and growers and need to adjust by discovering newer technologies that address the farmers' needs, (2) the manufacturer who needs a channel to promote innovations but also wants to gain some insight into what re-sellers are doing successfully, and (3) the writer who adjusts the written product to suit a readership whose interest in mainly technical and economic in a specialist niche but values the social and travel or exotic aspects of the narrative.
Farm Machinery Journal http://www.farmmachineryjournal.co.uk/ is a contemporary magazine that continues to publish in a related area to the studied materials above. How does it differ? What is their readership profile, clue: job adverts? How would you adjust or market your travel writing via trade fair coverage or with a special feature article to suit the editorial needs?
Giving advice on writing has a long history, these lectures were delivered at Cambridge University over a hundred years ago. EPUB format eBook Quiller-Couch, A. (1917) On the Art of Writing
Mansfield, C. (2015) 'Trade Writing' Toureme, [online] Available at https://sites.google.com/site/touremetkt/home/trade-writing [Accessed ].