A practical guide to selecting aerospace publications

When it comes to PR and advertising, publication selection is an important and sometimes overwhelming part of a marketer’s job. In the aerospace and defense industry alone, there are well over 300 available options. Select a publication with a poor reputation — and you can damage your brand. Select a publication with the wrong exposure — and you waste what little budget you have.


So where do you begin?

(And what criteria should you be using to evaluate your options?)

Step 1: Download A&D Media, The Definitive Guide

If you haven't done so already, you can start by downloading BDN’s Definitive Guide to A&D Media. This guide quickly breaks down market/content and circulation highlights so you can narrow your list.


Step 2: Research, Research, Research

With candidate publications in hand, additional research is needed. We recommend visiting each publication’s website and reviewing their media kit. Media kits provide valuable information that will help you identify if the publication is appropriate for reaching your target audiences. Items to review include:


  • Who is reading this publication?
  • What are their job titles?
  • What market segments do they fall under?
  • Do they match your buyer personas/target market?


  • How many people are reading this?
  • Where are these readers located?
  • Does their location match your target geography?


  • Is the publication audited by ABC, BPA or CAB?
  • If not audited, how will the publisher verify that circulation numbers are accurate?

Editorial Calendar 

  • What is the focus of their content?
  • Does it relate to your company or products?


  • Is the publication an official media partner of a trade show?
  • Are any issues tied to trade shows your company will be attending?


  • Does the publication provide advertisers with metrics, performance analysis or leads?
  • If not, how will the publication help you determine the success of each placement?


Additional actions/items to consider:

Pay per play? Does the publication require you to purchase an ad in exchange for media coverage? ”Pay for play” is a red flag and it’s best to steer clear of these outlets and the way they reflect on your brand.

Have you seen and read the publication? Is it professional and credible? Is the level of quality consistent with your own brand standards?

Consider surveying your customers and prospective customers. Do they regularly read the publications you are considering? If not, where do they get their industry news and information?

Contact the publisher or the ad rep. Are they pushy — and only trying to sell an ad at any cost? Or do they genuinely want to help you meet your marketing and sales objectives? Do they offer helpful suggestions and ideas? Do you view them as a partner or a pest?



Pro tip:

Budgets are limited and you may not be able to advertise in all the publications that you down-select. But you can create your own editorial calendar that breaks down each publication’s content by issue. Based on this calendar, pitch appropriate stories for additional media coverage.

Want to learn more about editorial calendars and story pitching? Contact Kyle@bdnaerospace.com



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Reach key audiences for your marketing messages and find editorial contacts or places to advertise your products and services with BDN’s always-popular directory. 


 Download: A&D Media, The Definitive Guide