Trade Publications Champion the Profession

A large crowd looks on as the panelists discuss the impact of trade publications on the profession.

Daniel Fox

Event: Trade Press: An Evolving Role (Architecture and the Media #3)
Location: Center for Architecture, 09.06.12
Moderator: Alan Brake, Executive Editor, The Architect’s Newspaper
Panelists: Katie Weeks, Editor, Eco-Structure; Linda O’Flanagan, Editor, Real Estate Weekly; Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, Executive Editor, Hospitality Design; and Diana Moser, Editorial Director, Multi-Housing News
Organizer: Center for Architecture; AIANY Oculus Committee; Marketing & PR Committee; co-organized by The Architect’s Newspaper

Though they don’t line shelves on newsstands or in major bookstores, trade publications occupy prominent spaces on architects’ desks, and increasingly their inboxes. These magazines and their digital counterparts keep members of the profession apprised of the latest news, trends, and developments in product and material technologies, and provide venues for getting projects published. For the third event in the “Architecture and the Media” series, editors from several trade publications discussed the future of the media, from the ongoing digital-versus-print debate to how they identify trends and determine which projects to feature.

While many architects still prefer to receive print versions of their favorite trade magazines, digital issues are gaining popularity. “Print is becoming almost a secondary component to web content,” commented Katie Weeks, editor of Eco-Structure. Echoing that sentiment, Diana Moser, editorial director of Multi-Housing News. shared that her publication recently ceased its print version and went completely digital. Though establishing a web presence allows editors to reach a broader audience and create more content, “it can be hard to get designers excited about being published online instead of in the print version,” admits Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, executive editor of Hospitality Design.

Trade publication editors are always on the lookout for new projects to feature, but long gone are the days of pursuing portfolios sent by snail mail. Weeks scans lists of speakers for conferences to identify emerging leaders, and she often turns to Twitter to source ideas. Linda O’Flanagan, editor of Real Estate Weekly, takes an inclusive approach, viewing her publication as a community paper in which “we try to make room for everybody.” Rauen appreciates the opportunity to meet readers at the annual trade shows hosted by her publication. Ultimately, that’s how she sees the role of trade publications: “We’re champions of the industry rather than critics.”

The fourth event in the “Architecture and the Media” series will be held 11.08.12 on the topic of “Evolving Media Platforms.”