Horizontal Publications (© georgejmclittle / Fotolia.com)
Horizontal Publications (© georgejmclittle / Fotolia.com)

A horizontal publication is one where the subject matter is relevant only to a specific group of people. One example of a horizontal publication is a trade magazine. A horizontal publication is so named because it is meant to reach people outside of a specific company. That’s why a trade magazine is the perfect example. It is marketed and of interest towards anyone in the trade.

Horizontal vs. Vertical Publications

For example, suppose that a large university published a magazine on teaching trends and gave advice to improve how teachers interact with their students. While this magazine may have originally been intended as an in-house magazine, it has grown in popularity and teachers from all over the country read it. This is an example of a horizontal publication. It is also an example of something that started out as a vertical publication.

A vertical publication is sort of the opposite of a horizontal publication – almost, but not quite. A vertical publication is one that is intended to stay within a particular company. It would be of interest to very few people outside the company because the magazine focuses on news and articles that are specific to that individual organization. A vertical publication might be a company newsletter that recognizes employees within the company, provides articles intended for employees and discusses events that are relevant only to that specific company.

As for horizontal publications, there are numerous examples of such magazines, newspapers and newsletters. There are also other forms of horizontal publication that have begun since the explosion of the internet. Online blogs, news websites and podcasts are just a few examples of these.

A horizontal publication can be identified by the customers that are being targeted. Although there is some crossover, all that you really need to remember is that a vertical publication is meant to target the people inside a company, such as the typical corporate high rise, with the distribution going straight up and down. A horizontal publication on the other hand expands outward. It is meant for people in the same industry, people who have the same occupation or people that share interests.

The Trade Publication

A trade publication is definitely the most common type of horizontal publication out there. A trade magazine is something specific to an industry. Carpentry Magazine would be an example of a trade publication that is geared towards professional carpenters. A trade publication is usually created by a publisher outside of the actual industry, with experts working to create content that would be of interest to those in the trade.

Just about every industry out there has a trade publication. It doesn’t matter if the occupation is food service or robotic engineering, if there is enough people to warrant creating a newsletter or magazine dedicated to the industry, then you can bet that it has already been done. Trade publications exist in many different forms, from glossy, slick magazines to simple two-page newsletters. There are also trade websites, blogs and podcasts available now for just about every industry.


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