Editor’s Log: Keeping It Pure

In this issue of Underground Construction, we’re proud to present our annual Buyer’s Guide. It includes the most comprehensive coverage of equipment available specifically for the underground construction and rehabilitation industry.

We could list many additional companies who seek inclusion in our Buyer’s Guide. Many companies petition us to do just that. But as we explain to those companies, we’re all about underground. And that’s what makes our buyer’s guide unique – it is exclusively tailored for and about only the underground infrastructure market.

Too many companies want to take advantage of free listings with products that don’t belong. Over the years, I’ve heard the same old story from firms shocked that we’re never heard of them as “we never have to market because we have such a strong industry presence and word-of-mouth advertising.” Trust me, if a company is that well known by people in the field, we would be well aware of them. Other companies, through sheer arrogance, just assume people will buy their products (“why, we’re Acme Widget Company – of course people know and buy our products.”) That doesn’t cut it at Underground Construction.

People have choices in the equipment they buy or rent. We believe our Buyer’s Guide listings should reflect those companies that are investing in our market. We continuously do our best to reflect our readers’ interests.

So for all those pesky public relations firms who don’t do their due diligence on behalf of their clients, or those in-house marketing types whose sole mission is to get their company’s products in print with little or no regard as to where those products truly belong, here are some helpful hints:

Despite my best efforts, I still receive information and even press invites from big crane companies – including multi-story tower cranes. Don’t be offended when I point out that there isn’t a lot of need for tower cranes working 100 feet or more above ground when our readers are typically working three to 30 feet below ground.

Don’t send us info on oil and gas drilling equipment and activities, storage and station equipment. We’re not an E&P (exploration and production) magazine, only pipeline construction and rehabilitation.

We don’t include massive quarry-sized excavators, huge trucks or large mining equipment in our listings. We are not a mining magazine.

And just because compact equipment has found a strong niche for underground contractors, don’t place us in the same category as landscapers, nurseries, agriculture or even basic outdoor enthusiasts. Our contractors don’t drive tractors and rarely mow grass, haul hay or install sprinkler systems. It’s just not in the contract requirements.

We don’t cover new building construction – low rise or high rise. Bridge construction and repair, filling highway potholes, mixing hot asphalt or running paving equipment are simply not of any interest to us when our readers are digging in the dirt or performing piping renewal underground.

In short, we’ll all about – and only about – underground piping infrastructure construction and rehabilitation.

While there are many publications that cover a portion – some attempt to cover it all – of the above referenced niches, we don’t venture into those arenas. Our circulation would realistically have to approach 300,000 to provide the same level of market saturation that our almost current circulation of 39,000 does now. We’re not only the largest circulation publication in our market niche, we have the most unique, directly request readership of any competitor – by a huge margin.

Bragging, am I? To some degree, sure. But these radical steps guarantee that our carefully coordinated circulation fits hand-in-glove with our editorial mission of pure focus on underground. I know who our readers are. I know they are currently employed within the parameters we’ve established. We edit and produce a publication for those people without the fluff and dilution by companies that only want to take from our market – skin the cream, if you will — and not truly invest in the underground market.

Our job is to provide important, relevant information for the underground infrastructure market: contractors, owners and engineers. If you want fluff and propaganda, read some other magazine. We’ll keep Underground Construction laser-focused on what’s important for those truly in the business of underground infrastructure.

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