The Role of Trade Publications in Information Literacy

Trade Publications

The Role of Trade Publications in Information Literacy

          The new business global economy has simplified many things but complicated others. Now companies can digitally reach the entire world with their message, but this also means that the entire world can reach companies. Companies now need to utilize digital tools such as Google Translate to field questions they receive via social media platforms, a necessity not needed 30 years ago. With legacy contact barriers removed, and the eagerness of organizations to stay competitive, the need to inform buyers and consumers is a high priority.

The Deficiency of the Professional 

In the 1980’s a furniture sales person was a professional. Walking into a store, a consumer seeking help could flag down an employee and the staff could seamlessly discuss quality of fabrics, leathers, stitch patterns and design styles. Recently the author visited a furniture store and asked a sales person about Mid-century Modern sofas. The sales person, who had worked at this very location at least five years, walked the author over to a tall, puffy rounded sofa sectional.

Mid-Century Modern architecture and furniture was a major renaissance in American design, finding its way into virtually every major product design stage in every industry for decades. This micro example shows how the revolving employment model of the 2000’s has destroyed the knowledge base of the work force in many industries.


The very act of choosing where to spend your money is the act of consumerism. If a retail establishment doesn’t carry the brands that are sought after, the consumer will go elsewhere. Consequently, as the recovering economy spurs consumers into high quality products, the need for sales people to be informed will become more important in the consumer decision making process.

Information Literacy

The best thing about the internet is that anyone can post information and broadcast the information to the entire world. The worst thing about the internet is that anyone can post information and broadcast the information to the entire world. This is the major issue researchers encounter when fact-finding. The term information literacy does not only encompass the ability to read information but also to gauge if the information found is legitimate.

Creating Professionals With Trade Publications

Trade publications are focused on specific products and industries and work closely with producers to distribute information. The publications speak directly to buyers, consumers, designers and professionals wanting to learn about the latest advancements in products and services. These publications often feature educational sections, product and service listings and information on what is the latest industry trends. Best of all, these collaborative articles are fact checked by editors and publishers to ensure quality of the information. These articles give the reader a foundation to build product knowledge from and leads to other legitimate information sources.

Following these leads may lead the reader to a company website full of installation guides, articles and how-to videos such as can be found at Creating an empowered and well informed reader supports a well informed professional that retains sales channels and creates repeat business by becoming a resource for their industry and community.

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