Should You Go Exclusive?

10 02 2012

Recently in class we discussed giving stories exclusively to reporters. I’m not sure how I feel about this idea because I can see both advantages and disadvantages. As a reporter, I know I would have preferred exclusive stories, however, it is a company’s job to get their word out to as many people as possible. Perhaps this can be done by one news source “breaking” the story, but I worry about alienating other sources that you also want to run your story. Here’s an article that takes a look at that exclusive conundrum.



Posted on 05/10/11 in Pitching Pointers4 Comments

With many of my small business public relations clients, there are some products/services that require an exclusive media pitch.  It would be great if this wasn’t the case, but many high profile publications request an exclusive or they will not do the story if someone else has already covered the news.   Once you pitch an exclusive to a journalist, then there is a mutual agreement between you and the journalist that they will break the news or be the first to run information on a specific product.

Following are rules to follow about pitching media exclusives:

1. Select a top-tier media outlet that is an ideal fit for your target market and will generate significant buzz

2. Offer the exclusive to ONE journalist/media outlet in advance of any other journalist/media outlet

3. Send a short and concise pitch note and mention that you are offering this as an exclusive opportunity; if your pitch is breaking news, you can mention that it is “embargoed” or confidential until the story runs

4. All other media outreach is “on hold” until the story breaks; after this takes place the news can be distributed over the wire and targeted outreach can resume

5. If the journalist declines the offer, you can move on to another journalist who is next on your list of targets

The benefit of an exclusive is you have a better chance of securing a high profile story with one of your top target publications.  The piece is likely to be more in-depth and solely about your company.   While it’s a great way to start your PR campaign off with a bang, there are downsides.  In fact, there is a lot of discussion in the PR world about exclusives and whether you’re alienating other journalists.  That being said, no PR initiative is alike and you need to choose a strategy that makes sense for your brand.  To exclusive or not to exclusive?   What do you think?




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