IT SOUNDS…EXCLUSIVE! HOW?
The term “exclusive” refers to a story or feature that is pitched exclusively to one media outlet or publication. To the editor or reporter receiving your pitch, the buzz word implies that your offer is only going to them (or at least to them before anyone else), and that this story is not to be missed.
There are times, however, when offering an exclusive to one outlet means that they get access to your story first, but that eventually other outlets can cover it, too.
SO WHAT’S THE POINT?
What the “exclusive” title is given to will look different from story to story. For example, a good exclusive story might include a celebrity shopping at your store and reporting on how much they love a certain product. Another example of an exclusive might be the CEO of a company making a big announcement.
Pitching stories like these as exclusives will be valuable for two main reasons:
An exclusive will give the news/publishing team extra incentive to run it because they know it puts them one exciting story ahead of competing outlets.
Pitching an exclusive to a media or news outlet sends the message that you value their coverage and are invested in building rapport with them and continuing a future relationship.
Offering exclusives, of course, also comes with risks. If you give a big story to one outlet and they choose to not run it or change their minds last minute, then you may have lost the opportunity to offer it to another outlet.
It is also important to ask the bigger-picture question of what other members of the media will think of your exclusive offer to a different outlet, and think about what deterring those outlets might do for when you are trying to get future stories run.