Media exclusives: Everyone loves to be the first to get the scoop

Thursday, February 5, 2015

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Everyone loves to be the first to get the scoop. In journalism, this is known as an exclusive – when a news item is reported by one journalist or media outlet before others. Typically an exclusive consists of important news with an air of surprise, excitement or secrecy.

A reporter is able to “scoop” another news organization when he or she gets that news first and therefore gives the story premier placement and distribution. And they love when they can do this. They want to beat the competition just like any business.

It used to be a more common practice, but in today’s 24/7 news cycle, it’s more difficult to pull off.

How do you know if your content is worthy of the “exclusive” banner?

It’s BIG

This is always a relative term when it comes to pitching the media. Keep in mind that what you or your client might deem as big may not seem so to the media outlet. Your news must be significant and relevant to the news outlet’s audience.

You can own it

The news is of a nature that you can control it and keep it under wraps until the story runs. If it is well-known info or news that could be leaked out from other parties, that pretty much ruins the exclusive – and can damage your credibility and relationship with the reporter. Can you say, “backfire?”

Are you being fair?

Do you regularly work with a beat reporter that you would be scooping? Are there other news outlets equally worthy of the news? Would you be damaging your organization’s relationship with other important media contacts? These are all important considerations before you go about making the “exclusive” promise.

Some say that readers don’t really care about exclusives. They really only matter to reporters and their editors.

What do you think? When you see a story labeled as “exclusive,” does it pique your interest? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter via @IntrinzicSays