Why Pitching an Exclusive Works

When trying to make news or create a headline, there’s a reason we often recommend clients pitch their story as an exclusive. Why? Because it works. Here’s how one reporter recently explained why “exclusives remain the most envied get in journalism:”

“The exclusive earns you coveted cache with colleagues, competitors, cable news bookers and most importantly, your employer, who will likely place an ‘exclusive’ banner on or inside of this prized content, like a glossy cherry red bow on Christmas morning. Publishing this privileged piece is akin to experiencing the deep drop on a roller coaster ride or sending a risqué text to a lust interest. It’s mere placement on the internet can push a rush of dopamine through your veins. It’s thrilling — a bit frightening (This better be right!) — but ultimately validating. In journalism, the feeling is unmatched.”

Our top five reasons to pitch an exclusive:

  1. They have it first. The reporter can authoritatively report new, significant information before their peers – and will work with you to report that new information;
  2. It helps their brand. An exclusive means readers have to come to that specific reporter for the news, which helps build their brand and impresses their bosses;
  3. It strengthens your relationship. Exclusives help build reporter-client relationships and trust, and can be especially helpful with beat reporters or those you interact with regularly;
  4. It can get pick up. Exclusive news is often more easily picked up by broadcast and other news outlets;
  5. You make the news. If a reporter accepts your exclusive pitch, you are guaranteed a headline, which is not always the case with embargoed news.