I was recently reading Frank Strong’s blog post, Are ‘exclusives’ still an effective PR tactic?, and it got me thinking… but before I could finish thinking, I was led to a whole slew of posts on the subject… not all of which were too flattering to PR.
While I’ve used embargos and exclusives successfully in my career, I do realize that this approach has some downsides. It can limit the amount of coverage for your client as other publications may be less inclined to write on the story once it’s already been written about. However, offering exclusives and stories under embargo gives PR folks a chance to generate good relationships with key journalists for future opportunities and is a way “in” with publications that might otherwise not pick up the news. This tactic can be risky if you’re afraid the news might get leaked, so you always have to make sure the source your pitching the story to is reliable.
PRNewser conducted a recent poll asking, “Which Tactic Did You Employ the Last Time You Released Big News?” They found that respondents answered “posted on a wire and pitched the release,” and “exclusive with one publication” equally at 32 percent each. So are other PR professionals shying away from going down the once oh-so-popular news exclusive route?
Perhaps TechCrunch’s public scolding of embargos that’s been going on for over a year has something to do with it. The debate around Michael Arrington’s post has continued with some other interesting reads I’ve included below:
- PR people: 10 ways to screw up @techcrunch’s embargo policy
- Hey TechCrunch, Enough With the Embargoes Already
- Even Though Many Reporters Hate Them, Embargoes Will Not End
What’s your preferred method of pitching out a news story?