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Everything you need to know about exclusives

Home PR Insights Everything you need to know about exclusives

Exclusive is a powerful, sexy word with which to impress readers, which is why journalists love them. 

Plus, no one wants their overall editor pointedly enquiring why other, relevant stories are always breaking in a rival publication.

Read on to discover more about exclusives so you can become the Perfect PR.

From the PR’s perspective, exclusives can be stressful. There’s the challenge of keeping a lid on the story – you might give an exclusive of a safari camp opening in South Africa to a UK journalist, only to find that a local journalist gets in and covers it first. Be honest with other journalists if you have already given the exclusive to someone else.

Key factors to determine:

  1. Is the exclusive global, national or only sector-based, i.e. consumer?
  2. Are all the journalists who have been offered exclusives clear on what the terms are?
  3. Are news stories okay, or will they compromise an exclusive?


Be sure to agree a date by which the exclusive must run. Editors are famously reticent about providing publication dates, but this is the one scenario when they’re almost obliged to do so. You can then say that you will protect the exclusive until that date; if the publication runs the story later, then that’s their loss. If your client wants to give the exclusive to a monthly magazine, be clear that this probably means no other features elsewhere for months after the embargo, as monthlies often have long lead times.

“The most enticing suggestions offer exclusive angles, and we appreciate being given first refusal on these. It also encourages us to let you know swiftly if it’s not right for our title – win-win.”

– Bridget

Need more tips?

Learn more about nurturing journalist relationships and excelling at your job with our PR Insights. Read about what makes a good imagewhy you need journalist mates and how to befriend them and check out our PR’s Essential Checklist for Pitching.


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