The Most Important Questions to Ask when Negotiating an Exclusive Coverage Agreement

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Offering a reporter or media outlet an exclusive can give them a huge incentive to cover your story. Every outlet wants to be the first to cover a big story, so offering them an exclusive is a great way to pique their interest while at the same time building their trust and taking the relationship to the next level. Not only that, when that outlet is the first to run with your story, they’ll be highly motivated to promote it and get as much traffic to it as possible.

Ask Questions 3d buttonOf course, there is a flipside to offering exclusive coverage to a journalist, and things aren’t always guaranteed to work out so beautifully. When you pin all of your hopes for your story on a single outlet, the consequences can be pretty severe if things don’t quite go as you had hoped.

So, what can you do to mitigate the risks? It comes down to asking the right questions when negotiating your exclusive coverage agreement.

Here are some key questions that must be answered:


  • Where will this story be published? Is your story going to be on the front page or stuffed away in some section of the publication that no one reads or clicks on? And for that matter, when do they plan on publishing it? Will it be right before the weekend when few people will be paying attention? Or will it go live at the best time to draw eyes to it?
  • What will you do to promote it? If you’re granting an exclusive to an outlet, you want to be sure they’re going to do everything in their power to make that story a success. It’s important that they have a plan in place for pushing the story to get it as much traffic as possible.
  • How much traffic do you expect it to get? Speaking of traffic, there’s no point in granting exclusive coverage to an outlet that no one reads. Ask about traffic/subscriber numbers before you agree to give an exclusive to anyone so you can be sure it’s worth your time.
  • Will you distribute the story through any partner outlets? Ideally, the outlet you give the exclusive to will have partner sites they can syndicate the story through to maximize coverage.
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What are your thoughts on offering a journalist an exclusive? Leave a comment to let us know!

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three ebooks, including My Facebook Formula, a free report on Facebook and why you should be using the largest social network for your business, here:

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