Breaking a news story with only one publication, often referred to as an “exclusive,” is common practice in the PR world. The upside is that you are pretty much guaranteed coverage in a publication, if you work out an agreement with a reporter. The downside is that you’re likely to annoy other reporters covering that beat who know you chose their competitor over them.
Case in point: Ketchum is handling PR for the launch of fast food chain Wendy’s new marketing campaign. It’s a pretty big story for advertising and marketing reporters. They chose to give the story exclusively to The Wall Street Journal, which as you can imagine, didn’t please other reporters, one of which went forward with the story anyway. Writes the Times‘ Stuart Elliott:
Wendy’s declined to discuss the campaign because executives at the company and at the Ketchum unit of the Omnicom Group, the outside public relations agency for Wendy’s, arranged to give the story exclusively in advance to The Wall Street Journal.
Oof. Elliott gives a full recap on the Time‘s Media Decoder blog.