If the situation warrants it, some Publicity Hounds like to give a particular story to their favorite media that reaches a large audience. If a certain newspaper or magazine knows they will get the story first, they will be more inclined to cover you–as long as it’s a good story.
With photos, however, that isn’t necessarily the case.
When Publicity Hound Gina Moretti of Waukesha, Wisconsin was in my mentoring program, she asked a question concerning exclusivity for photographs.
“I received a call from a photographer at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He said he might come to shoot photos at the Waukesha County Historical Society & Museum’s Jr. Summer History Camp. I’m fairly certain he will be here unless a breaking story happens. The photographer is from the Waukesha section of the Journal Sentinel, and they compete heavily with the daily Waukesha Freeman. I am afraid if I send a photo opp to the Freeman, someone from that paper may end up coming at the same time as the photographer from the Journal Sentinel. There is only about an hour window that would make for a good photo.
“I figured I’d send a photo opp to the Freeman for one of the other three camps remaining. I also thought I would send out another photo opp to the smaller community papers for cities where some of the students live. What do you think of this idea?”
Here’s what I told her:
The question isn’t “How much of a risk am I willing to take so I won’t make the big newspaper mad at me?” But rather, “What will my boss say if not one photographer shows up?”
That’s because if there’s a breaking news event, the media will be elsewhere. So extend the invitation to both daily newspapers and the community weeklies to get as much coverage as possible early on, to help promote the other three camps. Photographers aren’t as territorial as reporters are, particularly in cases like this where a “soft news” or “feature news” event warrants just a stand-alone photo. The same goes for television. I wouldn’t hesitate to invite four local TV stations to the same event. Worry about exclusivity only with bigger news or feature stories.
If you’re planning a major special event, you need a major publicity plan. Two teleseminars I did with former event planner Debra J. Schmidt will give you clever, creative ideas on how to plan and promote your special event to attract the crowds and lots of media attention.
Read more about “How to Create a Buzz When Planning Your Special Event”