The death of the single-source story

PR pitches that are only about a client’s products or services are going by the wayside, and it might not be such a bad thing. Here’s why. 

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That’s what one reporter at a top-tier international publication said about PR professionals who continue to pitch “single-source stories.” These stories focus entirely on a single company or its products with little or no mention of competitors, facts, or quotes from other sources.

In the not-too-distant-past, one approach to securing single-source stories was to offer an “exclusive” to the reporter, with the understanding they would treat the story with an extra degree of priority and (hopefully) devote more “print real estate” to it.

Though single-source stories have not entirely gone the way of the woolly mammoth, they are becoming a less frequent occurrence.

Some PR pros, and the clients whom they serve, might lament this shift, but it’s a positive development. Here are three reasons why:

1. It’ll result in better researched, well written articles. Reporters that need to track down more sources will probably be spending more time researching the topic, collecting more information, and doing more rigorous fact checking.

Such a process may slow down their ability to turnaround a story, especially if it’s a less time-sensitive feature, but it is likely to yield a higher quality article.

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