Shop Exclusive Coverage Policies
While we have covered shop exclusives, in recent times we have moved our focus to wider distribution releases. Quite frankly, we have found shop exclusives an extremely difficult segment to cover. At the same time, it’s a segment we very much want to still cover. That being said, we have adjusted our policies on how we are covering this – and what makes the most business sense for Cigar Coop. Rather than over-engineer a process for covering this, we have implemented three simple rules.
- No Timely Info/No Coverage: We strictly require a formal press release to be pro-actively sent to Cigar Coop on the same business day the cigar is announced. If we see the story published elsewhere (whether another media site, on the retail site, or third-party advertising) and we have not been contacted the same business day, it will be ineligible for a story on Cigar Coop. No exceptions will be made if the information leaks out publicly prior to being released to media. Social media teases may also be considered a release of information as well.
- Retailer/Manufacturer Commitment We ask for commitment by both the manufacturer and retailer to have a vested interest in the article. Too many times we have seen the commitment one-sided toward either the retailer or toward the manufacturer. In some cases, neither party gives a commitment! If during the press collection process, we feel either party does not have a commitment to the article, or if either party in the past has not shown commitment to media coverage of a shop exclusive, we will decline the story. Our expectation is the retailer or manufacturer will promote our article on social media. If there is a history of articles not being shared, Cigar Coop may decline covering future shop exclusives.
- Reviews of Shop Exclusives: In order for a review of the shop exclusive cigar to be done, in must have had press coverage on Cigar Coop prior to the review. There will be no exceptions made to this rule.
- A shop exclusive is a cigar that is exclusively distributed to a single retailer. A retailer may have multiple stores, but is still considered a “single” business. The cigar must be branded with a nationally recognized cigar brand name.
- Cigar of the Month Club or subscription-based exclusives are also considered Shop Exclusives and subject to the same rules for coverage.
- Announcing branded retail lounges, lounge cigars, or event cigars must comply with rules #1 and #2.
- Exclusive samplers also fall under the guidelines specified above.
- While for nationally distributed cigars, Cigar Coop does not require exclusivity, there are cases for shop exclusive cigars we may request exclusivity in exchange for press coverage. This is done on a case by case basis.
- In cases where a formal press release is not provided, but shop exclusive coverage is requested, we will consider on a case by case basis based on a given set of expectations agreed to by Cigar Coop, the retailer, and the manufacturer.