[Technorati Claim: ZQQ3R62AVP3]
When an embargo on a social media news announcement was breached in November, a prominent tech journalist sent out a sarcasm-laced tweet: “Shocking!”
This was just one of many broken embargoes in the tech industry last year. I recall one particularly memorable breach (and tweet) that lit up the Twitter transom in August after eWeek broke Google’s embargo on Gmail Priority Inbox. By some accounts, there were more breaches in 2010 than ever before – some were accidental, and some were not.
So why bother with embargoes?
Embargoes can be useful. As a PR practitioner, I pre-brief journalists under embargo only when I believe my client has particularly newsworthy corporate and product announcements. This approach has always seemed like a win-win situation for major stories. Embargoes often result in quality coverage for companies, and on the flipside embargoes give reporters time to research and write their stories before the press release hits the wire.
As we all know in the PR business, once the press release is out, the news is about as inviting as a waft of Limburger cheese. Many reporters appreciate the time the embargo buys them. Sure the investigative news journalists and bloggers bristle at the thought of anyone controlling the release of news, but most agree to honor the embargo because they know they wouldn’t have the story otherwise. (more…)