The overuse of the self-important embargo

Tomorrow's Business

Yesterday a semi-interesting press release plopped into the inbox. We were scratching around a bit at the time, especially for diary stories, and it was just about interesting/funny enough to make the cut.

We’d have run it.

But wait, there was the (almost inevitable) midnight embargo. Newspapers are such Deeply Moral institutions that we honour these things in pretty much all circumstances.

So we didn’t use it. And none of the morning papers ran the story.

The same release plopped back into the inbox today, informing us that the embargo had been lifted and with a slightly desperate sounding plea to please let them know if there was any chance of us running it.

No, is the answer.

PR firms, doubtless with the stubborn insistence of clients, love embargoes. They seem to imagine the entire media will seize on their brilliant work, giving them blanket coverage. In truth, this hardly ever happens, unless it’s a truly explosive political or business announcement.

Otherwise, you’re surely better off scoring one goal than missing a hundred.

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