Time for an embargo on embargoes

Tomorrow's Business

This embargoing of press releases thing has gotten well out of hand. And mostly it’s doing you no favours.

For a start it smacks of self-importance. The company and the flak is saying: this astonishing development is so newsworthy we are going to get blanket news coverage in hundreds of media outlets.

For a press release about how a company you’ve never heard of has won a new client it hasn’t named.

The favourite embargo time is midnight – so it’s aimed at the morning papers.

Which means it is embargoed against The Evening Standard. So you’re pitching me a story when you have already made it clear you could care less about the paper I work for.

Twice this week there’s been embargoed reports I might well have written about or at least awarded Press Release of the Day.

But they had a midnight embargo, so I couldn’t. They got re-released the next day, embargo lifted, having garnered no coverage whatsoever.

I do understand why embargoes are used and sometimes you’ve good reason to employ them.

Use sparingly, is my suggestion.

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