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Embargo: Do not read this before 5.01pm precisely

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Ping. Two emails drop close together this morning, both with excellent material — proper data, good quotes — on matters close to the heart of the Evening Standard.


One would have made the basis of a news story, the other would probably have been used as part of a feature we are working on.


Instead, both went to the Bin.


Why? Because they were embargoed till midnight, so might as well be headlined “We hate the Evening Standard”. (A midday embargo is fine).


It’s odd when London centric stories are embargoed against the London paper. In some cases, the stories are so London centric that the daily nationals would probably reject them on exactly those grounds.


I’ve questioned before the wisdom of embargoes. For sensitive material, they obviously serve an important purpose.


Newspapers use them all the time. If we get the heads up on a court ruling or the gist of an important statement to the stock market, we go to considerable lengths to make sure the piece doesn’t appear on line before it should.


But I think the PR trade overuses them. Sometimes the embargo time is strange/not explained.


The flak, or the client, thinks the embargo enables them to control and increase coverage.


Quite often, as per today, they have the opposite effect.

We all took more sick days in 2020 because of Covid – but just barely, 5.1 on average up from 4.5 the year before.


So says this from Tide, which finds that employed people take many more sick days than the self-employed, unsurprisingly.


Bristolians and Glaswegians are the most sick/most work shy. Hearty folk from Nottingham take just 2 sick days a year.


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