What Is An Embargoed Press Release?

Sometimes when you issue a press release, time is not on your side, nor is it on the side of the media. The moment your release hits the Internet, it is on its way to being old news. The embargo helps you prevent this from happening and gain more control over how you release news and to whom.

What is an Embargo?

Essentially a press release embargo is a release that a journalist cannot publish until a specific day and time. For example, you issue a release about a new study that you’re publishing. You send it to the media with an embargo. They now cannot report on it until that date and time. It gives you a little more control over the process. There are of course some benefits and drawbacks.

The Benefits of an Embargo

The benefits of an embargo are clear. They provide the media with the opportunity to research the information before it goes live and hits the newswires, or social media. This means that journalists are able to dig deep and write a great story about your company and your news before the information is made public. It’s a tactic that’s used often with new product launches, new studies and reports, and medical discoveries and information.

Building a relationship with the media can be another benefit of an embargoed press release. Presumably, when you send a press release of this nature, you’re not sending it to dozens of journalists. You’re sending it to a just a few hand-picked journalists, reporters, or media representatives. These should be people that you’ve developed relationships with and whom you know will be interested in your story and information.

Broken Promises

One of the biggest controversies with embargos is that many journalists, companies, and media sites don’t honor them. They break the embargo, go live with the news before the specified date, and thus squash the plans for the journalists who were working on stories and the companies that were counting on the information being released on a specific day.

This trend to break promises has meant that many journalists and media either won’t work with embargoed press releases, or they have a public policy of not honoring them. TechCrunch is one such outlet that has a public policy to not honor embargos.

This means that if you choose to pursue this type of press release you’ll need to know three important things.

1. The journalists and media outlets that you send the release to care about the information you’re announcing and will write a story about it.

2. They media reps will honor your embargo.

3. You’re ready with a plan if the news is leaked and the information goes live before the embargo deadline.

Embargoed press releases can have their place in your press release marketing strategy. It’s important to know the risks beforehand and to have solid relationships with key media representatives and outlets in your industry and community.

Free Guide: How to Send Press Releases via Email

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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