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My Take On Embargoes — Break Them And No More For You!
I’ve had a variety of people ask me for my views on the embargo and I’ve thought about it over the past year so here goes. I think of embargoes as gifts. It’s a certain level of trust that a PR firm or company has given to a writer. It’s the most trust that a company can give out and something that should be respected as such. When I started CN I had zero contacts. I remember getting my first embargo and realizing I may now be part of the big time. It was one of the best days on CN! Maybe that’s why I respect them, maybe it’s my financial background and signing many corporate financial documents which, if made public ahead of time, could have sent me to Rikers. A friend of mine said that embargoes are all about “maintaining trust and long term credibility.”
I’ve seen bloggers who post early – whether its 5 minutes or 30 minutes, it’s still early in my book. We know why they do it, first is first.
Why are embargoes important? Because they allow the writer advanced time to prepare a story that has more details than just a press release post. It allows me to look at the service and give you a more detailed analysis. I can dive in and give you more than some corporate speak. They are critical for a site’s readers.
Every writer will make a mistake, I am sure I will make one at some point (knock on Facebook). So everyone should get one “embargo pass.” But break the rules again and you don’t get any embargoes for a specific period of time. The issue is that the PR firms and companies don’t really care when a writer breaks the embargo. The PR firm wants to be on x blog or y site and if they break it, big woopie they are still driving the traffic.
Though there is some promise being displayed over the past three weeks. One company told me they are no longer giving their releases to the blogs who broke their embargoes in the past. And two PR firms said they are working on new methods to protect the embargoes.
It’s like taking cookies from the jar when mommy told you not to. If she doesn’t punish you for doing it, then you will just keep doing it over and over. Same thing here. When a blog or paper consistently breaks an embargo, they should no longer receive them. Period.