How to Send an Embargoed Press Release
Embargoes are divisive. A short Google search or scroll through Twitter can provide polarising opinions. Journalists dislike embargoes, but you can do something to change it.
The brittleness of embargoes is what most journalists criticize. Fragile because it could endanger the work of other journalists if one of them breaks the embargo before the scheduled date. Furthermore, these journalists who violated the embargo face no serious repercussions. Even worse, embargoes are frequently employed on “news” that isn’t newsworthy.
Regardless of your position on the issue, journalists and PR experts concur that it’s critical to understand when to share embargoed releases and how to do it properly. We’ll provide in this article advice on how to send an embargoed press release.
What Is an Embargoed Press Release?
Let’s first define the term clearly. An official announcement sent to journalists ahead of a predetermined publishing date is an embargoed press release. PR experts frequently utilize this tactic to give their media connections enough time to write a story before the news release, which may be pretty advantageous for journalists and PR professionals. The honesty and calibre of stories may be in jeopardy in today’s media environment, characterized by immediacy and 24-hour news cycles. Giving the media time before the news is released gives them the time to research the story and create a quality report thoroughly.
What Advantages Do Embargoes Offer?
It shows respect for the time of your press contacts. PR experts can coordinate their efforts in response to a product launch, an acquisition, a merger, or any other significant event by revealing the publication’s time and date. For instance, tech companies extensively rely on embargoes to disseminate information about new product launches, software updates, or funding announcements.
Employing embargoes to inform staff members of news outlets before releasing it to the media can be advantageous for businesses. Giving a spokesperson adequate time to prepare statements and reactions before the news is shared externally offers the organization a head start and minimizes communication blunders.
In addition, embargoes are used for news that is timely and pertinent to the market. Stock prices may change if private information is revealed before the declared period, which will affect investors, traders, and other market participants.
How to Send an Embargoed Press Release
- Explain the embargo
Inform the journalist that you have important news to share if they agree to your embargo before sending the press release with the embargo in place. If a client directly requests it, advertise the publication date; otherwise, only provide a teaser or portion of the already known narrative to the public.
Exclusives should not be confused with embargoed press releases. Like a leak, an exclusive is frequently supplied to one or two reporters who will immediately break the story. Ensure that the information is part of a press release under embargo and does not imply that media outlets are permitted to publish the information.
- Commit it to paper
If a journalist or media outlet sends a cryptic email response or orally accepts it, don’t assume they are embracing your embargo rules. Media outlets might object to your terms or even decide to erase the email correspondence. Ask for a simple yes or no response, and ensure this interaction is legally binding by including a signed contract.
It’s crucial to remember that this action is optional. Ultimately, the law does not require media outlets to abide by your request. Journalists may damage their reputation, but they could still violate the deal. However, building trust in this way is a fantastic idea.
- Abstain from releasing the press release too soon
Dates are frequently flexible with a big announcement. Make sure the scheduled release date is fixed before distributing a press release. Sending an embargoed press release too soon opens the door for leaks. For instance, journalists may approach rivals for quotes as they research and develop their article. This implies that the information will be disclosed to third parties, who might then prematurely divulge the information.
Send a press release with a two- to five-day embargo before making the actual announcement. This gives media outlets adequate time to develop and publish their stories. Remember that just because journalists agree to cover your story doesn’t ensure it will appear in their print edition. A media source might only report the story after the official publication date, depending on the quality of the news.
- Consist of encouraging material
The distribution date is the sole difference between an embargoed press release and a regular press release. This implies that you must adhere to the rules for writing a press release. In most circumstances, a backgrounder that offers further details about the business, announcement, goods, or services would be provided along with a press release or media advisory.
It is advisable to send a backgrounder along with an embargoed press release, especially if the news concerns a new product or a change in leadership. Journalists can then base their stories on the information provided by your company rather than information obtained from third parties. In the end, this limits the space for leakage.
- Be discerning
It is advised that companies handle embargoes carefully because they may deteriorate relations with media organizations and independent reporters. Even though a press release often covers the essentials, be cautious when disclosing everything at once. Decide instead to tell part of the narrative first. You can then wait to observe how your media contact uses the information.
Don’t distribute your news release to several media outlets. You run a greater danger of having your information disclosed the more media outlets you send your press release to. We advise distributing it to no more than five reliable media outlets.
- Establish a management strategy for information leaks
The likelihood is that all media outlets will take this course to break the embargo if one newspaper does so. Businesses must be ready to handle the consequences, including moving up the official release date.
Give further details to media outlets that adhered to the embargo agreement. This could come from access to company leaders and statistics, privileged images and videos, or expert interviews. This enables media outlets to create material that is distinctive from the competition.
Send a press release to alert media outlets to the infraction right away. Some media outlets might believe that although they were advised to wait, the information was handed to other newspapers for rapid dissemination. This might further erode trust in relationships. In this situation, we recommend sending a release stating that your company did not approve the early release.
- Use a distribution service for press releases
Several press release distribution companies offer media monitoring or news clipping services to help users keep track of all media, both traditional and online social media. This is a fantastic technique to control violations or the propagation of untruths. Users will get an email alert warning them of potential embargo violations, giving companies enough time to take immediate action and stop the leak.
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