Embargoes are not dead

Right up there with the meme that “the need for PR agencies is gone” is the “embargoes are dead.”  Embargoes are an agreement between a company and a reporter to hold news until a specific agreed upon time or date in exchange for early access to information or news from the company

As usual, ReadWriteWeb has a thoughtful piece on the benefits and pitfalls of embargoes, and a fiery denouncement of them as a “throwback to the ivory tower development system,” by Dave Winer.

Embargoes aren’t always necessary, but they can be useful particularly to show the development of a product or allow someone to take a more in-depth look at a product or service.  A recent case is, Google’s new Chrome browser. When Google announced the product earlier this week, there were literally thousands of instant reviews and short thoughts on the product. But Wired had something different, they had a look at the development, here’s the story on how that went down from Valleywag.

So, in this case, the embargo did serve a purpose, Google was able to tell the backstory of Chrome and allow someone to see it in process rather than wait and tell the story afterwards.

Embargoes aren’t dead. Like everything else in PR, they are just a little different than before and need to be managed a little more closely.

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