The PR embargo is not dead

Here’s one example of an embargo that worked.

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It’s not, of course. I’ve written before that the embargo, when executed correctly, is a respected and useful tool. It thrives outside of the technology world. In medicine, where major journals publish comprehensive studies, embargoes are routine.

The key requirement for an effective embargo is an agreement between the news outlet and the news provider. I routinely get emails from PR agencies containing a press release along with an embargo restriction. I am under no obligation to honor that embargo, since I didn’t agree to it in the first place.

I’ve never published any of this material, in part because it’s almost always unrelated to the topics I cover (another grievous faux pas). I do, however, reply, advising what I presume to be a newcomer to the business of his mistake.

But even in the tech world, an embargo can work just fine. A case in point is the new study released last week by The Altimeter Group on managing social media across large enterprises.

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