Video: What is an embargo and when should you use it?

Watch Pure Public Relations founder, Phoebe Netto, explain when you should use an embargoed press release and how it can help to elevate the coverage of your story.

You might have heard the term ‘under embargo’ – but what does it actually mean, and when should you use it?

Sending information ‘under embargo’ means that the media outlet is allowed to review and prepare its coverage of the news or announcement before it is made public. 

However, they can’t release that information to the public or other media outlets until the agreed-upon embargo date and time.

You might write ‘under embargo’ on the top of your release, but it’s also helpful to check directly with the journalist that they agree to your embargo time, just to be on the safe side. 

Most media outlets like being sent news under embargo, because it allows them to prepare their report or article in advance without worrying about other outlets publishing the news before them. 

It can also create anticipation and buzz around the announcement, as other media outlets and the public eagerly await the release of the news.

On the other hand, some news outlets might be put off from publishing the story if they know that several other outlets also have the story under embargo. It depends on how big the news that you are sharing is.

That’s why sending the release exclusively under embargo to a single, larger outlet could be a great PR power move in some instances – they get to prepare the news ahead of time, and they get to be the first to break the story. 

Finally, a word of warning: embargos should be used wisely, and only on stories that genuinely need it. Journalists can clearly tell the difference between a genuine embargo and one that is simply added to manufacture more perceived hype. An unnecessary embargo will simply turn a journalist off – so use with caution. 

If you struggle to identify compelling or newsworthy stories to pitch to publications, our team of experienced public relations experts can help! Get in touch with us today to find out more.

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