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Tech Crunch Kills the Embargo-PR is to Blame by Brian Solis

Tech Crunch Kills the Embargo-PR is to Blame by Brian Solis

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Published by Brian Solis
n what is sure to come as an absolute surprise to the tech PR industry, TechCrunch proclaimed that it will no longer honor embargoes, unless they're granted exclusivity. The move was triggered by a growing pattern of underhanded and also irresponsible behavior in the backchannels of PR and blogger relations.

We are all guilty.

The problems are two-fold:

a) Unethical or opportunistic bloggers or reporters looking for an edge will break a story ahead of the agreed-upon embargo, even if only by one minute, in order to appear as if they got the scoop.

b) PR, continuing to use a broadcast methodology to pitch and place news, freely and foolishly wield embargoes as if they're simply "scheduled" times for a press release to cross a wire.
n what is sure to come as an absolute surprise to the tech PR industry, TechCrunch proclaimed that it will no longer honor embargoes, unless they're granted exclusivity. The move was triggered by a growing pattern of underhanded and also irresponsible behavior in the backchannels of PR and blogger relations.

We are all guilty.

The problems are two-fold:

a) Unethical or opportunistic bloggers or reporters looking for an edge will break a story ahead of the agreed-upon embargo, even if only by one minute, in order to appear as if they got the scoop.

b) PR, continuing to use a broadcast methodology to pitch and place news, freely and foolishly wield embargoes as if they're simply "scheduled" times for a press release to cross a wire.

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Published by: Brian Solis on Jan 01, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/05/2014

 
TechCrunch Kills The Embargo, But PR Holds the Smoking Gun
By Brian Solis, blogger at  PR 2.0  and principal of FutureWorksPR, Co- Author Putting  the Public Back in Public Relationsand Now Is Gone
Disclosure, I am a contributor to TechCrunch and I have had my fair share of embargoes broken by various reporters and bloggers over the years. In somecases, we trusted the wrong people.
In what is sure to come as an absolute surprise to the tech PR industry,TechCrunchproclaimedthat it will no longer honor embargoes, unless they'regranted exclusivity. The move was triggered by a growing pattern of underhanded and also irresponsible behavior in the backchannels of PR andblogger relations.We are all guilty.
 
The problems are two-fold:a) Unethical or opportunistic bloggers or reporters looking for an edge will breaka story ahead of the agreed-upon embargo, even if only by one minute, in order to appear as if they got the scoop.b) PR, continuing to use a broadcast methodology to pitch and place news, freelyand foolishly wield embargoes as if they're simply "scheduled" times for a pressrelease to cross a wire.According to Michael Arrington, "The reason this is becoming a larger problem isbecause there is no downside to breaking embargoes. The PR firm gets upsetbut they don’t stop working with the offending publication or writer. You get a slapon the wrist, and you break another embargo later that day. Our new policy is tobreak
every 
embargo. We’ll happily agree to whatever you ask of us, and thenwe’ll just do whatever we feel like right after that. We may break an embargo byone minute or three days. We’ll choose at random. There will be exceptions. Wewill honor embargoes from trusted companies and PR firms who give us thenews exclusively."In the comments section of the TechCrunch post, Richard MacManus, Editor-In-Chief of another popular tech blog,ReadWriteWeb, commented on a particular portion of the new policy, which sparked an open dialogue between MacManusand Arrington.MacManus, “
There will be exceptions. We will honor embargoes from trusted companies and PR firms who give us the news exclusively 
. Nice."Arrington, "Actually Richard, you guys (ReadWriteWeb) and others like GigaOmare the good guys. I have no[t] problem working with you."
 
MacManus, "And ditto, I have no problem working with you or other blogs. Butseriously I don’t think asking PR firms and startups to give you exclusives is theway to go. That’s asking them to choose which blog they want to get on, and of course they will opt for the biggest one. It’s unfair to put that choice onto PR firmsand startups too. It basically means that startups probably won’t be covered byother top blogs if they give an exclusive to someone else. Maybe that’ssomething they’re ok with, but I think it’s unnecessary as all the best blogs havea unique take on the good stories. So I take your point that breaking embargoesis ruining it for everyone, but exclusives isn’t the answer imho."At this point, arguing over whether the response and the new policy is right or wrong, is moot and useless when compared to the potentially grim future facingPR.Is the act of breaking embargoes as retaliation to deserving or undeservingcompanies the answer?No.But the resolution with TechCrunch and other bloggers and media in everyindustry rests among those who practice PR, whether they're PR or marketingprofessionals or the founders of companies who choose to employ DIY PR.TechCrunch's response is not isolated, nor is it relegated to the technologysector. I would bet that every blogger and reporter shares this sentiment daily,with some already publishing similar "no embargo" policies.But, are you really surprised that it has come to this?We can't blame TechCrunch however, we have to hold up the mirror and take a

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