Have you ever tried to organize a surprise party, or a similar kind of event with time-sensitive information? If so, you understand how stressful that process can be.

The majority of the anxiety that comes with setting up an event like that is ensuring that the birthday boy or girl doesn’t find out about the surprise before the event itself takes place. No one likes a spoiled surprise party, right? Well, no one likes press releases that spoil company news either.

Distribution can be tricky, especially when dealing with corporate news that is not quite yet known to the general public.

To prevent news from leaking while simultaneously organizing press release distribution and media outreach campaigns, many companies will utilize embargo options within a service.

Key Takeaways

  1. Essential Role of Embargoes: Embargoed press releases play a critical role in managing the distribution of sensitive corporate news, ensuring that information is not leaked before the company is ready for a public announcement.
  2. Mechanism of Embargoed Press Releases: These press releases are distributed to media outlets with a strict request not to publish the content until a specified date, allowing companies to control the timing of news dissemination.
  3. Consequences of Leaked Information: Leaks of time-sensitive information can lead to significant corporate repercussions, including public backlash, tarnished reputations, and even legal actions against responsible parties, as seen in high-profile cases with companies like Apple, Equifax, and Tesla.
  4. Benefits of Embargo Requests: By requesting an embargo, companies make their intentions clear to media outlets, prevent premature leaks, and pique interest by adding a layer of exclusivity and urgency to the news, which can enhance media coverage and audience engagement.

What is an Embargoed Press Release?

An embargoed press release is one that is sent to media outlets by a with a request for the content to not be published until the company makes the information available to the public. The company or PR firm that handles the company’s communications strategies is ultimately responsible for submitting the request for embargo to the outlets.

For a quick moment, consider the previously mentioned scenario in which you are hosting the surprise party. What would happen if the cat got out of the bag, and the surprise fell through?

It really all depends on your personnel, but generally speaking the worst that would happen is that a lot of production would have went into a plan that didn’t pan out in the end.

This is not the case at the corporate level. Companies have suffered and jobs have been lost due to time-sensitive information being leaked to the public. In one extreme case, Apple had 12 former employees arrested due to leaked information. Embargoes are incredibly important tools for these exact reasons.

Not all information is leaked intentionally, some is merely leaked due to an error on the behalf of the marketing/communications department. Information leaks such as these are on par with data leaks that have tarnished the reputations of high level executives working at companies such as Equifax, Dow Jones and Co., and Tesla.

These are some major companies that have suffered public backlash due to information leaks. Don’t let that be you!

By leveraging the power of an embargo request, you effectively do three things:

  1. You make the intentions of the company clear to the outlet; you are telling them to hold off on publishing any material until after a given date.
  2. You are preventing time-sensitive information from leaking to the public that might have the potential to damage the brand’s image.
  3. You are sparking interest in the reader through the request! Think about it – this is very similar to the cookie jar theory. When you are told not to grab a cookie from the cookie jar as a child, what is the first thing you want to do? Grab one! The only difference in a professional setting is that doing so has legal consequences, so it’s unlikely someone will reject your embargo request for a simple thrill. Nevertheless, you are making the story seem more interesting by adding the time-sensitive component. Outlets will be quick to analyze why you have pitched the story in this way – so it truly is a win-win-win!

Embargoed Press Release Example

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Embargoed until March 15, 2024, 10:00 AM EST)

Contact: Jane Doe, Director of Communications XYZ Corporation Email: [email protected] Phone: (123) 456-7890

XYZ Corporation Announces Revolutionary New Product Launch

City, State — XYZ Corporation, a leading innovator in the tech industry, is thrilled to unveil its latest breakthrough product, the XYZ SmartWidget, an advanced technology that promises to redefine the consumer tech space. The official launch event is scheduled for March 15, 2024, at 10:00 AM EST, following the lift of this embargo.

The XYZ SmartWidget is the result of years of research and development, incorporating cutting-edge technology to deliver unparalleled user experiences. Designed with the consumer in mind, the SmartWidget offers seamless integration with existing devices, intuitive user interface, and a host of features that set a new standard in smart technology.

Key Features of the XYZ SmartWidget Include:

  • Innovative Design: Sleek, lightweight, and durable, the SmartWidget is designed for everyday use and portability.
  • Seamless Connectivity: With state-of-the-art Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities, the SmartWidget ensures constant and reliable connection to all your devices.
  • Extended Battery Life: The SmartWidget’s battery lasts up to 48 hours on a single charge, thanks to its energy-efficient design.
  • Customizable Interface: Users can personalize their SmartWidget experience with customizable settings, themes, and features.

Availability and Pricing

The XYZ SmartWidget will be available for purchase starting April 1, 2024, through XYZ Corporation’s official website and select retail partners. Pricing will start at $299 for the base model. For more information and to stay updated on the SmartWidget, please visit our website at www.xyzcorporation.com/smartwidget.

About XYZ Corporation

XYZ Corporation has been at the forefront of technological innovation for over a decade, committed to developing products that enhance and simplify the lives of consumers worldwide. With a focus on quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction, XYZ continues to lead the market in creating smart, user-friendly solutions.

For Media Inquiries:

Media representatives interested in more information about the XYZ SmartWidget or wishing to schedule interviews can contact Jane Doe at the details provided above. High-resolution images, press kits, and product samples for review are available upon request.

This press release is under embargo and not for publication or broadcast before March 15, 2024, at 10:00 AM EST.