For Our PR Friends: New Embargo Policy

As you may have seen, TechCrunch, the Wall Street Journal and others have introduced new policies regarding embargoes. Inspired somewhat by them but mainly by our own experiences, The BTN Group editors now have a new practice on embargoes.

We will agree to an embargo on a case-by-case basis, as approved by yours truly. Pitch them to us at your own risk. In other words, if you suggest an embargo and we do not agree to it, I will not restrict our reporters from trying to chase down the information from our sources (still giving the companies in question an opportunity to respond officially, as always). You are free to schedule interviews in advance with executives without saying why, but again, please do not be offended if we print a story ahead of when you intended it to come out. In case it doesn't go without saying, any information sent to us "under embargo," if we did not first agree to an embargo, is fair game for us to use.

Why are we doing this? Too many embargoes are broken by other publishing companies (mistakenly or otherwise) and too many times when we have agreed to them, it turns out we would have learned about the story from our sources anyway. Recently, we have received press releases with an embargo listed at the top, but no request for us to agree to it. In other cases, we are comfortable with our ability to respond to news when it's announced.

I'd be happy to answer any questions. I'm sorry if this puts you in a difficult position. We remain open to embargoes on occasion, mainly when the information is provided to us exclusively.

~ Jay Campbell