About this blog

  • My day job - I am founder of Battenhall, communications agency for the social media economy.


Subscribe to this blog

  • Subscribe to this site by email or RSS

    This is my personal blog and does not reflect the views of my company or clients.

Blog powered by Typepad


« Dell says Twitter made it $1m | Main | Unilever's online WOM conference, courtesy of Rohit Bhagarva »

December 17, 2008


It's not just the spammy PR people though. In one comment someone asks how PRs are supposed to build relationships if TC won't talk to them (something I've wondered about that site before), and Arrington replies with 'go away.'

How is that helping?

It may just be me (thought I doubt it), but I think he just ends up sounding like a petulant child.

That post is incredibly bizarre. Is PR that different in the US?

The PR industry described is entirely unknown to me, and I have worked in PR in the UK and Australia for 6.5 years.

Who sends an embargoed press release to their entire press list? Who sends anything marked embargo without prior agreement? Who pitches a story 20 times??

I have worked in the US PR industry for 10 years and yes, particularly for tech media, this is how a considerable percentage of the industry works across the pond.

The "embargo" is routinely copy and pasted into press releases for quality and trivial news alike.

It is not difficult to list the differences between "quality" PR and "typical" PR in the US. Spam-blasting press releases, following up each release with calls to the front desk/desk/mobile phone, calling each and every reporter/editor, lies about embargo times, lies about "exclusives"... etc.

The net result is that all the bad PR people in the US make it really hard for the good PR people to do their jobs - and of course make it difficult for journos to do their jobs.

Arrington is smart though. He wants exclusives. He lists all the reasons why they will ignore embargoes... and then says of course there are several exceptions.

My take away is: if you really have impressive news, Arrington wants it and will make promises to get it. If your news is average/weak then you should just be happy you got mentioned on TechCrunch at all.

Here at TechCrunch UK I'd say embargoes are used by PR companies fairly infrequently in Europe. Generally I like to negotiate with the PR on a case-by-case basis about exclusivity - but only for stuff which is worth it - not minor announcements. What absolutely doesn't work is PRs blasting out embargoed stuff without much conversation going on, and I guess this is what TC in the US is reacting to. The whole media culture there is quite different methinks.

(copied from our internal discussion on Silent In Flames)

I said

I think embargos are outmoded. To anyone outside the PR/Trade Media cabal they're of even less value than a post-dated cheque.

Seriously -- in today's world of 24/7 publishing, an amateur media, search engines and automation -- embargos are like attacking tanks with a cavalry charge: noble but doomed.

Like my old nanny used to say "if you want to keep something a secret, don't tell anyone."

@KerryMG said

There are always going to be occasions when you need to pre-brief someone under an embargo, they do benefit both the company in question and the publication. As usual the problem comes with using them willy-nilly.

I agree with [Alan] Patrick over at Broadstuff I think this is not so much a war on PR but Techcrunch jostling position with other major blogs, PR is just being used as a pawn in a much larger chess game.

Just our $0.04

The comments to this entry are closed.