Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Infographic startup Visually sees red as Om Malik says they have “no clue” about embargoes

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visuallyA Twitter follower alerted me to an exchange earlier today involving a company’s embargoed announcement about a new round of funding.

When I read the exchange, it became clear: The company, Visually, blew it. See for yourself:

https://twitter.com/ethan_ch/status/423156788247023616

https://twitter.com/ethan_ch/status/423157201864097792

The move did not earn the kind of attention you’d want from influential GigaOm founder Om Malik:

Ha — whose story can be found here — gave me details when I emailed him:

The company was Visually, which announced its Series A funding (all the stories should come up at the top of you do a Google News search for Visually, or if that doesn’t work “Visually raises”). There was an embargo for 9am Eastern this morning, but later on I noticed that two other blogs (VentureBeat and Mashable) had posted at 7:30. I reached out to the PR person, and they said that they had decided to let VB, Mashable, and TechCrunch (the site I write for) post at 7:30, but they forgot to tell me. Whoops.

I thought that was pretty lame, but they later claimed that we were the only three sites that had already expressed interest in the story. (A writer from another site told me they were pitched and told, “The embargo lifts at 9am, but you can post at 7:30am.”) Which was still annoying, but would have been okay … except, yeah, they forgot to tell me.

About two years ago, Cell Press tried something similar with a Neuron study The New York Times wanted to write about before the embargo was scheduled to lift. I didn’t think much of the approach then, either. As I wrote:

…it’s like telling every jockey to wait for the gunshot, but opening the starting gate for one horse. When the other jockeys are watching the favored horse get a head start, they’re wondering whether they should bother with their end of the bargain next time. And who can blame them?

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 14, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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