First, just to get this out of the way, this blog is NOT a subpost. 

Not mad, just disappointed.

So… you broke an embargo. It sucks, it’s embarrassing, it’s frustrating, and you’re about to get AN EMAIL from a PR rep who has otherwise been very helpful up to this point. It’s not the end of the world and there are a few things that can help fix this.

Breaking an embargo isn’t just a “Whoops!” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ moment, it’s disrespecting your peers who are abiding by the agreed embargo, the plans of the developer team, and your relationship with the PR person who helped you with this opportunity. By breaking an embargo, you may cause others to do so and create a chain of headaches for everyone involved.

Here are five things to do if you’ve broken an embargo and an additional four ways to avoid doing so in the future. 

What to do if you’ve broken an embargo:

  1. Remove that content immediately! Delist, hide, unpublish, and otherwise remove your article or video. If you’re streaming, stop immediately and swap over to something else. Don’t worry, you can republish everything on the embargo time.
  2. Scrub that social media! – Delete any social media posts made promoting your content. Again, all that content can be reposted at embargo time. 
  3. Let your PR contact know – Send a quick note over to your PR contact explaining what happened and outlining the steps you’ve taken steps to fix things. An apology goes a long way to repairing a relationship.
  4. Swallow your pride – You made a mess. Own it by helping clean it up. Acting defensive and lashing out in private or in public is not a good look, and will likely have long term repercussions for you and any media outlet you are associated with. Gaming is a relatively small industry and people talk. 
  5. Reschedule your content – We still want to see your article, video, art, or other thing you’ve created. Reschedule everything for the correct time.

How to avoid breaking an embargo:

  1. Review the code and release notes – Embargo times should be highlighted in one or more places on a release or code email.
  2. Double check embargo times – Time zones are a pain, we know! If you aren’t in a listed time zone, check a handy time zone converter like World Time Buddy, or The Time Zone Converter for your local time. 
  3. Triple check scheduled posts – Breaking an embargo is bad. Breaking it at 3am your local time because your article or video is up and you’re asleep is worse. You don’t want to wake up to multiple emails about this. 
  4. When in doubt, ask! – PR people really don’t mind getting messages from people who want to double check when an embargo time is. You might even get a heads up about something else cool that’s happening. 

Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. As someone who’s sent out MULTIPLE follow up emails correcting embargo time zone errors in releases, I know! Just remember, communication is key (so trite, but so true) and your PR contact is here to help. 

Have a fun* embargo story of your own? Share ’em with us on Twitter!

*maybe not so fun

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