People often confuse Public Relations with Marketing, or lump them together. PR is actually the person between a business and the public, a blend of community and press, with a small budget.
For example, contacting a community website (a site with a regular following) to see if they have any interest in trying out a trading card game. You suggest running a competition for prizes after they review the game. If agreed, this will likely also result in a social media push promoting the competition, which will have people engaging your product on multiple online platforms.
I am a grumpy PR person. If something is wrong with a product, I will explain why and what it is. I will be honest. I will listen to complaints and relay them. I do not always have a smile on my face. (This isn’t to say I will scowl or frown all the time, but being chipper is not a priority to me.) I have certain priorities, which outweigh looking happy. Speaking of priorities…
When doing PR for your game or someone else’s, DO:
– Know the product & the competition’s product forward and backward
– Research your target journalists’ preferred genres/platforms
– Know the games outside of the product that may overlap
– Be able to answer questions & discuss games as a whole
– Be polite, but not a doormat
– Pretend to be a person’s friend for reviews or coverage
– Lie to make a product look better or to make a client feel better
– Put down the competition
– Be rude
– Request a certain review score – NEVER! Good or bad, it is enough that your product is being reviewed
Public Relations, when done correctly, will set you apart from others by showing that you care for and can relate to your community, and it will let the press know that you are reliable, open and approachable. Getting the press to notice your product is a large part of PR.
Journalists enjoy press releases with concise, easy-to-read information with readily-linked assets. They are generally busy people who are either working two jobs, maintaining a website full-time, or trying to push out daily articles and keeping up with global industry news. Bullet points are the preferred format for listing information.
– Personalize your press release and be upbeat
– Ensure that the journalist preference/website community matches with your product
– Do not type in all caps, do not be mean, do not expect coverage
– Make sure you’ve spelled everything correctly, make sure all information is consistent
– If you can, do not use a website’s contact form; try to contact the journalist/editor directly
– If your assets are not easily accessible, they will probably be ignored
– Journalists love review copies and exclusives
Press Release Example:
Good morning, Sasha!
We wanted to let you and the Cool Bear Gaming Website community know that we’ve released This Game I Just Created, a twin stick shooter set in an alternate reality where we’re all actually bears!
– It is being released on Steam, Mac, Android, and PS4 on the 12th of December, 2033.
– It has great graphics, over 268 colours on each bear hair
– At least 16 sounds available for each bear
– The special edition comes with an actual bear
Assets are available here: website.company.com/assetspackage.zip/
Please let us know if you want a review copy, or need more information on This Game I Just Created; contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @company
Thanks, and happy shooting!
Image credit: Niuton may