At the TIGA Mobile and Tablet Games Event today, Premier PR's director of games Simon Byron has delivered a talk titled: 'how people like you can avoid paying for people like me.'
His detailed five-point presentation explained in simple, practical terms how mobile game developers should handle PR.
1) Know where you want to be
Byron explained that developers should resist the temptation to throw out poor press releases to large numbers of press outlets you don't want your release to end up under the #prfail hashtag on Twitter, after all.
Instead, you should pick out a site where you want to be covered PocketGamer.co.uk, for example. Then, use a utility like similarsites.com to find other websites that might be appropriate outlets for your news.
It's worth focusing on outlets with highly engaged audiences, rather than just big sites, though. See how many people are commenting on each story a site published, and use this as a guide.
2) Know what you want to be
Identify a game that you aspire to be like, or that might appeal to a similar audience as your title.
A simple Google search will show you where that game has been covered, and these might be the outlets that might be worth approaching.
"But you can be smarter," Byron said. If you save a game's app icon to your desktop, you can drag it into the Google search bar.
This will throw up a new set of results that might you should consider contacting.
3) Plan your content
"Every game has stuff that is newsworthy," explained Byron, but developers can't always pick out these nuggets and communicate them to the press.
So here are some things that are not newsworthy: launching a website (everyone has one); launching a Facebook page; launching a game that's like an exciting game, but with a twist; and running a Kickstarter campaign.
And here are some things that are newsworthy: making a new game; revealing a release date; revealing a price; launching a game out today or tomorrow; and doing a Kickstarter campaign with a well known figure.
Equally, "if you are the first to do something, or the thing you're doing is demonstrably better than the current best thing," you should reach out and communicate this to the press.
4) Get in touch
Next, Byron busted some myths about journalists. The first was that journalists like phone calls. They rarely do.
Journalists don't usually go for funny press releases either, and they often won't read every word of your press release. They're busy, after all, so press releases must be carefully laid out and not be overloaded with information.
Byron said that studios should spend time making individual contact with journalists, rather than BCC-ing dozens of people.
Rather than giving the impression that you only get in touch with a journalist when you want something, make each person you contact feel special, and follow-up with them once you've got the coverage you're after (with thanks, rather than pedantic spelling corrections).
"The press really like indie devs," Byron continued. Using New Star Soccer as a case study, Byron explained how word of mouth and canny use of social media led to an explosion in popularity for New Star Soccer, months after its original release.
The developer's independent status also helped matters, as it created a narrative in which a plucky individual triumphed over the big corporations.
Developers should use this status, Byron urged, engaging with their communities in forums and responding to their fans over social media.
PocketGamer.biz's news editor 2012-2013
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