“Invent a time machine!” – if you just started considering what to do in terms of PR and communication for the game you are releasing in a month or two, that might be my best advice.
Other than that, my basic advice for anyone doing PR and communication for games is pretty simple, listed below and free of charge – it’s really not rocket science.
However, if you want it done well… drop me a mail.
Remember that you yourself is way more in love with your game than everybody else in the world. Take a step back and think about why you should bother complete strangers with your game – figure out what your story is. It’s all about telling the best story if you want attention.
Make an effort to nurture your community and convert some of them to ambassadors, and they will fight for your game on all channels. Do the same with just a few journalists or influencers, and they will end up being your greatest advocates when pursuing organic coverage.
Get your pitch together
Make sure that you have the “for press” elevator pitch sorted out – you only have a split second to get journalists and influencers interested in your game. The pitch needs to be on brand, consistent with tone of voice and honest. And everyone in your team should know it by heart.
Getting hold of the right people
There is no easy fix for building an effective list of journalists and influencers. Either you pay a professional PR agency to have them use theirs on your behalf, or you buckle up and start doing research.
You need assets
Make sure that you have your visuals together and ready before pushing your story – everything from screenshots and key art to trailers and photos of your spokespersons.
And you need great assets
If your visuals assets suck, there are plenty of other games ready to provide something more appealing to the media. Put some work into making great screenshots that tell stories and trailers that are fun to watch. Hire a professional photographer for the portraits. And provide high-resolution visuals, also for non-print media.
Make it easy
Your assets should be easily available for download on your website or just placed in a publicly available cloud solution. Don’t force media and influencers to have to write you to get a hold of assets – they will just find another game to cover.
Save some juicy bits
Actually, you should not make all of your visuals publicly available. Save just a few cool pieces for use as exclusive assets when that major feature on the international game site comes knocking and you want to look your best.
Get rid of the old
Manage the assets that you have publicly available to make sure they fit with the current state of the game and the story you are currently telling about yourself. But do save all the old stuff, concept art, sketches and such offline – you might very well need it later.
Journalists love copy paste
A lot of “journalists” covering games don’t have a lot of time to spend on writing news stories and the like. They will happily copy/paste/publish well-written press releases, ready-made interviews and trailers in a blink of an eye. Take advantage of this and seize control of the story told about you.
Don’t be a prima donna
Eye-level communication is the way to go, no matter if it is on social media, community management or when dealing with press and influencers. Keep it simple and down to earth – it’s really not rocket science!