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Everyone can do PR

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How to do PR when you are an indie game developer

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Everyone can do PR

  1. 1. EVERYONE CAN DO PR How Small Studios Get Themselves Heard Thomas REISENEGGER @Olima
  2. 2. BUT WHY SHOULD YOU DO PR?
  3. 3. @Olima 3 Because not doing PR is like… Working for years to write a really amazing book... … and put it on a shelf without telling anybody about it.
  4. 4. @Olima 4 Because not doing PR is like… • You have a perfect first date with the love of your life… … grab a taxi, go home and never contact her/him again. • You are about to break the world record in a 100m sprint… …but decide to take a break at 90m.
  5. 5. @Olima 5 Thomas Reisenegger, MA • Currently - German PR Executive ICO Partners, Brighton UK League of Legends, SMITE, Fractured Space Road Not Taken, Dungeon of the Endless • PR Manager – all about apps Austria‘s biggest app agency Porsche, Haribo, A1, Wüstenrot • consol.AT / consolPlus 7 years freelance video game journalist • Austrian Award „PR Panther“ in Youngster Category Launch PR campaign for iOS/Android game Diskobolos
  6. 6. @Olima 6 Content Overview What is PR? Get to know your game The Must Haves The Nice To Haves The Awesome To Haves 1 2 3 4 5 Required Skill Level PRImpact
  7. 7. What is PR? Get to know your game The Must Haves The Nice To Haves The Awesome To Haves 1
  8. 8. @Olima 8 What is PR? • “ (…) management function that establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the publics on whom its success and failure depends.” Cultip • (…) management of communication between an organization and its publics (…)”. Gruning & Hunt In short: Get people to talk about you without paying them to do so.
  9. 9. @Olima 9 What can PR do? PR can get attention for your game, but can‘t make a bad game good
  10. 10. @Olima 10 Key goals of indie game PR • Build up credibility • Get attention • Transport your messages - right framing
  11. 11. What is that PR? Get to know your game The Must Haves The Nice To Haves The Awesome To Haves 2
  12. 12. @Olima 12 Get to REALLY know your game • You are not selling a game, you are selling a story • AIDA rule (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) • Decide for one key message
  13. 13. @Olima 13 The Friends Test for Key Messages
  14. 14. @Olima 14 Diskobolos, iOS 2012 • Hard sell, due to strong gameplay focus and weak graphics • Space Invaders like arcade game with pinball elements Casual is dead, hardcore is back
  15. 15. @Olima 15 The Indie Advantage • “Luxury“ of speaking to a narrower target audience • More flexible and faster to react • More personal, company has a face
  16. 16. What is that PR? Get to know your game The Must Haves The Nice To Haves The Awesome To Haves 3
  17. 17. @Olima 17 The Must Haves • Website • Press kit • Social media presence
  18. 18. @Olima 18 Website 1/2 • Your game‘s business card • Make a website per game:  Good for SEO  Brings credibility  Easy to get • Central point people will check if they look for information about your game
  19. 19. @Olima 19 Website 2/2 • If possible: Do it yourself and stay in control • Easy to make with tools like Wordpress • Recommendation:
  20. 20. @Olima 20 Presskit • Zip folder with all essential information press needs about your game • Usually contains:  Factsheet  Screenshots  Logos  Trailer  Press releases
  21. 21. @Olima 21 Digital Presskit • Mix of factsheet and presskit on a website • Recommendation: Do Presskit (http://dopresskit.com) • Created by Rami Ismail from Vlambeer (Ridiculous Fishing, Luftrausers) • Set up in 30 to 60 minutes
  22. 22. @Olima 22
  23. 23. @Olima 23 Factsheet • Game description • Feature list • Short “about the studios“ text • Short “about the game“ text • Info box (genre, price, platforms…)
  24. 24. @Olima 24 Define Your Facts • Don‘t act like the frontman of a hipster band • If you don‘t define things, somebody else will.
  25. 25. @Olima 25 Social Media • Have Facebook, Twitter and so on, at least passively • Easy to keep in touch with people • Good and easy feedback channel
  26. 26. What is that PR? Get to know your game The Must Haves The Nice To Haves The Awesome To Haves 4
  27. 27. @Olima 27 Nice to haves • What is a news beat? • Press release • Gamespress • Mailing list • ASO (App Store Optimisation) • Socialize • Blog • Review Management • Monitoring tools
  28. 28. @Olima 28 What is a news beat?
  29. 29. @Olima 29 Must have news beats • Game announcement • First screenshots • First trailer • Beta start / preview possibilities (even if press only) • Release date announcement • Release announcement (+ launch trailer)
  30. 30. @Olima 30 Other news beats • New assets (video, trailer, concept art, dev diaries) • New content • New platforms • Awards • Sales milestones • Anything else worth publishing for press
  31. 31. @Olima 31 Press communication • Does not always have to be a full press release (just for announcement & launch) otherwise just short mail • Always with short personal text (copy press release below) • Make it easy to re-use (write it directly in the mail, no crazy formatting, have all relevant links there) • Proofread!
  32. 32. @Olima 32 Press communication • Get to the point • Hierarchy of information 1. Catchy headline 2. Personal intro text 3. Press Release Attention Interest Desire Action
  33. 33. @Olima 33 Sample press communication
  34. 34. @Olima 34 Sample press communication Fist Headline Quote Intro Detailed info Assets About texts Sub-Headline
  35. 35. @Olima 35 Gamespress.com • Press & asset archive for journalists • Daily newsletter • Upload press releases and assets for free • Get republished on gamasutra & MCV • Easy to reach and credible • Good source of inspiration
  36. 36. @Olima 36 Mailing list • Figure out 2 – 3 similar titles to yours • Google for sites / journalists / YouTubers who publish about similar games or wrote about you • If budget: Get help of an agency • If regular releases, use mailing software. Recommendation:
  37. 37. @Olima 37 App store optimization (ASO) • Crucial for apps, very good online resources • Good screenshots • Clear store description (update with reviews, credibility!) • Spend time on keywords (iOS)
  38. 38. @Olima 38 Socialize • Know your media • Meet up online & offline • Local events & conferences
  39. 39. @Olima 39 Blog • Written blog or dev diary • Build a community and keep your fans up to date • Gives you strong personal connection
  40. 40. @Olima 40 Review management • Decide and make a list of journalists who you contact personally by mail • If you send a review key and don‘t see a review, follow up on it politely • Always keep Metacritic in mind
  41. 41. @Olima 41 Metacritic in Google search • Decide and make a list of journalists which you contact personally per mail • If you send a review key and don‘t see a review follow up on it politely • Always keep Metacritic in mind
  42. 42. @Olima 42 Easy ways to monitor your game • Tools for basic monitoring  Google search (by time frame and country in suitable language)  Set up Google alerts  Twitter search • Find new communication opportunities • Collect press feedback (and contacts)
  43. 43. What is that PR? Get to know your game The Must Haves The Nice To Haves The Awesome To Haves5
  44. 44. @Olima 44 Guerrilla Marketing Guerrilla marketing involves unusual approaches to advertising, such as targeted promotional-driven encounters in public places, street giveaways of products, PR stunts, flash-mob presentations, or any unconventional marketing intended to get results and create a memorable brand experience. Jay Conrad Levinson, Jeannie Levinson, Amy Levinson
  45. 45. @Olima 45 Why care about Guerrilla Marketing? • Obscurity is a greater threat than piracy • If done right small budget, big PR result • Relatively untapped field
  46. 46. @Olima 46 Risks of Guerilla Marketing • Often breaks taboos • Not always 100% legal • Not always results in good PR • Don‘t believe that “there is no such thing as bad publicity“ • Budget varies greatly
  47. 47. Guerilla Marketing Examples : Big Games
  48. 48. @Olima 48 God of War II • Ancient Greece-themed party • Freshly slaughtered goat, topless servants • Sony recalled 80,000 issues of official PS magazine
  49. 49. @Olima 49 Burnout 2 • Acclaim announced to pay all speed tickets on launch day • Police obviously prevented campaign from happening • Acclaim planned that from the beginning – free PR, no risk
  50. 50. @Olima 50 Dante‘s Inferno • Christian protesters show up to demonstrate against Dante’s Inferno at E3 • All hired by EA • Plus for creative slogans: “Trade in your PlayStation for a PrayStation”
  51. 51. Guerilla Marketing Examples : Indie Games
  52. 52. @Olima 52 Velocity 2x
  53. 53. @Olima 53 Velocity 2x on Twitter
  54. 54. @Olima 54 Anodyne • Advertising on Pirate Bay • Costs in total: 7$ • Sold 4511 games and 1750 bundles • 240,000 unique users over the sale period • Very popular on reddit Destructoid, PCGamer, IndieGames….
  55. 55. @Olima 55 Game Dev Tycoon • Own version of the game for illegal download sites • Pirates complained about their games in their pirated game being pirated • Players of this version saw their in-game creations pirated, resulting in a massive loss in profit
  56. 56. @Olima 56 Retro City Rampage • Devs built playable NES version of the game • Made 10 minute Youtube video explaining the process • “ROM“ Retro City Rampage video gets nearly 170.000 views • Major news beat months after release
  57. 57. @Olima 57 How to come up with ideas? • Creativity techniques  Look at other industries  Brainstorming  Six Thinking Hats  Method 635  …
  58. 58. @Olima 58 How to come up with ideas?
  59. 59. @Olima 59 Success factors for Guerrilla Marketing 5
  60. 60. @Olima 60 3 Take aways KNOW YOUR GAME Key message BE CREDIBLE Professional appearance & news beats GET ATTENTION Guerrilla Marketing
  61. 61. Thanks for your attention
  62. 62. WWW.ICOMEDIA.EU OFFICE 6, 10 FLEET STREET BRIGHTON BN1 4ZE, UNITED KINGDOM CONTACT@ICOMEDIA.EU +44 (0)20 7193 5158 European Online & Indie Games Experts WWW.ICOMEDIA.EU OFFICE 6, 10 FLEET STREET BRIGHTON BN1 4ZE, UNITED KINGDOM CONTACT@ICOMEDIA.EU +44 (0)20 7193 5158 Bespoke PR for video games

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