資深業內公關給獨立開發者們提的5條PR建議

原文作者:Alex Van Lepp 譯者:Megan Shieh

(一)巧妙地編輯你的信息

“傳遞信息”應該是公關工作的首要部分,因爲它的作用不僅僅是吸引遊戲媒體和影響者的注意力。在籌集資金的時候,絕大多數的發行商和投資者都只能撥出有限的時間來聽你演說,因此你給出的信息也是脫穎而出的關鍵。

整理出一個句子,言簡意賅地描述你的遊戲以及遊戲中的少數關鍵特性,要讓媒體們一聽就知道:你有他們的讀者或觀衆會喜歡的東西。我們建議不要使用概述的說法,比如“這是一款2D益智跳臺遊戲”;而是重點指出遊戲中與衆不同的特性。

例如,在推廣Asteroid Base的《危險時空的戀人》的時候,我們着重宣傳了該作的“合作”機制、獨特的美術風格,以及團隊協作的特性。(遊戲邦注:在該作中,玩家和一名遊戲夥伴需要協作保護一架粉色霓虹飛船,通過在各個風格各異的空間站之間穿梭來獲得武器、操縱飛艇和充能護盾。)

有時候適當的比喻也會起到積極的作用。我們將該作的遊戲場景比喻成“漢·索羅和盧克·天行者在千年隼號上的一次作戰中合作殺敵、互相喊叫的場景”。這類比喻非常有用,尤其是在面對媒體的時候。

(二)準確地識別你的目標受衆

透過觀察我們發現,獨立開發者們通常都不是很瞭解他們的目標受衆。你需要準確地識別你的目標受衆,並且知道如何有效地吸引他們的注意力,因爲這將會節省你與媒體和影響者進行外聯的時間。我們建議,列舉出所有適合這款遊戲的縱向市場,然後再決定哪些是你的核心受衆。

由於你是這款遊戲的開發者,因此遊戲媒體和影響者是你的首要目標,但是取決於遊戲的具體條件,你可能可以觸及到更爲廣泛的受衆。即使是在電子遊戲這個大市場中,你還是可以把目光集中到更爲具體的用戶羣體。你可以找到專門報道合作類遊戲的媒體,或專門報道打鬥類遊戲的媒體,等等。

Little Big Planet(from verycd)

Little Big Planet(from verycd)

(三)先調查,後行動

當你自己負責公關事務的時候,時間上可能會受到限制,但是在與任何媒體或影響者聯繫之前,還是得先撥出一些時間來對他們進行調查。媒體名單上的人不計其數,你不可能有足夠的時間和精力去聯繫每一個人,而且如果找錯了人,那麼你投入的時間和精力就都白白浪費了。有的時候,你需要把注意力放在那些更有可能會買這款遊戲的人羣身上,因此你必須找到擁有這類核心受衆的、較爲小型的媒體或影響者。

你需要將自己的時間和精力投放在那些可以接觸到你的主要目標受衆的、具有影響力的媒體身上。我們建議你列出一個名單,將那些報道過同類遊戲或者經常撰寫相關內容的媒體和影響者列舉出來。例如,GameInformer有一個每週一次的科幻專欄,如果科幻愛好者是你的目標受衆之一,那麼你就肯定得聯繫那個專欄的作者。

最重要的是,不要盲目地聯繫遊戲媒體。先對他們進行調查,確保他們曾經報道過同類遊戲並且有在關注你發佈遊戲的平臺。例如,不要給只報道PC遊戲的媒體推薦你的主機遊戲。

(四)以正確的方式來聯繫媒體和影響者

遊戲媒體和影響者們每天都會收到數百封電子郵件,他們沒有時間把全部的郵件都看上一遍。要想讓他們打開你的電子郵件,你必須在郵件的標題裏就把遊戲的不同之處體現出來。儘量保持簡短並且做出比較,比如“《使命召喚》遇上《火箭聯盟》”。如果你做了調查的話,就會知道對方報道過哪些同類遊戲,那麼你就可以利用這些信息來製作一個能夠吸引他們眼球的郵件標題。列舉出你曾經獲得過的所有重要獎項,比如GDC年度最佳遊戲獎之類的,你也可以提一下對方曾經報道過的、你之前開發的遊戲。

聯繫媒體的時候,時機是非常重要的,大半夜發郵件或打電話給別人不會給你帶來什麼好處。選擇在正常的工作時間內聯繫他們,並設法瞭解他們的辦公地點。此外,要注意近期可能舉辦的大型遊戲活動(展會什麼的),因爲在這些活動的籌備過程中,媒體的收件箱甚至會更滿。

最後,不要不敢跟媒體和影響者跟進進度。也許他們錯過了你的第一封郵件,也許你需要把郵件標題調整成更吸引眼球的東西。這個過程肯定不會很容易,但是如果對方是合適的人,那麼這個過程應該不會太麻煩。

(五)找對發行時機

我們都知道獨立開發者應該避免在秋季發行遊戲,因爲在這段時間內會有一堆3A遊戲發行,但是現在的遊戲媒體幾乎一年四季都很忙碌。我們建議,選擇一個有較少同類遊戲發行的日子,並且注意類似PAX, E3和GDC等大型展會的舉辦日期。如果你正在準備發行一款主機遊戲,諮詢你的銷售代表,因爲他們會幫你選出一個最佳的發行日期。

此外,如果遊戲有一個特定的主題,那麼就把遊戲的發行日期和相關的節日或文化事件捆綁到一起。當我們準備在Play Station 4上發行《危險時空的戀人》的時候,我們選擇在情人節的那段時間裏發行遊戲,將它與情人的主題關聯到一起。這麼做不僅推動了這個移植項目的成功,而且它也使我們能夠從遊戲主播和媒體那裏獲得與情人節相關的版面。

總而言之,遊戲最終獲得的曝光率取決於你投入公關工作的時間和努力。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

Solidify Your Messaging

Messaging should be the first aspect to PR you should work on because it is not only used to garner media and influencer attention, but it is also key to differentiating yourself from other games when looking for funding – most publishers and investors have limited time to hear your pitch.

This means developing one sentence to clearly describe your game and a handful of key features that show journalists you have something that their audience would want to play. We recommend staying away from general statements, such as “it’s a 2D puzzle platformer,” and instead focus on what is distinctly different about the game.

For example, when working with Asteroid Base on Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, we heavily promoted the game’s frantic co-op gameplay that has you and friends switch between various spaceship stations, as well as the unique art and teamwork features. Sometimes it helps to make comparisons, and in the case of Lovers we compared the gameplay to when Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are manning the Millennium Falcon and yelling at each other during a firefight. This type of comparison was extremely helpful, especially with broader media.

Know Your Audience

One area we see indie developers often fall short is in knowing their target audiences. Properly identifying your target audience and knowing how to connect with them is a huge plus because it will save you time when conducting outreach to media and influencers. We recommend listing any vertical you think your game would fit into and determine which are your core audiences.

Since you’re making a game, video game outlets and influencers are your No. 1 demographic, but depending on the game you may be able to reach a broader audience. Even within the video game vertical you can focus on going more niche. There are outlets that cover only co-op games, there are fighting game outlets, and much more for you to tap into.

Research

Time may be limited for you when handling PR yourself, but allocating some time to research media and influencers before contacting anyone will result in increased success. You can’t contact everyone and if you are targeting the wrong people, you are wasting efforts. Sometimes it makes more sense to focus attention on contacting smaller outlets or influencers with a core audience of people that are more likely to purchase your game – this is especially true for VR.

What you need to do is focus on influential press that will reach your key target audiences. We recommend creating a list of media and influencers that have covered similar types of games and regularly write about certain topics. For instance, Game Informer has a weekly science-fiction column and if sci-fi is one of your target audiences then you want to make certain to specifically target that writer.

Most importantly don’t contact someone just because you saw them on a media list. Research that outlet and make sure they even cover your type of game and the platform you’re launching on. Don’t send a PC-only outlet such as Rock Paper Shotgun a console code because it is both a waste of your time and a code.

Contacting Media and Influencers

Journalists and influencers receive hundreds of emails a day and they don’t have the time to read every single one. To get them to open your email I recommend a strong subject line that calls out what differentiates your game from others. Try to keep it short and make a comparison (Call of Duty meets Rocket League). If you’ve done your research you’ll know what similar games someone has covered and you can use this information to craft a convincing subject line. Call out any major awards you may have received, such as a GDC Best in Play award, and you can also mention any previous games that the person may have covered.

Timing is important when contacting journalists because emailing or calling someone at night isn’t going to get you covered. Contact media during regular work hours and know where that writer is based. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of events that may be taking place because an editor’s inbox is going to be even more full during the lead up to these shows.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to follow up with media and influencers. Maybe they missed your first email, maybe you need to tweak the subject line into something that is a little more eye-appealing. It takes work, but if you’re targeting the right people it shouldn’t be too cumbersome.

Know When To Launch

We all know that indie developers should avoid fall releases because of the bevy of AAA titles launching during that time, but nowadays there is hardly a “slow” period of time for media. Pick a launch date when there are fewer game releases to compete against and be aware of when shows such as PAX, E3 and GDC are taking place. If you’re launching on console, work with your reps because they will help you pick an optimum release date.

Discover more jobs in games

Additionally, if your game has a certain theme to it, tie launch into holidays and cultural happenings. When we launched Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime onto PlayStation 4 we decided on a release around Valentine’s Day to tie in the game’s love themes with the holiday. Not only did this result in a successful port, but it also enabled us to garner specific Valentine’s related coverage from both streamers and media.

Overall, the amount of success you have in generating awareness for your game will depend on how much time and effort you put into the PR process. You put in the hours to make a great game, so it only makes sense to put in the work to ensure people know it’s available.

Alex Van Lepp is Partner at VIM Global, a PR and marketing consulting service for video games, consumer electronics and technology. The company has worked with indies like DrinkBox Studios (Guacamelee!, Severed), 13AM Games (Runbow), and Asteroid Base (Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime), and recently launched a new service, GameBoost, that offers PR services for indie developers on a limited budget. (Source: gamesindustry.biz  )