It’s PAX East this week, which means more than 70,000 (70,000!?!?) people are rolling into Bean Town to check out the latest games, meet up with friends and grab a few drinks at the legendary bars and pubs spread throughout our historic city.
There’s a lot going on in Boston, no matter what those hard news reporters at The Onion say… probably more than you think. And with a crap-ton of people coming in from the OTHER coast this week, I thought that as a native and current Masshole, I’d provide some helpful tips so you can have a good time without getting, you know, punched in the throat by Fitzy. read more
The Pending Move of MavPR East Unearths Archaeological Treasure Trove of Giveaway Tees
The principals of Maverick PR have been around for a long time. A REALLY long time. If you haven’t checked out our BIG HUGE LIST of the games we have worked on — go look at it now (always being updated)– we’ll wait… OK, so now you’ve seen we’re older than dirt and have worked on just about every platform and genre there is in video games. read more
Today on CrispyGamer, writer Kyle Orland explores the somewhat complicated processes that video game PR people use in determining who and what outlets receive free review copies of games. It’s never an easy decision to cut someone off the list, that’s for sure, but there are time when you really don’t have a choice.
Maverick PR Partner Matt (me!) is quoted throughout the article, sharing his thoughts based on a decade of deciding where to send these “free goodies.”
Disclaimer: these “free goodies” may not be as fun as you think, as they may require you to spend 10-20 hours completing a game and another 5 or so hours crafting a “review” full of useful facts, features and moments of note, all supported with insightful opinions and references; at the end of which you will be strong-armed into choosing a – let’s face it – somewhat arbitrary number or letter to designate the “fun” you experienced while slogging through the aforementioned 10-20 hours of gameplay…
Anyway… read on at this link and enjoy the article. A quickie quote from the article featuring Matt:
“Some publishers … still refuse to expand their list and stick only to the ‘big’ players in the space,” Frary said. “This is really too bad, and they end up missing a massive, and growing, segment of the market. … [It's] particularly frustrating because when you look at the smaller videogame sites out there as a whole, they have a huge voice that reaches a critical audience that the larger outlets sometimes miss.”
Over on PR_Flak’s Flak Attak, I’m discussing the impact that emerging business models and added content is having on the media cycle for video games and how PR and press are having to adjust. Between DLC coverage widening the coverage window and “new to us” online game emerging in North America, there’s a lot of confusion as to what should be covered and how…
This is where the next challenge for the VG media and VG PR professionals lies – to define the terms and options for covering what, by current definitions, is simply uncoverable.
Take a read of “Shipping a Game Ain’t What It Used to Be” - hope you enjoy it! Love to know your thoughts.
MavPR’s old friend, Tom Ohle, who we knew first at BioWare during our work on the Neverwinter Nights franchise and then later when he was running Evolve PR, has launched a new blogging site for marketing and PR professionals called “Evolution of PR.” Essentially it’s a place where we can gather, post thoughts and discuss theory amongst marketing, PR and media professionals, focusing quite a bit on the video game industry.
Tom asked me to participate, and really, I’m more than happy to. Of course, it will be only from time-to-time so I can still share thoughts both on this site and on PR_Flak’s Flak Attak, but it’s a great idea and we’re really excited to support it.
The first post on EoPR is a reminder to aspiring VG PR professionals that working in this industry is about being a great PR person first, and a lover of video games second. If you don’t have a love of PR and a desire to learn more all the time, you’ll never make it, no matter how many times you’ve finished Halo 3 on the hardest difficulty setting.
Check out the post here. Hope you enjoy it.
Welcome to Part III of The Art of the Screenshot. So far we’ve covered “big picture issues” – how it is PR’s responsibility to produce screenshots that do more than just look good and the importance of conveying emotions and attitude in assets.
Now that you understand the key ingredients, you’re ready to rock n’ roll! So let’s cover more hands-on material, namely, what you need to do to work effectively with your PD teams to secure great shots.
Do this wrong and you’ll get shots that aren’t perfect along with a PD team that thinks you’re a total idiot. Do it right… well, then you’ve got PR gold.
Over on PR_Flak’s Flak Attak, I take on the issue of MetaCritic and its misleading and distorting aggregation of review scores. It’s a major issue in our industry, and it can no longer be denied or tolerated.
I can’t tell you how many times I get emails from the development team after reviews post saying: “Hey! We got a B- on XXX site, but on MetaCritic it shows up as a 67! WTF!?!?” It happens all the time.
What I’d love to see is some kind of resolution that removes the obvious issues and allows editorial integrity to reign supreme. Hopefully we can find a way to get the scoring system fixed.
Meanwhile, here’s a <snip> for you, and be sure to head over there and check it out:
It comes down to a simple fact — MetaCritic casts a powerful shadow but it is constituted of editorial inaccuracy, factual distortions and unchecked subjectivity.
The Problem With MetaCritic - PR_Flak’s Flak Attak
…our job as PR and Marketers is to create an
emotional connection with our target audience…”
Before we get into the details of my advice for acquiring and distributing great and effective screens successfully, I want to take a step back to take another look at the BIG PICTURE.
Previously, in Part I, I suggested that screen shots should be more than just literal representations of what a game looks like; it is PR’s responsibility to ensure they are memorable.
In this edition, we’ll cover the importance of injecting attitude instead of action and showing the fun of a game rather than the activity of playing.
IF YOUR SCREEN SHOTS AREN’T WORKING FOR YOU AND
DOING MORE THAN JUST LOOKING GOOD,
THEY’RE NOT DOING ANYTHING AT ALL.” – Me
More than anything else, screen shots are the ubiquitous calling cards of a video game. Typically, hundreds are released for each upcoming title through general screen shot “updates” or targeted shot releases that focus on specific features and help a writer illustrate a story.
We all use them. We all rely on them… and heavily. But the truth is, quite often, PR isn’t stepping up and fulfilling their responsibilities.
Here’s the thing — many PR people mistakenly look at screens as simply an “asset” or a means to an end — an item that shows what the game looks like. But screen shots can — and should — be so much more than that! And it’s on PR’s shoulders to make it happen.
DON’T BE SO LAZY – STICK TO IT AND GET THE GREAT SCREEN, NOT THE “OK” ONE…
Over on PR_Flak’s Flak Attak, Matt takes the PR industry to task about the traditional structure of agencies and the reliance on junior staff members for execution.
As you can see on our front page, MavPR’s philosophy has always been “…only the most veteran professionals provide superior PR work.” This commitment to senior level expertise means we avoid the failures inherent with delegating primary execution of activities to inexperienced staff members.
Unfortunately for a lot of game companies that hire external PR, most PR agencies don’t follow the same belief system – it’s too expensive for them to do so. Not so for MavPR.
Below are some excerpts; for the entire blog, head over here now.
- “Traditional PR agency structure is designed to be most cost-effective when the most inexperienced people do the most work. The more hours an AAE puts in on your game versus a VP, the more profitable it is to the agency. Take a moment and do the math on what that means for your game.”
- “So if you’re a typical game publisher or developer with a game that needs promoting, you will most likely enter a new biz pitch with a traditional video game PR agency. They will arrive flush with seemingly impressive people, including the [president] and [vice presidents]; a remote office (probably in NY, LA or SF) on speaker phone; and an [account director] who sports a furrowed brow and is nodding his head – in understanding – while furiously taking notes as you speak…
- …But the hard truth is, this army of “senior” PR people will be the ones to lock down your business, but they will NOT be the ones working on your game. The kid back at the office making copies of the pitch PPT is getting ready to make phone calls on your behalf.”
Maybe it’s time for YOU to try something new?
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