I just want to address a few things real quick about press releases and the amount of expected free press from publishers. Right now there are roughly 250 projects on Kickstarter for board games. That is right about 250 games currently needing press and the ability to help separate themselves from the other games out there. This means websites are inundated with people asking for free press all the time. “We are just one man with a limited budget” is the popular phrase the comes with many emails. Guess what? So are we. That means to me, it takes time from my studio at $150 an hour to post your press release for free to reach our followers and many times it’s at last-minute notice or after the game has already launched. So here are few things to think about when sending a press release asking for help for free with all the others asking for help for free.
1. What are you offering the people helping you? – Many times, I have never, ever heard of the company looking to launch the game so there is no built up relationship. Many of you haven’t followed us (us from here on out means any news site) on social media, you haven’t subscribed to the website, you haven’t done anything other than ask people to help you for free with no benefit to them. You ask them to stop what they are doing and post your news so you can sell product and hopefully make a profit on it (most likely not, but still where you want to be.) While it is nice to help others out and ideally we don’t do this for anything in return, it would sure be nice if the hundreds to thousands of new publishers would actually help people like us out too. You see in networking “What comes around, goes around.” That means if you expect people to do something for you, you should probably do something for them. If you want the best results, you do it first before asking for help. So please, if you want to get your news out to a websites audience, then do the right thing and subscribe, follow, like etc…. If not, we may start charging a fee of $15 dollars to post your press release. It’s only fair since I am losing money to help you out and you aren’t returning the favor.
I know many of you will say, but there is just to many of you to do that with. Our feeds will be to….. blah, blah, blah. Yet we get tons of emails asking for us to publish your release. DM’s, tweets etc asking us to check out your Kickstarter and so on. This is most definitely a one-way street type of deal. Whenever you ask people to do things for free, then you really should at least do something in return. That is the nice and proper thing to do.
2. Give a few days lead time – That means send out your press release a few days early so that people have time to post it and make sure all is good with it before it goes live. You can always say “Do not release until….” This makes it much easier for people like me to get your release up on the site in time and match your launch time for a bigger, more powerful push for you.
3. Send your press release in multiple formats – People like things in different ways. For me, it’s much easier to just copy and paste an email release. Others prefer PDF’s or links. The hardest is trying to copy a press release from a newsletter. I simply won’t. It takes too much of my time. Learn to disseminate PR like a pro and make different options available to your news outlets. Make sure to send box art and other images as well. The Kickstarter page never has the box art on it. That means you have to send it with your press release and very few every do.
4. Know what you are asking – This means understand how much this stuff costs that you are asking for free. How much people like me that run an actual PR Agency charge for this type of deal and be very appreciative of the help you do get for free. Many of you don’t even RT the effort. This is a very selfish attitude to have and won’t likely make us (meaning anyone) want to help you in the future. I know you are busy with a launch, but so is everyone else. Always keep that in mind and work hard to appreciate the effort on your behalf. It goes a long way.
5. Have a budget – Many of you first-time publishers or even 2nd or 3rd-time publishers have zero budget for marketing. This is a HUGE mistake. If you aren’t looking to make a career of publishing games, that is fine. For those that are, you must learn branding and positioning. I can’t even tell you how many people want me to create a Fantasy Flight Level video for your launch but have zero budget or only have half of what it costs to do it but expect much higher production than you can afford. You get what you pay for. If you have a small budget, you will get low-quality promotion. You use low-level voice over actors, write your own copy and use low-level video production. While you do have to work with what you have, to turn the corner in business and start attracting real attention to your product, you need high-level production. You need high-quality voice-over etc. Use a professional who actually does this for a living. Don’t think you know enough to do it yourself. I have yet to see a really good, really well-done video unless done by Fantasy Flight Games. Remember, you get what you pay for.
6. Make it clear what you are asking – So many times, I get one line emails saying “Hey! Check out our Kickstarter!” and that is it. Let’s just skip the disrespectfulness of this type of email to begin with and just focus on the purpose of it. So, what exactly is the purpose? Are you asking me to post this? Back this? Post a press release? What are you asking me to do with this? If it’s just to check it out, you can just tweet me with a link. Don’t email people without a real point to it. I know not everyone minds things like this, but personally, I am a very busy person. I have a studio to run on top of all the PR, Management and social media I have to do for clients. Please keep things like this in mind when approaching others. Give a short, professional email with exactly what you are looking for. It sure makes it easier for me to respond and much more likely.
Doing proper PR is very, very time-consuming, but it pays very big dividends when done right. Please don’t get lazy with your emails or use twitter to approach with press issues. Be professional always. It makes it much likely to get the help you are asking for.
Below is a list of link for Club Fantasci. Please consider subscribing to us, following us or subscribing to them before you ask us to post your press release.
Thanks for humoring me with a read of this! I truly wish all of you the best of luck in your launches!
Club Fantasci Around the Web:
Club Fantasci on Facebook: www.facebook.com/clubfantasci
Club Fantasci on Twitter: www.twitter.com/clubfantasci
Club Fantasci on Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Clubfantasciboardgames/
Club Fantasci on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lowryagency_clubfantasci/
Club Fantasci on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClubFantasci