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How to write a press release

by Ludovic Servat on 09/01/17 10:12:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Writing a press release is an important task when you want to share your game to the world with the help of medias.

It took me a while to find out how to write a press release. So I wanted to share what I learned to do your own:

  1. Writing your press release will take time. Preparing mine took one month to get something decent to contact press. But, when it was ready, contacting press became easy.
  2. Your press release will represent your game in the most synthetic way. That means you have to be sure of what your game will be. So sending press release very early in development can be risky because your game will change along its development.
  3. Write a short press release. Press receive tons of mails everyday from developers. The more your press release is long, the more your press contact will ignore it. Less than 2000 characters is good but not more.
  4. Know your contact. Show that you know the work of your contact and why you are contacting him. If you don't, why your contact should take time to look at your work? . To add a reference to an article related to your topic/interest from the press contacted is always a good thing.
  5. Share a news that is worth it. There are a lot of things that can interest people to write about but there are more they don't care about. To help you find what you should share, ask yourself what makes you read the press.
  6. Write an elevator pitch. It is the quickest speech you can tell to catch someone's interest while telling roughly what is your game. It have to lets people imagining what your game could be but not exactly what it is.
  7. Look at other games press releases. The website Gamepress is a good place to look at other press releases and get some inspiration. You will see how successful games  talked to press.
  8. Add only the most important links. Don't add to much links because your contact don't want to bother choosing which one explore. Best is to have 1 or 2 links max to give additional information but not more.
  9. Tell to the press why you are contacting them.
  10. An embargo is a way to tell to your press contact that your brilliant news shouldn't be shared before a specific date. Use embargo if it's vital but avoid it if you can. An embargo means 2 things:- it forces your contact to remember when to talk about your game, they hate it and they will forget most of the time.- it forces you to get back to your contact to give a reminder of your press release.
  11. Don't spam your contact. : When other developers say "Spam the internet!", they mean "Share your new information everywhere once and do it again when you have a different/new one to share or other informations from someone else pushed away yours". Spam is a close repetition in time or space. Like repeating same thing in a small period or in the same place.

Now, let me share with you an example of my game press release:


Hello, I am Ludovic Servat, from Visumeca Games.

I discovered AwesomePress with an article about SuperGame written by GreatWriter and I guessed you could be interested by my work.

The last 3 years, I developed the independant game Pharmakon and I would like to know if you would like to write a news about it and help the game to reach the players.

1.Here is your review key to get Pharmakon on Steam: 
HERE-ISTH-ESTE-AMKEY

2.Here is the press release about it :

-----
Headline: Pharmakon, a unique mix of turn-based strategy and puzzle game.

Elevator Pitch:
Pharmakon is a roguelite turn based game about tactical battles between puzzle-powered drones and elemental beasts.

- Steam Store Page : http://store.steampowered.com/app/654660/Pharmakon/

Pharmakon is a brand-new title mixing traditional puzzle and combat strategy.
The adventure takes place in a sci-fi world ruled by technological exploitation of nature’s elements.
The game challenges players to fight elemental beasts infesting their faction’s territory.
To achieve their goal, players power up a drone with elemental puzzle parts to set up tactical attacks against dangerous packs of beasts.

It is a game for players loving to : Think, Measure, Calculate, Adapt, Coordinate, Manage equipment, Optimize, Combine and Anticipate.

Pharmakon will be released on Steam July 20 at a 10% discount price.

More information on Pharmakon's offcial website.
-----

Feel free to ask any question at contact@visumeca.com.

Best regards, 
Ludo

This will help you to see how you could make your own. However, I don't recommend to copy-paste mine because press will think you don't have your own identity.

Communication is often a problem for indie game developers then I hope this article will help!


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