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How to Build a Video Game Press Contact List from scratch?

by Yohann Miniere on 05/14/19 10:48:00 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Promote your Video Game using Press Contact List

Public Relation is a necessity when marketing and an independent video game. Video Game Exhibitions are great opportunities to meet with Press Editors, Bloggers and Influencers but unfortunately you will not be able to access all video Game Medias in this way only...

Starting from scratch is a little intimidating, but it's quite possible on your own. The recipe for this achievement is a matter of time, organization and a little courage.

As a part of my work promoting independent game studios, I spend a lot of time talking to video game editors. Building up and updating a video game press contact list is a long-time effort. One should put it on top "must do" things to market his indie game efficiently. Used wisely, a press contact database is a powerful tool to establish strong relationship with editors and increase your game visibility. If you still have doubts about the necessity of using press release for an independent game, feel free to read my article on this subject.

First, you have to define your game' core audience to target right gamers. Fans of a specific game genre tend to visit and read the specialized media. RTS and FPS players have different habits when looking for game news. That said, your game usually match several sub-categories, for example: PC Game, Roguelike, Indie Game, Pixel Art, Single Player....

Know your Video Game's Audience

Looking for coverage from major video game media such as Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, Polygon, IndieMag is great. But be aware of the hundreds of small websites around the world that are craving your game news. The more people write about your game, the better, right?! You should also know that journalists are watching other gaming news websites (even the smallest ones), see what I'm getting at?

Once you have clearly defined your audience and the list of video game media you need to reach, it is now time to look for email addresses! I won't say any more about how to target the right media here, but checking reviews of similar games is a good way to start.

Press Contacts on Video Game News Sites

Reach the Editorial Team using Contact Form

If you are at the beginning of the development of your game, this is probably where you want to aim first. The easiest way to get in touch with an editorial team is to look for the contact form on their website. It may appear in the top menu, but you will usually find it in the footer.

Collect Email Addresses

Prepare a customizable introductory message (in multiple languages) and ask for an email address to contact to send your game news and keys. Video game editors are enthustiast people. Driven by the same passion as you, they are happy to discover about your creations.

Use the Dedicated Email Address for Video Game Studios

The contact page can inform you of a dedicated email address that will be used by independent developers and studios to present your video game. Make sure you use it to facilitate the work of journalists and they will be grateful to you for considering their process.

Look out Staff page and video game editors’ profils

Many websites have a Staff Page also located on the footer. He usually introduces all the members of the editorial team, mentioning what they like. It sometimes displays contact information such as Emails and personal social network accounts! These are gold mines to use to connect with good journalists and create a real and genuine relationship from the very beginning. You also want to consult the profiles of journalists (by clicking on their names in the article) for additional information about them.

Submit your video game for a review

Submit your Video Game

Some medias have a special "Submit your game" form such as IGN, SensCritique, MMOBomb.... This tool allows you to send your game information once it is ready for review, Due to the massive number of requests they receive there is no guarantee that editors will review it. Especially if they've never heard of it before. Journalists, bloggers and content creators receive tons of requests every day and therefore naturally turn to the games (developers, studios and public relations representatives) they already know.

Once you scrolled all over websites looking for contact datas, you can now complete your search over social medias

Video Game Press contacts on Social Media and Editor Profiles

If you can't find relevant contact information on the website, you should check their social networks. All the tips below about the social network pages are valid for video game journalists, bloggers and influencers.

Social media as a source of contact informations.

Editors' Twitter profiles

Twitter is an ideal place to engage with other video game developers, players but also journalists, bloggers and content creators! Many of them mention their a contact email address in their description. If not, you may send them a direct message (if open) or just mention them in a tweet to initiate a discussion.

Twitter and Linkedin are probably the best social networks to connect with freelance journalists. They usually work for several interesting media-outlets for your video game.

About' tab of Facebook pages

Facebook is a little tricky these days with algorithm changes, but you should still take the platform as a good channel to collect data when building up your media contacts list. If you can't find contact information on a website (which happens), you might find it on the "About" tab of the Facebook page.

If there is a "Chat" button, use it! This is an excellent opportunity to get in direct contact with a team member and ask for all the information you need.

Give editors great assets to work with

About' tab of Youtube channels

The video game press is increasingly turning to video as a means of promoting news, reviews and interviews. It is no mystery that Youtube is an excellent way to broadcast video game assets such as trailers, gameplay videos. Youtubers are really an important element in your game visibility strategy and it is usually quite easy to collect their mail on the platform (unlike Twitch or Mixer). Just check the "About" section.

Connect with editors in chief and journalists on Linkedin

Linkedin may not be the best platform to use to promote an independent game. But as a professionalhub, this is a correct place to connect with editors-in-chief, media owners and journalists directly. Send personalized invitations and start a discussion with them using the Linkedin Message tool.

Join the editorial teams on their Discord server

Discord is the trendy medium to communicate with your audience! Video game editorial teams are no exception and they like to use Discord to communicate with their readers. Get in there, join their Discord server and ask for a private conversation!

How to use your video game press contact list

Promote your video game effeciently

A contact mail database is an excellent tool if it is accurate: detail it and keep it up to date.

Use it to send press releases at key development milestones. Improve your notoriety and increase the visibility of your game throughout the course. Be honest with your product and only contact Press when your information is worth publishing; e. g. New trailer, Open Beta, Early Access launch...)

Extra tip: Create your own media contact form on your website and promote it on your social networks to get more press contacts.

Video Game Press Contact List snippet

Establish long-term genuine relationships

Establishing authentic relationships with press journalists people is rewarding for everyone and it means more than just talking about your game! You are dealing with video game fans who love and value your work and creativity. For this reason, it is important that you consider them, their work and the difficulties they face. You should then contact them with news-worthy news submitted with clear press releases and great assets from your video game.

Editors in chief are your main targets, but time to time you may focus on journalists specialized to you type of game. Remember that freelancer editors are also great contacts as they work with several video game media-outlets. Don't be shy, but be human! Don't spam or whin unless you want to be on the blacklist but be positive, factual, interesting and fun!

Public Relation requires a full kit of skills and time.

As the development of your game will take months (and even years), take advantage of this time period to create a strong relationship with people in the press. Once again, managing Public Relations to promote your video game takes a lot of time. You should consider having someone on your team or a trustful partner dedicated to the task to make as efficient as possible.

To go further

As a Public Relation freelancer dedicated to indie game promotion, I manage Press and Influencer campaigns using my connections with video game journalists, bloggers and Influencers from all over the world.

Let me know more about your video game and your Public Relation needs! Contact me.


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