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Over the last two columns we’ve looked at online public relations and what it took to get us to this moment in time. Your campaign has gone gold and you’ve released it out into the open. Now what you do next is just as hard as launching the campaign.
You have to bridge the gap between online and offline public relations as well as monitor what is being said about you online. Those are the two areas I want to focus on today.
When you look at what CP+B did for Burger King, Microsoft & 42 Entertainment with ilovebees or what Viacom’s MTV Networks is doing with the Virtual Laguna Beach as well as the hit TV show, it makes you stop and wonder - can that be done for my video game? The long and short answer to the question is yes, but you have to be creative about it and think on a smaller scale (unless you’ve millions of dollars to spend on PR/marketing/advertising).
The Behemoth is a cool little independent shop within the video game industry. Recently they started handing out trophies for their cult classic game Alien Hominid. The PR for simply rewarding the community that this is generating for them is priceless.
Back in the 80s, Activision used to hand out badges for players who achieved goals within certain games. I’m sure the winners will blog and brag to their friends about how they won, which is going to further prolong their effort. What I like here is that, The Behemoth found a unique way to add an offline component to their online efforts as they build an online community around their game.
I’m not saying go out and copy The Behemoth, but I’m saying find a cool way to combine what would traditionally be only an online PR tactic and add an offline component or vice versa. Some ideas are as follows:
You kind of get the idea now. There is a lot you can do, as you start to harness the unique aspects of your game. Building a cohesive online and offline strategy will help increase your brand awareness among your community and potential community.
You’ve bridged the gap between your online and offline efforts. The public relations plan is coming together and maybe it’s even a runaway success. Now you need to follow what is being said about you and get involved in the exchange of ideas, thoughts and opinions about your video game.
Some of it may be inaccurate and due to the nature of the Internet space, completely wrong. Some people don’t check facts and are thus a part of the problem when rumors or wrong information is out in the open. You need to be a leader and at the forefront of it or else you may only be hurting your PR plan.
When it comes to tracking what is being said about you online, I try and break it down into four areas so clients can understand the process as much as possible. The four areas are monitor, analyze, interact, and lead. We’ll go through each one and list a few of the tools you can use during the process.