Come say hi at the Develop Conference

Jon and I will both be at the Develop Conference in Brighton next week, where we hope to meet a bunch of lovely indie developers and natter away about marketing and PR until the seagulls come home.

I’ll also be doing a talk on the Wednesday morning. It’s free to attend! You’ll need to sign up for an Expo Pass (at the indie-friendly price of zero pounds) in order to gain entry.

The talk is about how to earn your place in the video games media, with a focus on the word ‘earn’. This isn’t about how to write a press release or how to email a journalist, but rather, about how to prove that you’re worth paying attention to, and provide value to the journalists and influencers you’re out to impress. read more

How to get the most out of your PR and marketing partner

If you’ve decided to work with a PR or marketing company or individual, you might be unsure as to the best way to work together. Some people talk about their desire to “outsource” their marketing to an external partner. But I’m not sure “outsourcing” is the most helpful way of looking at the relationship that exists behind a successful promotional campaign.

Where others might talk about “outsourcing” or call themselves a marketing “supplier”, we like to talk about “collaborations” — because at the heart of any great promotional relationship is a desire to work together to make great things happen. So if you decide to work with someone on your PR or marketing, here are five tips for making that magic happen. read more

Crisis PR: What to do when it all goes wrong

In life, sometimes even the best-laid plans can go awry. In PR, things are no different. Even the most experienced PR practitioner can find their self-confronted with a marketing disaster or a campaign that just fails to meet its goals. As we’ve touched on before in a previous post, PR isn’t an exact science, results often vary. What is guaranteed though is your reaction and how you choose to recover from a difficult situation. This is especially important for indie developers who, more often than not, don’t have trained PR people to the handle a crisis. So, if you find yourself in that situation here are a few tips on what you can do when it all goes wrong. read more

The selling-in process: How we pitch games to the media

One of the questions people sometimes ask us is: how exactly does PR work? How do we go from this conversation, to our games appearing in the press? What do you do to make that happen?

Some people imagine that we send out press releases and journalists pick their favourites to write about. Others assume we have a certain ‘sway’ with the media, or that we can ‘call in favours’ to get coverage. Others still wonder if an exchange of money is involved. In fact, the truth is a little more complex. So I figured: why not give you folks a walkthrough? read more

The Influence of Influencers

The term influencer is something that has become ubiquitous within online marketing over the past few years, particularly with regard to video games, with streaming platforms such as YouTube and Twitch dominating the online space. Any conversations you’ll hear around marketing and PR for games these days will no doubt involve some mention of the benefit of influencers. So, what does that mean if you’re trying to promote an indie game?

Why influencers matter for indie game PR and marketing

With live streaming increasingly becoming a part of people’s everyday life, and the popularity of video content causing a notable shift in media consumption, it seems influencers will become a permanent fixture in marketing strategies moving forward. It’s easy to see the benefits in someone like Markiplier playing your game on his channel in front of millions of viewers. He has an established fan base and has built up a level of trust with his audience, but, in reality, the chance of most indie games making the cut is unlikely. read more

Kotaku is not the answer: Strategic thinking for indie game PR

Jon and I are on a call with a developer. It’s an initial call about the possibility of working together. They’re informal discussions, these initial calls: they help us to get a sense of whether we might be a good fit for the game, whether our ambitions align, and what sort of promotional work might be the best for their project.

One of the questions I like to ask in these calls is: “What does success mean to you?” Often people seem a bit nonplussed by this question, like, isn’t it obvious what success means? But almost every developer has a different answer. read more

Storm warning: How to survive the indiepocalypse

The first warning signs of trouble on the horizon for indie games and their developers came around 2014 when people in the industry started to speak of an indiepocalypse. With an oversaturation of titles flooding onto Steam and App Stores already pushed to capacity by the huge influx of smaller games concerns were beginning to grow. So, is the indiepocalypse still something indie game developers and fans alike should be worried about? Let’s look at some of the key predictions that perpetuate this belief. read more

Dissecting indie game PR emails – what works, and what doesn’t?

I haven’t worked as a journalist or editor for a long time now, meaning I’ve often wondered what other people are sending out as PR materials. Typically, as a PR, you don’t end up on many competitors’ press lists (although inexplicably I’ve been receiving press releases from one music PR firm pretty much every week, despite telling them multiple times that the last time I wrote about music was 12 years ago).

However, in January we launched The Indie Game Website. While I’m not directly involved in the running of that site, and almost never check the PR inbox myself, I thought I’d have a sneaky peek at what other indie developers are sending out in the hope of coverage. And what I found there was really interesting. read more

Game If You Are partners with Mistaken Visions to launch The Piano this Spring

I’m delighted to be able to announce today that Game If You Are has forged an exciting new partnership with Berlin-based indie studio Mistaken Visions to bring their noir horror adventure The Piano to Steam this Spring.

While the bulk of the work we do is in for-hire PR consultation, we occasionally spot a project or meet a developer that we believe could benefit from a more holistic partnership. In this case, we first started working with creator Jonathan Stemmildt around 18 months ago, helping Mistaken Visions to start spreading the word about their game. But as time went on, and as the game began to take shape, we really started to see how much potential the project had. So we spoke to Jonathan to see if we could help out and, I’m very pleased to say, Jonathan said we could indeed. read more

Indie game marketing & PR tips: social media success

It’s often suggested that social media is the secret key to marketing success in the indie game sector. It’s free, it requires relatively little technical knowledge, and it has the ability to reach a nearly endless amount of your target audience. Or so the theory goes.

As with most things in life, the reality of the situation doesn’t quite align with this assumption. I’m glad to say it’s not far off, though: after all, it is free, it doesn’t require a huge amount of technical know-how, and you can reach some of your target audience by following some core principal rules for social media interactions. read more