The 2 Things That Everybody Ought to Know About Press Releases

I’ve heard developers asking what press releases are, and if they are anything useful. I’ve asked those same questions years ago, and I’d like to share my thoughts about why press releases are important. They are important because they can get you to places like this:


Image of our Hightailed game review in PCZone magazine – click for a bigger view

Couple of years ago our Hightailed game got featured at PCZone magazine, thanks to sending a press release. We got some tough comments, but that was okay – the next step is simply to improve the product. If it wasn’t for a press release, our game would not get reviewed in that magazine.

The key point here is that: press releases will help you to promote your products. They are important. They will get the word out. Press releases help you reach reviewers, websites, magazines, bloggers and other members of the media. These journalists and reviewers can write about your product (like you can see in the picture) and let players know about your product.

And now the sales pitch
That is exactly the reason why I’ve set up the GameRelease.net PR service that can submit your press releases to lots of people. Here’s how I would sum up the benefits of this service:

  • Low-risk investment: GameRelease lets you send one release per week, while keeping the price low. This way you can send a PR story, and if it doesn’t work at least you have chance to try again. Most PR distributors charge “per release”, we charge “per month (or year)”. With GameRelease service, it’s easy to create a marketing campaign where you can send a new release whenever you have new screenshots that show major progress, a new demo, major update or other things you’d like to announce.
  • Helpful community and press release aid: GameRelease comes with a helpful Insiders community, where other like-minded people (with a goal of making a living making games) are also using the PR service – and can give hints on how to write it. There’s also a ready-made professional template which will give you tips on how to write a good press release.
  • Only actives subscribers: There’s not a single email that would be bounced, because I delete every email address that gets bounced when distributing releases. This makes sure that all the contacts on the list are real & active people. Everybody on the list has an opt-out possibility: every subscriber on the list has given their permission to send them news. We don’t hunt press people’s names, and then say we have thousands of contacts – all of our contacts are active and want to hear about you.
  • Public list of contacts. You can see (almost) every subscriber on the PR list. I say almost because I’ve simply parsed the domain part of the emails and some review sites use free email addresses such as gmail or hotmail. I’d say the list is about 95% accurate.
  • Lots of other benefits: GameRelease.net service is part of the Insiders membership and comes with variety of perks such as discounts, ebook, etc.

The 2 things everybody needs to know about press releases
Alright, the previous chapter was a sales pitch for my service, so remember that as I’m doing the talk here I’m also selling a service. If I were you, I would ask somebody else whether press releases are anything useful. Don’t just believe what I say.

Anyway, the 2 things everybody needs to know about press release:

  • Press releases are important to get the word out. They are not magical solution to make your game sell, but they will be helpful to get the word out.
  • Press releases are not ads: writing a good press release takes practice. I’ve written maybe a dozen press releases with variety of impacts. Sometimes they’ve worked, sometimes they didn’t. It’s mostly about having fresh and newsworthy news. That’s at least my experience.

Bottom line: press releases are important, not magic. Sometimes they get you traffic and sales, sometimes they don’t. If you got interested, google or search some forums for information about the benefits of press releases and take a look at GameRelease.net.

2 thoughts on “The 2 Things That Everybody Ought to Know About Press Releases

  1. Jean-Claude: Heh, I was thinking of “new screenshots of major progress” (bit like when “big guys” reveal “new Halo 3 screenshots”). Should have been clearer – updated the blog entry now!

    Thanks

  2. Hello,

    > you can send a new release whenever you have new screenshot…

    You might pushing it a little bit here ;-)
    “Little people” like us need a “good story” in their press release otherwise it will be just completely ignored. Well at least you need to say something that will get interest from other and will want to talk about it.

    For example today (I think) Pocketwatch Games made a press release about the fact that they are giving a % of their income to some wild life foundation. This is a “good” story that people might want to read and talk about.

    Jean-Claude