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Do people do press releases? (moved)

03-01-2012, 12:39 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 77
Do people do press releases? (moved)

Hey guys,

I tried posting this in the private developers channel, but to no avail: there's barely any traffic there. Maybe I'm missing something about the purpose of that channel. Anyway, here's a repost of it:
I was wondering, how and where do people send information about their games? Is it done like a press release? What should be written in it?

It appears you have only one strike, so I'd prefer to have some tips on how to do this properly.. (and unfortunately I don't even know what to search on the forums to figure out if someone asked this already... )


Firewall, my rule-changing turn-based strategy game, is out, get it now!
03-01-2012, 01:14 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 41
I wouldn't suggest just writing a press release and sending it into the ether. There are millions of press releases out there and yours will just get lost in the noise. There's no reason a publication would pick up your press release out of the dozens they come across. Unless you contact them afterwards and convince them it's something they should write about.

Your best bet is to contact app review sites or publications that focus on apps.

03-01-2012, 04:53 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
press releases are absolutely worth writing, but they can fall on deaf ears (and spam filters) if you don't know what you are doing. there's plenty of resource out there on how to put together PR and media kits - do your homework if you've no idea about how they should look, what they should say, etc. Here's a very nice blog by Retro Dreamer about how they will put together a media kit. In general you should download a bunch of existing kits & PRs for apps (and also higher-level games, like console titles) to get a sense of what is expected and what the format is.

Also of utmost important is finding out what to do once you've got the thing together, who to send it to. There's some decent lists of address/contacts in the history of this forum, so search around. Also you can take to google and just find out the names and contacts of many worthy sites as well - there's a ton, and odds are god that many of them will ignore you, but it is worth a couple of days of hunting to build up a half-decent contact list, because you can hold onto it and use it anytime you've got new news to put out (new releases, updates, free sales, etc). Depending on whatever else is going on, someone might throw you a bone, you never know (especially if you do have something that looks particularly solid). It might make the difference between tens of thousands of free downloads - you never know!

PRmac.com is a great service to spam your press release out to tons of places, it's good in addition to doing your own work and it is not expensive at all.

All in all, this process will take a lot of work and if you are gonna half-ass it then you may as well skip the step altogether - but if you do a decent job (and are a bit sneaky/aggressive) then you might get yourself a leg up on everyone else who half-asses their way through things :/ Of course that's the reason why it might make sense to align yourself with a publisher of course, they might be able to get you a much sharper chance of feature/etc but of course you will have a price to pay for that (or if you use a PR company, etc). There's a lot of different options, see what works best for you. Just don't do nothing, because you are doing a disservice to the hard work you've already put into development at that point.

What you do following the development is no less important than actually building the app itself. Good luck!
03-01-2012, 05:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 114
Press releases are important

We send a press release out for all our new releases, we have built up a contact list from reviewers contacting us and from google searches and it works great. When building a list grab as many review websites as you can but also look for youtube reviewers, tweeters and and other people and channels that influence your audience.

Keep the releases as simple as possible these guys get 100's of press releases a day. Don't expect a huge pick up rate, typically eDMs get a 3-4% hit rate.

I would suggest the following:

1. Catchy title
2. Brief summary
3. A few images
4. Link to your youtube trailer, even embed it into the press release email if you can
5. Link to your app on the store

If sending as HTML make sure to do a spam check, the are a few great free websites you can use.

Otherwise keep it plain text, and attach some images. Less chance of it getting blocked, and if you don't have the HTML skills you will get a better result.
03-01-2012, 03:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 41
After reading all these responses, I have to say they make a good argument for press releases and how to make them.

I would say when it comes to marketing, you have to try as many things as you can all at the same time. You want to create the perfect storm of marketing, and you never know what thing you do will catch on. So you should do them all, including press releases.

Having said that, given a small amount of time, I wouldn't focus TOO much on a press release and definitely wouldn't bank my entire marketing effort on a press release. But definitely take the above advice and write a good one for every new release. You never know who will pick it up. Good luck!

Indie Game Developer
Co-Founder of Loqheart
Developing a Wizard Academy game called Wizards of Prestige
03-02-2012, 12:04 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 77
Thanks for all your responses!

Just worth mentioning, I didn't just mean placing a press release up and hoping people would reach it, but sending it over to people as you guys suggested.

I'll look into the forums' history and find the golden list, I suppose :-)

Firewall, my rule-changing turn-based strategy game, is out, get it now!
03-02-2012, 01:41 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Wellington
Posts: 938
We send out press releases, even though press releases are very limited in their effectiveness. Every little bit of promotion helps, and you never know when a press release might get broader pickup.

The things to concentrate on though are your game name, icon, App Store assets, and then try to do whatever cross promotion you can from other games/apps at launch.