One of the most difficult tasks a developer or public relations professional will encounter while working on a public relations campaign is to write a press release that gets attention from members of the press.
According to Wikipedia, a press release is “a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something newsworthy.” This definition at its core means that the news you are going to present to the press should be interesting and engaging, as well as add some value to the publication and its readers. In the video game industry, a press release serves a double role: it attracts attention to the game and generates interest, and it also serves as a review pitch for game journalists. If he or she will find your game promising, they will add the game to their review queue or write a feature article about it. That’s sounds like something we all need, right?
Basic structure to follow:
Headline: This should be catchy and attention-grabbing, and should sum up what the press release is about. Most common examples:
- “Company X announces Game Y.”
- “Game X Hits the App Store.”
- “Company X Brings Game Y to iPad.”
Sub-heading: A sub-header is optional, and is meant to encourage the reader to read the press release further. Most common examples:
- “Cowboys are on a mission to protect Earth from aliens in a new mobile adventure.”
- “Use your hidden talents to become a top investigator in this all-new mobile game.”
First paragraph: This paragraph should tell the journalist and reader what the press release is about. A game writer will most likely skip over your press release if the information you present in this paragraph is not clear and interesting.
Second paragraph: Here you can add detailed information about your game in order to support the first paragraph. Include the game’s key features, unique facts, or an interesting story behind your game’s inspiration. Most common key features:
- new items
- educational value or game’s positive impact.
Last paragraph: Sum up your story and go straight to the point of the press release. Examples:
- “Game X for iPad is now available for purchase on the App Store. For more information please visit www.yourcompany.com/game.”
- “Game X is published by Publisher Z, LLC, and is available on iOS with Game Center integration for Leaderboards, and 30 Achievements for players to collect.”
Assets: Provide links to download the app, screenshots, videos, company’s website, Facebook page, Twitter account.
Contact information: Include your first and last name, email address, LinkedIn address, and any other contact information.
Finally, invest some thought into the tone and style of your release. It should match the nature or theme of your game, be descriptive, and also help to “sell” interest in it. After all, your press release will be defining the game to people before they’ve even had a chance to play it, so give them a good feel for what it’s about – not just by describing it, but by bringing it to life. Reporters will base their previews and reviews on what you write, so if you want a positive response, be exciting and creative!