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A New PR Plan For Games Apps Startups and Product Launches

A New PR Plan For Games Apps Startups and Product Launches David Murdico
PR has evolved. The ubiquity of social media and 24-hour access to journalists, bloggers, publications and blogs by practically anyone, combined with an increase in mobile games, apps, startups and new products launching every day, the PR game has changed significantly, resulting in a lot more competition.

PR is even being used for KickStarter and other crowdfunding campaigns to draw attention to products and services that don’t even exist yet! That was territory previously reserved for big brands, to build pre-order excitement.

Journalists and bloggers are being bombarded daily from all angles with phone calls, emails, Twitter pitches and other social media tactics.

Unless you're launching something that has brand recognition - like Star Trek - is amazingly disruptive or have a hilarious video or social media campaign at the ready, hold off on your PR pitches and press releases until you’ve built a newsworthy story, because very often, simply the fact that you launched is not newsworthy enough.

The old way of PR was to write a pitch and a press release, distribute the press release the morning of the launch, or maybe a week early to give the media a heads up, and pitch the media. The problem was, what if simply the fact that your new venture now exists wasn't enough to persuade them to write about it?

To get media attention you can’t just be the story. You have to also create a story.

Focus on something else besides the actual launch. Let the launch be secondary to a bigger story developed through a combination of video, social media, stunts download numbers, active user support, controversy and anything else you and your agency can dream up to build a bigger than life tale that will attract media attention!

So what is the media typically looking for to cover a new mobile game, app, startup or product?

  • A new game, app, startup or product that is so unique or solves problems in such a clear and amazing way that they can't resist - if you don't have that, proceed to the next point.

  • For games and apps - tons of downloads  in a short period of time. This shows excitement and demand = newsworthy

    • Paid social media ads for game and app downloads - example Facebook ads for mobile app downloads

    • Paid influencers on Youtube, Instagram, Twitter to get people engaged, downloading, sharing and buying

    • Contests with significant prizes to build the social media community and encourage downloads

  • Name investors and obscene amounts of capital raised. Are there celebrities involved?

  • Credibility - are you or your team experts in your field? Are there experts involved? Do you have a successful record of great launches?

  • An amazingly compelling founders story

  • For new startups and products - sales

    • Paid social media ads

    • Paid influencers on Youtube, Instagram, Twitter to get people engaged, downloading, sharing and buying

  • A viral explosion - a video campaign or stunt that can be pitched to the media with your launch as the sub story

  • An amazing social media marketing campaign

  • A consistent push of amazing, viral content including videos, Instagram photos, Vines, Instagram videos and tactics using newer platforms like Periscope.

  • A large, active social media community

  • Controversy - coming out vehemently for or against something - taking a strong stance to popular support

So in many instances, it's best to pay to play at the beginning, then pitch the media for organic, free acceleration after you've amplified  your launch story with other newsworthiness!

Here's a step by step guideline:

  1. Develop an overall PR strategy that includes a paid ad and influencer plan and viral content leading to organic PR outreach and free coverage

  2. Create a media whish list of publications, blogs, journalists and bloggers that are most likely to pick up your story and share with their readers - your customers

  3. Nobody knows everybody, so at the same time, you or your agency should be developing relationships with your wish list journalists and bloggers early on, without asking them for anything - just yet. Connect via Twitter, social media channels and events, retweet, favorite, share their stories - get their attention and become their digital buddies. This way when you do pop the pitch question, they'll know who you are and care

  4. Focus on video production, viral, social media engagement

  5. Tap YouTube influencers to reach their audiences

  6. Develop a compelling story that includes those items that the media craves to draw attention to your new game, app, startup or product

  7. Distribute your press release and pitch the media. Include your release or a link to it in the pitch!

  8. Analyze the results / metrics

  9. Amplify PR successes with social media, video and influencers

Taking the above approach increases the likelihood of your new game, app, startup or product being picked up by the top tier outlets on your media wish list as well as the niche blogs and publications that will reach your target audience.

David Murdico is the Executive Creative Director and Managing Partner at Supercool Creative Agency - video & content production, social media marketing, PR and consulting for some of the cooest brands and businesses on the planet. Connect with...

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