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The Secrets of Promotion for Indies

January 3, 2013 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next
 

Next, determine who to contact. If there is just one person at the venue, such as at a one-person blog, then your contact person is obvious. But if there are multiple people, such as at a gaming magazine, then do a search for articles about games similar to yours. The person who covers your type of game is the person to contact.

(Of course, if a publication doesn't cover your type of game, don't waste your time approaching them. For example, a developer creating a solitaire clone for PS Vita would probably have a hard time getting reviewed on GameSpot, which tends to review mainstream titles. Instead, they would be wiser to contact PS Vita Hub, which is more likely to cover news of any and all Vita games.)

Once you know who to contact, you need their contact information. For journalists, you can often find this on the publication masthead (you can find it in the first few pages of the print publication or on their website, typically in the "about us" section). Failing that, call the publication. I don't know where they get their switchboard staff, but I have never called a newspaper that did not have knowledgeable people answering their telephones.

For bloggers, your best bet is to look in the "about us" or "contact us" sections of their sites. For example, you can find contact information for Alec Meer at Rock, Paper, Shotgun at www.rockpapershotgun.com (it's at the bottom of the page). However, it is often notoriously difficult to get blogger contact information, so be prepared to either settle for second-rate information (such as a generic email address) or to just move on if you can't find any information at all.

And remember, if all else fails, Google is your friend. It's not a perfect friend, but a Google search can help you get what you need more often than not.

Shortcuts and Tables

Now, I can guess what you're thinking: is there any place where I can just get a list? Yes and yes. Sort of.

Yes #1: You can ask an associate if they have a contact list you can beg, borrow, or steal. However, be aware, that even if they have a list, because it was created for their game, it might not be relevant for yours. Which means the influencers interested in their hidden object game might not be interested in your jogging simulator. Also, their list may not be complete and up-to-date. Which means you still have to conduct at least some research.

Yes #2: You can buy a list from a fee-based organization such as Cision. Cision is an enormous database containing everything from names and titles to email addresses and telephone numbers of journalists and bloggers, worldwide.

The problem with services such as Cision is they can be expensive. And while their list should be good, it won't be perfect -- people come and people go, and their database is not updated in real-time. Which means you are, yet again, doing at least some research to fill in the blanks.

Finally, once you have generated a media list, you need to organize it. I do so in a spreadsheet. You can structure your media list however you like. I usually organize mine into seven columns, like so:

Target's full name

Site/publication name

URL of target

Email address

Phone number

Target size estimate

Notes about contact

John Doe

Happy Happy Game Reviews

www.hhgr.com

jd@hhgr.com

123-456-7890

80,000 monthly visitors

Sent pitch October 1, followed up October 3

In the notes section, I include any actions taken (for example, if I sent a promotional item, such as a T-shirt) and any relevant information (such as meeting a journalist at a conference).


Article Start Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

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