Business

Want to Pitch to Media? Here are Some Useful Tips to Grab Their Attention

By Febrianto Nur Anwari

After finishing the game, the next step is to market it. One of the cheapest ways to do that is to pitch to media. But, how do you grab their attention?


After finishing the game, the next step is to market it. One of the cheapest ways to do that is to pitch to media. But, how do you grab their attention?

The next step after finishing your game is, of course, selling it. But if you don’t market it right, gamers won’t know your game and they might not want to download it. There are some strategies to market your game. The cheapest way, however, (and almost free) to do is pitching to the media to write about it.

Pitching to the media is not as simple as sending them an email that describes your game and the download link. More than that, you must pay attention to several aspects before you send your pitch to media and grab their attention.

In one of the inaugural SEA Summit sessions held last October, Tein Hee (Executive Director from Tech360.tv), Sean Lim (Founder from Wanuxi) and Febrianto (Senior Editor from Duniaku.net and Gameprime.org) shared some insights on how to do that the right way. Here’s the recap.

1

PR vs Advertising

how to pitch to media

From left to right: Oo Gin Lee from GLOO (Moderator), Sean Lim, Febrianto and Tein Hee

Some developers might not pay much attention to do the PR-things. They focus only on direct marketing once the game is available, such as advertising on social media if they have a spare budget. But, those two things are slightly different in goals.

It is correct that by paying an advertising agency, you can get more people to download your game. But, doing a right PR strategy can give you more downloads for almost free. Think about the media as a way to influence and engage people. It has the mass that might be your potential gamers.

It is how you can engage with the gamers. Something that you can’t accomplish if you only do the direct marketing. So, think about sparing more time and resources to pitch to media. You can hire a good PR person, give the job to PR agency, or do it yourself by following some tips to pitch to the media below.

2

Finding the Right Media and Journalist

how to pitch to media

First thing first, you should find the right media and journalist before pitching them. You should know the background of the media, what stories they cover so far, and also predict how big your chance is to get covered by them. Make sure that you have shortlisted them.

Also, it’s strongly suggested to know the journalist personally. You should know what his/her interest and his/her past articles. Knowing them personally gives you a better chance of getting covered. It is possible that they do not only cover about your game, but also interview your team.

3

Choose the Right Time to Send your Pitch

how to pitch to media

After finding the right media and journalist, you must find the right time to send your pitch. First, you can mark down your calendar when gaming event will happen during a year (local and international). You can mark down when the E3, TGS, Gamescom, etc take place.

Why? Because most journalists will be busy to cover the event at that time so it lowers your chance to get covered by them.

Here are Some Tips on How to Maximize a Game Event to Accelerate Your Business

Marketing and press release surely are a must. But one thing that we should not forget is to attend some game event or convention.

Also, mark down the AAA game release date. Don’t send your pitch around that time. Most journalists will be busy to cover and review that AAA-game, not yours. So, choose your perfect time to pitch wisely so it can increase your chance to grab the media’s attention.

4

Personalized Your Pitch

how to pitch to media

One thing that you should pay attention is, don’t send a mass email to every journalist. At least, you can make it personal by write down his/her name in your email and say hello. Imagine that you speak to them in person through your pitch.

Then, you can think the idea through the journalist’s eyes. How will your pitch be of interest and need to the readers? Make sure that you pitch a story, not your product. Maybe you can share what’s your achievement, milestone, or story behind the development.

It surely takes more time, especially if you want to make different pitches for different media. But, it will give you a better result as well.

5

Some Tips to Grab Their Attention

how to pitch to media

A journalist receives tens or hundreds of emails in one day. So, make sure you can grab their attention. You should make them open your email, read it, and write a story about it. You can do some tips below.

  1. Choose your lever pitch wisely and write down in the subject of the email. You can write down an interesting story about your product. Make sure it attracts people who read it on the list of their emails.
  2. As mentioned before, say hello to the journalist by writing down his/her name in the body email.
  3. Summarize your pitch in the opening paragraph. Make it “beautiful” so the journalist will be interested to open your pitch in the attachment.
  4. Make sure to attach press kit separately such as your game screenshot, link to the trailer, download link, logo, etc.
  5. If it’s possible, use statistics and data.
  6. Don’t forget to give the fact sheet about your game and also your company at the end of your pitch.

6

Don't Hesitate to Give Early Access/Review Copy

how to pitch to media

Steam’s Early Access program. Source: Kotaku

You can keep in touch as early as you can with the journalist by giving them early access or demo of your product. By doing this, you can filter on who are interested with your game, who are not. And also, they can give you feedback on how to improve your product better.

You can send your pitch while your product is still in development. Ask the journalist whether they take some interests or not to try the demo, and ask what platform that they prefer to try on. Then, you can provide them with demo/testflight of your game for them to try and ask for their feedback.

If the product is already on the sale, don’t hesitate to give the media review copy. But, only for media who are interested in your product. Ask the media first whether they’re interested to review it or not, and wait for the respond. Then, you can send the review copy for media who show interest in your game.

Prefer to send the digital copy rather than physical copy if it is possible. Because it’s easier to distribute.

7

Opening Up Possibilities to Interview

how to pitch to media

The journalist might want to know more about your product or your team. So, be honest and transparent about your desired interview or meeting. The journalist who has engrossed his/herself with you along the development process or shown some interests in the product will be happy to do this.

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Last, if you can’t reach the journalist or you don’t get a respond from them, avoid the temptation to call/email/message repeatedly.

Featured image source: Ubermetrics. Edited by Devi

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About Writer


Febrianto is the Senior Editor of Duniaku.net and the Lead Editor of Gameprime.org. He started his career in game industry as a game journalist since 2008, and was one of the initial members of Duniaku.net since 2011. His biggest interest is local game developer scene. Currently, his mission is to spread the news about Indonesia’s game industry to both local and international game and creative industry’s enthusiast.