When launching a new game, it’s essential to pick up as much media coverage as possible to help boost sales for a successful launch. One of the best ways to do that is through a press release. But, like everything, how well you write your press release will depend on how much coverage you will receive. So let’s look at eight key elements you’ll want to consider when writing the perfect press release for your next game launch.
For those who don’t know, a press release is an official announcement that an organization releases to the news media that shares a big announcement such as a new game launch, a new company launch, or a major change in an organization. It shouldn’t be confused with a PR Pitch, which shares general news updates, new assets, etc. A press release should only include news that is worthy of telling the world.
When done well, press releases:
- Attract media coverage
- Are a cost-effective promotion tool
- Help launch new products and breaking news
- Boost brand awareness
- Help build backlinks with trusted news sites
So let’s jump into exactly what you need to consider when writing a press release.
Determine Your Key Message
Once you’ve decided that your news is worthy of a formal press release, it’s important to decide on the key message. In other words, if the reader only took one thing away from this press release, what would it be?
A few examples of great key messages include:
- Veteran developers from [Company] have now launched their studio
- [Studio] is launching a new fantasy rogue-like this March on Console and PC
- [Company] has hired industry veteran Joe Smith to head up development on their newest Sci-Fi RPG
- [Studio] recently received [$Amount$] of seed funding
Your key message should be short and to the point and be the bulk of your press release. Remember, you only have a few seconds to make an impression on the media outlet, so make sure you grab their attention.
Any additional content you include should be relevant to the key message. For example, if you announce a new game, you could include info about past titles, sales successes, or expanding to new platforms.
For quantitative content, such as sales numbers and market expansions, include supporting data. Simply stating “[Company] hit a new sales record” won’t be anywhere near as effective as, “[Company] sold 300,000 copies of [Game] this year, hitting #1 on Steam’s autumn sales charts, and making it the biggest seller for the company since their last title [Game], which sold 25,000 copies.”
Specific numbers are always more appealing to those reading the press release than generalizations.
Press Release Format is Everything
While the content of your press release is important, the press release format is a close second.
A perfectly formatted press release allows the reader to quickly scan the press release and understand what the key message is.
A good press release follows this format layout:
- Body Text
- Contact Info
- Assets/Press Kit
Press Release Headlines and Subheads
Your press release headline will determine if the reader opens it or just passes it over. A boring headline will get your release ignored or moved to the “read later” pile. And if a reader doesn’t open your press release, nothing else matters.
There are two basic rules for writing a press release headline that readers click:
- Keep it short and to the point.
- Add specific key info, including sales numbers or well-known brands/names to increase curiosity.
Here are a few examples of weak vs. strong headlines:
A weak headline: [Company] Announces Three New Additions To Executive Team
A strong headline: Award-Winning Game Company, [Company], Adds Veteran Designer [Name] from [Important Game] to Design Team
You also want to keep the length of your headline in mind. Several email apps, especially mobile clients, will cut off email subjects after a certain number of characters. So, to avoid getting cut off, limit the number of words.
The subhead is a follow-up sentence within the release immediately following the headline. It’s used as a continuation of the headline. Use this opportunity to expand on the news you stated in the headline.
Looking at our previous example:
Headline: Award-Winning Game Company, [Company], Adds Veteran Designer [Name] from [Important Game] to Design Team
Subhead:[Company] Has Also Brought on [developer #1 Name] to Head Up New Project for Expansion onto [new Platform], and [developer #2 Name] as Creative Lead on the Project
Your subhead should still be direct. Be sure to avoid any information that doesn’t add context to the statement.
Press Release Body Text
The body text is where you continue what you’ve said in your headlines and subheads. The first paragraph should focus on your core message, including, ‘Who, What, Where, When, and Why”.
Tell the reader the key message and explain why it’s important. Keep the paragraph short, no more than six sentences.
Following paragraphs can discuss additional topics or continue to expand upon your original paragraph, but remember, it’s important to include supporting data in the form of actual numbers and quotes from related parties.
Including 1-2 quotes makes your press release feel more personal and relatable. When choosing your quotes, be sure to use one that uses specific information. The standard “We are thrilled to be working with [Company]” tells the reader nothing. Also, be sure to attribute the quote correctly, including a title and company. If you can’t find a quote that meets that criteria, it’s best just to skip them altogether.
Press Release Boilerplates
Once you have drafted the body text, you should include the first of two standard elements – the boilerplates.
Boilerplates are the “About [Company]” paragraphs you see at the end of press releases. They help the reader quickly learn more about the companies involved, including key people, products, and other important elements.
Ideally, each boilerplate should be between 4-6 sentences. Your goal should be to give the reader a condensed summary of the company or product. Include links to the official website and any relevant social links.
Press Release Contact Information
The second standard element you want to include after the boilerplate is the contact information. Even though your press release will have basic info included, it should be standard practice to include a Contact Information section at the end.
This section should include the key PR contact for each region/territory and both phone numbers and email addresses.
Press Release Assets/Press Kit
Finally, you want to include a press kit with your press release. A typical press kit includes:
- logos of all involved companies
- images of the product itself (in the case of a game, screenshots of gameplay)
- videos or trailers
- photos of relevant executives or team members
You should already have all of these items as part of your marketing and pr toolkit – just make sure they are the best representation of your company and product.
Spreading the Word
Now that you’ve created the press release, it’s time to share it. But how do you send it, and who do you send it to?
There are several services that allow you to send out press releases – some for free and some paid.
However, if you really want to get the most bang out of your press release, this is where a PR agency can be invaluable. A PR agency provides you access to experienced PR teams and their established relationships, which can help you get your press release into the right inboxes. They’ll also ensure that the press release you send follows the key elements outlined above and is optimized for the best results.
Need a little more help putting together a press release that gets you media attention? Get in touch with the UberStrategist team to see how they can help you with your next launch.