Creating a Killer Comms Plan @ Boston FIG Talks 2018

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at Boston FIG Talks 2018, an event here in Massachusetts geared towards independent game designers and developers looking to learn from one another on topics ranging from the business of games, to design and development, art, and other tracks.

My talk focused on how smaller development studios can work to create their own communications plan, even without a background in marketing communications. I often hear of companies that are so heads-down developing their product that they forget to plan for any sort of marketing, let alone PR or messaging.

I emphasized in the talk that a communications plan is necessary well ahead of a product’s launch, as message distribution doesn’t just happen at launch. It happens in your Kickstarter campaign or in fundraising efforts. It happens while you are trying to build an audience, even if that is just an audience of testers. It happens if you find yourself pitching to Apple or Google or a potential publisher.

In addition, it is important for developers and designers to realize that the exercise of planning for marketing communications can actually help in the product development process. It helps you see holes in the product that you might not have seen if you weren’t pro-actively thinking about how your audiences might perceive the product messaging.

Creating a solid comms plan isn’t just to prepare for media and press relations either. It is integral for things like content marketing and blogging, social media promotions, and community development. Consistency-of-message across all of these channels is key to building needed awareness both pre- and post-launch.

Now, everyone builds their plans slightly differently, but a great foundation will include sections for goals, analysis, audiences, key messages, strategy & tactics, and then a timeline. In my talk, I went into some detail on each of these sections, but really wanted the audience to take away that it is the message development that is most important. It is only after you decide on your message – what you actually want to say to all of your various audiences – that you can actually implement any marcomm plan.

If you were in attendance at the talk, thanks for coming! If you weren’t, but would like to talk more about creating a communications plan, feel free to reach out!

 

 

Back In The Saddle

For the past 3+ years I’ve managed PR, events, community, content and social media marketing at mobile game company Disruptor Beam. I’ve learned an immense amount while working with the company, with its executive team, and its three products (Game of Thrones Ascent, Star Trek Timelines and The Walking Dead: March to War). I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work with some truly amazing people during my tenure. But as 2017 quickly comes to a close and I look forward to 2018 and beyond, I’ve decided to return to my consulting practice; to get back in the saddle helping not just game companies, but technology and consumer product companies spread the word about their products and the people behind them. If you are looking for an independent PR veteran to help you with your marketing and communications program; someone who is fun to work with, but serious about results, head on over to my contact page.

Some Updates!

Forgive me, for I have sinned. I haven’t updated my blog in months! So, I thought it appropriate to throw up a quick update on what I’ve been up to over the past 6 months or so…

Back in May, I accepted a full-time position with my long-time client, Disruptor Beam. I’ve taken the helm as Director of Communications and am loving it. The Disruptor Beam team is not only talented, but they are a wicked fun group of people to work with. Coming from an agency and freelance background, it has been an amazing experience to roll up my sleeves and really dig into one company.

In addition to joining Disruptor Beam, I had a baby this summer! Motherhood is amazing and baby is doing very well.

With all of that said, I’m currently focused on my work with Disruptor Beam and am on hiatus with consulting…at least for now.

So, there. A short update, but an update nonetheless. Until we meet again EliciaBasoli.com 🙂

“A Game PR Playbook” Talk @ MIGS 2013

MIGS 2013

I recently had the pleasure of being invited to speak at the Montreal International Games Summit (MIGS). Despite the frigid temperatures of Montreal in November, it was a great experience and fun to share some of my PR knowledge via a joint talk with Albert Reed, CEO of Demiurge Studios. And, did I mention that the Palais de Congress was one of the nicest convention centers I’ve ever seen?!

The focus of our talk, “A Game PR Playbook,” was to provide independent game developers insight into game PR basics, such as message and press kit development, media relations and events marketing. Al and I added some Demiurge flavor with specific examples from the launches of two of the studio’s 2013 mobile game releases – Shoot Many Robots and Marvel Puzzle Quest.

I hope that the talk was beneficial to developers in attendance (it seemed to be based on the feedback I received afterwards) and I also hope to attend MIGS again in 2014!

Until we meet again, Montreal…

Mon Voyage à Montréal et Exécution Labs

execution-labs

No, I don’t speak French (thanks, Google Translator). But, I loved hearing lots of it while in Montreal recently for a visit to Execution Labs, a game incubator and go-to-market accelerator for mobile game developers!

Jason Della Rocca, Alexandre Pelletier-Normand, Keith Katz (and a stacked deck of industry mentors) help independent game developers produce games and bring them to market with a focus on mobile free-to-play titles. It’s a great program, so I was beyond excited when Jason asked me to trek up to Montreal and speak to the teams about PR and marketing.

With independent studios often taking on the role of PR internally, it is important for these smaller game development teams to understand the basics. I was happy to perform a massive brain dump and share what I know with the teams. If anything, I hope they walked away from our meetings with a few key takeaways:

  • At its core, PR is about messaging and networking. Nail your message early on in the development cycle and network, network, network until your hand hurts from all that shaking.
  • Promoting your game is as important as the game itself, so don’t overlook your marketing plan for the sake of development. Start planning early in the development cycle.
  • Market your studio just as much as your game. If you are able to build a following for yourself – as designers and developers – you’ll be able to get more attention for your game. Half of the “story” is usually the people BEHIND the game. Perfect talking about yourself.

The teams are currently at various stages of development, but I’d suggest you like all of these guys on Facebook. They’ve got some awesome games brewing. I wish them all the best of luck with their upcoming launches and hope to cross paths with my new friends in Montreal soon!

Double Stallion Games
Kit Fox Games
Silver Dice Games
Imaginary Games
Lightning Rod Games
Pixel Crucible

VentureFizz.com Contribution: Winning the Game of Game of Thrones

VentureFizz is a one stop destination for what is buzzing within Boston’s tech sector, including a job board, comprehensive event calendar and, of course, its blog. I was recently asked to help contribute to the growth of VentureFizz’ coverage of the local game development scene. I hold a key role within this ecosystem, working with a handful of Boston-based companies and organizations dedicated to games. Given this fact and my passion for the Boston game development community, I jumped at the chance to contribute and to help spread the word about all of the great game-related work happening right here in Massachusetts.

My first article “Winning the Game of Game of Thrones: Disruptor Beam’s Tale” is up now, which discusses my client Disruptor Beam’s rise to the throne with their new social game, Game of Thrones Ascent.

Stay tuned to VentureFizz.com for more articles from me in the future!

VentureFizz Game of Thrones