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!