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!



Game of Thrones Ascent’s iPad Launch & Season 4 Kick-Off

I’ve been working with Disruptor Beam for the past couple of years to help promote the company, along with their hit game ‘Game of Thrones Ascent’ based off of the HBO TV series and books by George R.R. Martin. Following a successful Facebook and Web launch in 2013, the team at Disruptor Beam has been focused on the game’s mobile launch. The first mobile platform for the game is iPad, which we just announced last week.  This month has been busy, to say the least!

Leading into our iPad launch, we formally announced a partnership with Kongregate to publish the mobile versions of the game. After some targeted pitching and outreach, the announcement led to some good, positive business-focused coverage including with sites like Polygon and Pocket Gamer.

As we eased into our launch day, which occurred just in time for the Season 4 premiere of the show on HBO, I helped to line up numerous stories across gaming media to help promote the game and drive installs. Coverage appeared across sites like GameSpot, Kotaku, VentureBeat, Fortune, ShackNews and many others (see a selection of coverage further below). The game was also featured by Apple during launch week, which was a huge win for the company!

Elicia on ThroneAs the iPad version of the game was taking off, the Season 4 premiere was just on the horizon! The Disruptor Beam team was invited to HBO to attend a special pre-screening of the first episode in Boston. For about 400 attendees, the Disruptor Beam team was able to showcase the tablet version of the game to attendees. Plus, the majority of the staff attended the event itself because, well, who wouldn’t miss an event like this one! We all got to sit upon the iron throne, enjoy the first episode, and talk up our new iPad game!

Here’s a photo of me sitting on the throne – I just happen to be pregnant as well, so this is my “Mother of Dragons” pose 🙂

Selection of iPad Launch Day Coverage

Fortune / CNN

VentureBeat / GamesBeat

Pocket Gamer (news)

Pocket Gamer (review)

Pocket Gamer (guide) (News)

Arcade Sushi (review)

Digital Spy (review)

iPad Insight (review)

“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…