Making time to write, preparing for Extra Life

I’ve written what seems like countless times that I’d write more on the blog, so I’m not going to make any big excuses this time around. When you write for a living, it takes extra effort to write recreationally. I can’t find the quote now, but I remember a sentence I read on Destructoid about writing every day. They wrote something to the likes of, “Don’t have time to write every day? Make time, puto!”

So, here I am. I’m making the time. Lately, my job has been an interesting mix of business communications, press release writing, media list building and event planning. Event planning has never been something I favor in the PR industry, but I’ve gotten better at it over the years. I recently organized a clean-up event for Portland Brewing, and as with most event planning, I don’t think it would’ve been even moderately successful without the help of others. Though it kind of burnt me out, the feedback I got from everyone was really nice.

The most interesting thing I picked up was the elastic band of men's underwear

The most interesting thing I picked up was an elastic band of men’s underwear

Now that the event has passed, it’s time to concentrate on one of my favorite times of the year — Extra Life. Each year, I’ve tried to get a little more interactive with it, especially for the people who sponsor me. I’ll tell you more about what I’ve got planned later on this week, but I’m pretty excited to begin testing it out. Here’s a hint to what I’m going to start using. I encourage you to watch the video below, if you’re curious to know the story of how Extra Life came to be.

Because, I’m going to write more often, my posts will be shorter like this one, but I hope you find it easier to digest.

Be awesome.

Four Inspirational Ways to Make Content Marketing Work for Your Videogame

Public relations is a fun industry to be in, because of all the creative ways I can spread the word about things I appreciate. But, as the profession continues to evolve, we in the PR field need to know how to adapt and provide more value for our clients as well as our own business. What I like about content marketing is how it can solve a problem for someone and also provide extra exposure to a brand. If the brand grows in popularity, community relations can provide publicity for other content creators and for the brand itself.

With E3 2014 being criticized by some as an event that should change as the game industry evolves, the role of PR also needs to adapt to provide more services that benefit their clients. One of many ways to provide benefit for game developers is through content marketing. Here are four ways content marketing can provide value to PR in the videogame industry.

Via Blackbolt

Via Blackbolt

Provide tips and walkthroughs to sharing game content on social media platforms

If you want people to share your game content on social media, begin by showing them how to do it. Xbox’s Major Nelson uses his podcast to provide tips on how to upload and share streaming game content in a segment called “Xbox 101.” Given enough time, guides and walkthroughs may have already been created by others and you merely need to strategically share them on your own channels.

Via ZeldaDungeon.net

Via ZeldaDungeon.net

World location hints and tips

Does your game have a large world filled with lush landscapes, dark dreadful swamps and hidden areas? Most players don’t want a story spoiled, but there are those whose time is limited and would appreciate tips on finding a hidden location or a not-so-well-known weapon to defeat a truly tough adversary. Whether you use YouTube as a video guide, or take screenshots that provide clues to where a rare item is at, these are things that can provide great value for your social media platforms if implemented correctly. People will turn to you for help.

Content from the game for other uses

It might seem like common sense to provide things like custom images for desktop computers and mobile devices, but there are other assets from a game that can be just as useful for extending the experience from the device into popular culture. Phil Fish did that when he had Disasterpeace create the soundtrack for his unique puzzle platformer Fez. The developers of Borderlands released a handful of sound files that could be used as ringtones for your phone, and they also created one of the most memorable memorials I’ve seen for a fellow fan who had passed away. If it’s created organically and authentically, content like this can take your game from just a product to a fan favorite.

Via Dekuwa

Button presses and combo tips

If your game utilizes complicated button presses, then this is something that people can utilize to improve their own skills. Sometimes a fighting game will provide a full tutorial utilizing one character, but not with others. This is the perfect time to provide tips for how the player can succeed with additional characters in the line-up. If your game is a third-person brawler, it might be worthwhile to provide tips on how to utilize items or skills, along with intricately timed button presses, to finish off a difficult opponent in short time.

These are only four ways to provide content to spread out the life of your game from a digital interactive product to much more. With a lot of hard work and a little luck, the content you provide along with the careful sourcing and distribution of community content can spread the word about your game.

Life update: October 2012

As usual, I’ve been trying to write more often on the blog and have been slacking. But, for good reason: I’ve been crazy busy with my new job! Most of my friends and family know that I have a new job, but few know exactly what I do, so I thought I’d write a post explaining what it is I do.

I work for a boutique PR agency called Watershed Communications that’s located in downtown Portland. Most of our clients are upscale restaurants and wine, cider, and beer makers, which means lots of fun reading news about the food and beverage industries. I’m currently an intern, but have been applying my expertise in a variety of areas. My day-to-day job is to track media pitches and mentions, but I’ve also written news releases, created media lists and have had many group brainstorm sessions about social media marketing. It has been very busy, but rewarding to feel like my arrival has helped the business in a positive way.

Another fun perk of the job is going to rad client events like the Portland Fresh Hop Festival and the Feast 2012 Sandwich Invitational. I will be writing posts about both of those events in the coming days. And I can’t forget the occasional dinner and bottle of wine I can take home; those are little perks I love getting. Stepping back into public relations after delving into the advertising realm of social media has been a smooth process and I’m happy about the direction I’ve taken. It definitely seemed ideal to get a job here after all of the papers I’ve written in school and food and beer.

If you want to follow along with what our agency is doing, feel free to check out the website and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks again for reading!

Four ways to stay up-to-date in public relations news

Many places on the web present public relations news. Some of it is great. Some is very dense. Others, regrettably, are behind pay walls. In this post, I will present four ways I make sure to stay up-to-date on the PR industry.

Ragan’s PR Daily News

 

 

 

This website features some very easy to access stories with sharing buttons for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Comments are pain-free within each post. For more tips and news of the trade, check out the video tab at the top of the page.

 

PR Newser

 

 

This blog is the PR subset of Mediabistro, which is another great website for media news.  I receive a daily email from Mediabistro and almost always find something interesting about the media industry on a daily basis. I definitely recommend this to any student entering the industry.

 

PR Frame

 

 

This Firefox add-on is perfect for the PR or Advertising practitioner, because everything is accessible right within your browser window. Of course, some of the items aren’t accessible on the websites themselves unless you pay for it, such as using Cision or any other news website locked behind a pay wall. Regardless, when I’m short on news for a certain day, I usually use this to help me find something new.

 

Public Relations Society of America

 

 

 

The PRSA has five different blogs discussing the industry and helping new professionals with tips on entering the industry. It’s a great place to join the conversation and stay updated on PR news.

I hope you’ve found some of these helpful. If you know of any other places, please feel free to leave them in the comments. Thanks!

Public relations in Portland: Know their corporate culture

PR is the ultimate hand shake

When one is looking for that special career in public relations, it’s obvious that one should have a degree and a solid portfolio. Some extra things that everyone should bring with them to the interview are confidence and knowledge of the company they’re hoping to be hired to. As a college student on the verge of graduation, (two more terms!), I’ve made it my goal to know the agencies I’d like to be hired to in Portland, Oregon after graduation. So, while it’s great to know about their clients and tools they use, the following are some links to their blogs that highlight work they do and the people behind it. Of course, there are more companies in Portland than these, so if you’d like, please add the links to those in the comment section below.

WAGGENER EDSTROM BLOGS

Waggener Edstrom is a well-known worldwide agency and features eight different blogs at their website from multiple contributors. Most are very easy reads with some great insight in communication.

EDELMAN’S “SPEAK UP”

This web page actually highlights many different blogs, some of which I’m not totally sure are from Edelman employees. Regardless, there is a link to Richard Edelman’s blog as well as an assortment of other employees around the world. A Twitter list on the right shows posts from their various accounts.

LANEPR COMPANY BLOG

This web page features one blog from multiple users. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get updated too often. Still, it’s a great way to get to know what they do as a company culture.

WATERSHED BLOG

This company specializes in food and drink – and does it show! Their blog makes me hungry. It’s a very colorful blog and features posts from multiple users. It’s a great place to learn about what the people in the company are working on and what their interests are.

HARVEST PR BLOG

Harvest PR focuses on agriculture and their blog showcases trips they go on, new employees and interns, and more. It’s unclear how many users post to it, but the posts are pleasant to read. Blog posts are a little infrequent, though.

MAXWELL PR “FREE THINK”

Another blog with a fantastic appearance! Features a fair amount of blog posts month-to-month from 14 different contributors as of the date of this entry. They have a short description of what they write about on their web page that I can’t state any better.