How to write a Press Release for indiedevs
A guide to help indiedevs to write good press releases
A simple way to draw press attention to your indie game is to write a press release whenever you have something good to announce. Therefore, we wrote a BRINDIE guide on how to write a good press release. We hope this is helpful!
What is a good subject for a Press Release
Established studios typically send one press release for each of these occasions:
- announce a game project
- debut a beta program
- communicate and build hype for their release date
- celebrate the actual release
Of course, notable efforts such as announcing, hyping and launching a crowdfunding campaign, hiring a particularly known talent, attracting a publisher or investor, drastically changing plans or even cancelling a game are all really good subjects for a press release, too.
How to write a Press Release
A press release is a written communication directed at journalists for the purpose of announcing something newsworthy. The traditional way to write a press release is as follows:
- an interesting title that catches the interest towards your news
- a brief subtitle that summarises your news
- an opening paragraph that starts with the Place and Date of the press release, states the news in a clear and concise manner and ideally includes a call to action. Don’t forget to add clear names and links for your game and your studio!
- a detail paragraph that offers important additional information about your news
- a quote (optional) that provides legitimacy and a human factor to your news
- a fluff paragraph (optional) that gives additional important, but non-essential information to support your news
- a reminder (optional) of your call to action
- a paragraph about your company
- summarised contact information
A Press Release Template
Here is an image template for a press release that we hope is useful. This template uses A4 dimensions in pixels and can be downloaded in .ai format from the BRINDIE FREE GitHub repository here.
You can also copy/ paste this text to write your Press Release:
A MEMORABLE TITLE
a subtitle that summaries important details about your news
CITY, DATE - State your news in an interesting, clear and concise way. The first paragraph of your press release is the most important. What is the fact you want to convey and what is the desired outcome you are after? Remember to include the full clear names of the factors and details involved: WHO did WHAT and WHEN, if that is important. Add a Call To Action - what do you wish the reader to do now?
The detail paragraph: explain why your news is important and give any additional details that support your claim. Guide the readers towards your
desired action and explain the benefits they will get if they follow your
call to action.
Optional - the quote: it helps bringing forth yourself and/ or your team
because it adds a human, relatable element to your news and it offers
legitimacy. Add a quote from your self or your team to explain what drove you to create the subject of your news.
The fluff paragraph: add more details that you think contribute to your news but are not super essential.
The Call To Action reminder: end up by reminding your readers what it is that you hope they will do after reading your press release.
About Your Company
Add a short paragraph about your company and don’t forget to include links for the people who would like to learn more about you.
Other Ways to Contact: Twitter/ Facebook/ Reddit/ Discord/ etc.
Presskit: link to your presskit materials
Extra tips for improving your indiedev Press Release
A few more tips to keep in mind when writing your press release:
- Write your Press Release text in a humble, informative way. Some journalists copy paste your text directly, especially if they are under time pressure, but they can’t do that if your text is self praising. Provide facts, data, links and proof to support your news.
- Focus on what is unique about your news. For example, your game genre is not something unique so rephrase how you present your game in unique ways.
- Communicate one subject. If you have more than one newsworthy information, consider writing more press releases
- Be short, concise and accurate. Favour short sentences and words that are understood by everyone. Consider running your text through a Flesch Reading Ease check
- respect the triangle rule
The triangle rule: In journalism, there is a rule known as the triangle rule which shows how information should be prioritised and structured. This helps journalists focus on the most important details and to easily cut away unessential information if the medium demands it. For example, in printed press, journalists must almost always adhere to a character limit for their articles. The triangle rule ensures that even if they need to cut their text, the essential information is still there. You should make sure your press release follows the triangle rule: essential information first, and any other information prioritised based on importance. This is why we included a triangle in the BRINDIE press release for indiedevs template.
What should you send with a Press Release
An image is worth a thousand words, especially in game development. Accompany your Press Release with good animated gifs, trailers, artworks and/or screenshots. Make sure they complement your words and that they are showing you and your game in the best light possible. Send few high quality assets. Embed only one animated gif and image in your text. If you have more graphical assets you can send, prepare a shared folder and send a link.
How to send a Press Release
Most press releases are sent via mail. A lot of journalists prefer the text of your press release directly in your mail body. Many of them copy/paste your text in their platform and tweak it or sometimes even publish it as-is. You can, however, also attach a word or PDF document. Remember to embed very few high quality graphical assets in your mail.
Use a believable e-mail address. It is best if your e-mail address is <name [at] studio name>, but if that is not possible, create a free e-mail address with a respectable name, such as <studio name [at] gmail>. Make sure the e-mail you use works and accepts replies. Check your spam settings.
Write a good e-mail subject. Ideally this should be the title of your press release. If possible, include your studio and game name in the subject, so journalists can easily search for your mail in their inbox.
If you send attachments, make sure you name them in a way that’s helpful for you. The press release attachment should be named StudioName_PressReleaseTitle. The graphics and graphics folder should be named StudioName_GameName_Asset. Journalists receive many press releases with attachments and by default they are downloaded in their Download folder. So if you send an attachment called screenshots.zip, it will be hard for a journalist to remember which screenshots are those.