VGPR #017: This is Harder Than I Thought

My interview with The Washington Post’s Elise Favis, more news you can use, and cover letter advice redux

[Hi, I'm Lizzie Killian, founder at FIFTYcc. You're reading VGPR, a newsletter featuring interesting developments and topics impacting public relations in the video games industry.

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Is it only March, or is it already March? 😩 This year is already off to a busy start! VGPR has a new logo (thanks to one of my favorite humans Sam Sieger)! And a dedicated Twitter (please give us a follow)! And, of course, a new issue.

In this issue: My interview with The Washington Post’s Elise Favis, more news you can use, and cover letter advice redux.

Interview: Launcher’s Elise Favis

Elise Favis is a reporter at The Washington Post’s gaming vertical Launcher. She tells us about how she got her start in games media, her move from Game Informer to Launcher, and how you can improve your pitch for The Washington Post.

I love stories about people. And that can be anything from an interesting cultural phenomenon within a video game and how its affecting its community, to a behind-the-scenes look at how a specific part of a game was built. I really love working with indie developers who are doing something unique, like how Spiritfarer’s studio developed a game about death positivity by visiting terminally ill patients.

Read the full interview here.

News You Can Use

  • London-based PR/Marketing firm Bastion recently released the results of their Bastion European Media Survey. The report shares insights from over 120 European journalists. 80% of those surveyed said they are more likely to open an email when they know the PR rep who sent it. 72% said a game company's social media presence is important or very important. Check out the link above for the full report.

  • Future Friends Games founder Thomas Reisenegger shares some TikTok tips (say that three times fast) for indie devs. Still new to the platform? TikTok is hosting a free summit for small and medium businesses on March 24 "designed to help everyone grow their familiarity and understanding of the platform, and learn how to set up their business up for success on TikTok."

  • Matt Prince, Senior PR Manager for Taco Bell, recently launched Net Net Synergy, an online resource for aspiring PR, communications, and marketing professionals to find jobs and mentors. Thanks to Holly Hua at Ubisoft for the heads up on this one! Holly and I, along with a small number of other games PR professionals, are currently mentors on the platform. Live Más!

More Cover Letter Advice

I shared some advice on why you should care about cover letters for PR jobs in the last issue. Here are a few more pieces of writing advice from PR pros in the VGPR community:

Charlene Lebrun (Player Two PR) reminds us to Explain the WHY:

“The ones that always grab my attention are the cover letters that make it clear they would be a good fit. Experience, skills, etc. we can see in a CV, but a cover letter is the best place to highlight important soft skills (usually listed in the job spec), and explain why you're applying for this job specifically. The WHY is a really important part — I've received esports CVs and no mention in the cover letter of why they're applying for an indie games role that would be different from what they're used to, let alone why us as a company. We get so many applications each time, that even if the CV is really good, I'll give priority to people who have an interest in what we do.”

Jerome Ortmann (Systemic Reaction, Avalanche Studios Group) suggests you Write more than one cover letter:

“We all have our dream companies we’d like to join, but the stars may not always align. You want to be ready when they do, though! Whenever I’ve searched for jobs, I wrote cover letters I never sent out. In fact, I used to write anywhere from three to 10 before I felt comfortable enough to go after that elusive dream gig. Writing cover letters is mad hard, but by the time I wrote that one important application, I was warmed up. This approach has never failed me — I’ve always gotten at least a callback and moved on to interview stages.”

In the Media

PR Jobs

Check and mate