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
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
Upcomer has also merged with Daily Esports
Seth Schiesel has left Protocol and is now Director of Executive Communications at Xbox
Independent UK games publication Overlode just launched
Jeff Cork is no longer at Game Informer
Danielle Partis is leaving PocketGamer.biz
Matthew Handrahan is leaving GamesIndustry.biz
Mathew Olson is launching an AR/VR letter for The Information
Alex Spencer is now Features Editor at Edge Magazine
Andrew McMahon is now Features Editor at Twinfinite
Jade King is joining TheGamer as Features Editor
David Gill is now Writer at TheGamer
Charlie Hall is now Tabletop Editor at Polygon
Jason Coles is leaving The Indie Game Website
Eli Hodapp is no longer at TouchArcade
Edmond Tran is now Manager Editor at ScreenHub
2K - Global Senior Communications Manager (London, United Kingdom)
B/HI - Public Relations Account Executive - Video Games (Remote - Los Angeles, CA)
Epic Games - Communications Manager (Cary, NC)
Facebook - Communications Associate Manager, Games (Menlo Park, CA)
Jam City - Manager of Games PR (Culver City, CA)
Naughty Dog - Senior Communications Manager (Santa Monica, CA)
Nexon - Senior Public Relations Manager (El Segundo, CA)
NVIDIA - Public Relations Intern- Summer 2021 (Santa Clara, CA)
Ubisoft - PR Intern (San Francisco, CA)
Ubisoft - Public Relations Specialist (San Francisco, CA)
WE Communications - Account Executive (Remote - Portland, OR)