After my post about our press release and all the help we got from awesome people, folks wanted to know more about the press page, so here are some diagrams I made in the spirit of Chris Phin.
There are two important ideas that went into our press page. The first is that journalists want basic, no-nonsense information, stripped of marketing fluff. They want to know as much about our product as possible in as little time as they have, so we give them the good stuff, right up front.
They want promo codes. We try to make getting them as painless as possible. Then the basic links: where we are on the various networks, and our press kit, which has all the important stuff on the page zipped up and waiting, so you can download that and be off the site in 30 seconds. We try to provide the site and its content in every language we are localized in, and make that immediately obvious.
Since our press release is concise enough to demo, we include the whole thing, right above the fold, right next to the basic information that should accompany any press release: what the product is, and how people can get in touch with us. Oh yeah, and high-resolution logos and screenshots. Making high quality assets available makes it easy to cover us, which brings me to the other second important idea.
Journalists are just as lazy as I am. The easier we make it for them to do their jobs, the more they are going to love us. We tell them lots of clever things to notice about the game in our heavily illustrated reviewer’s guide. We want them to know everything they need to know after 20 minutes with our product.
Hell, we even prerecord that 20 minutes with extended format Let’s Play videos. You can play them full-screen on your iPad and it’s like playing the game without using your hands.
I figure, I was a journalist, and I like to jump to the bottom of the page, so we made it a bit of a mini-site, with minimal gimmicks, and minimal chrome. The way I see it, by the time you get down to the press page, all we can do is let the product speak for itself.
We’re about a week into our ongoing soft relaunch of Lemurs Chemistry: Water, and we’ve finally gotten to the point where people are starting to notice. There were quite some murmurs yesterday about our press page, which I appreciate, and while I could easily point to my experience as a journalism major for providing some kind of savvy, the reality is, I can hardly take credit for it.
First and foremost, all we really did was our best implementation of what Chris Phin asked all App Makers to do in his talk at NSConference 5. Our “perfect press release,” was literally just a point for point copy of the ideal press release from his talk, which I hope nobody will mind me sharing here.
Our press page is just the stuff he asked us to make available, like a bunch of full resolution screenshots, and a short trailer, together with the extended “Let’s Play” videos that we put up as a way for people to experience the game without having to buy it first. In particular, I didn’t even know what a reviewer’s guide was before his talk, and ours ended up turning out really nicely.
A lot of credit for that, and for the press release, goes to my brother, Hernan Pelassini. He started working on the press release when we were still writing code, and he harped on the reviewer’s guide and the Phin format from the very beginning, even going so far as to send me a copy of the video to make sure I watched it before writing the final draft.
Despite being quite hard at work half a world away, and even after I messed up the time zones and called him at 5:30 in the morning, he proofed the release and the reviewer’s guide, and made crucial changes. We rarely get past the last 80% of polish without guidance from the outside, and on a deadline, availability is everything. Hernan is always there when you need him. That’s why we all love him.
Speaking of people who are always there for you, there are a couple of folks I almost never mention because they’re so close to me, they’ve become part of me, and talking about them feels like talking about myself. Klaas Speller and Judy Chen are two people who always make sure I keep going, who reign me in when I need reigning in, who give me criticism when I need criticism, who offer support when I need support.
These are shining examples of a class of people I have been blessed to have cultivated relationships with in my life. The credits page of the game is a tribute to that. My whole career has been a tribute to that. Where I have been tough, and shown grit, it has been to chew and swallow the big problems I bite off for myself, but where I have succeeded, or even exceeded, it has been thanks to people like these.