Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, your thoughts on the Grammy nominations, what Carl Froch’s wife was looking for, or Jayson Werth possibly signing with the Red Sox, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
Back in Coffee Talk #250, RPadholic SlickyFats asked me, “Do you get invited to events or do you have to actively seek them out and invite yourself?” I wanted to answer that question in a Coffee Talk column to pull back the curtain on the videogame business and for self therapy. When I worked at Happy Puppy, GameSpy, Yahoo!, and G4tv, event invites were pretty much automatic. When I freelanced for high-profile outlets like FHM, GigaOm, Amazon, GamePro, etc., invites were pretty frequent. These days…not so much.
No matter what you’ve done in your career, PR people will forget about you once you stop serving a large audience. Their job is to promote their games to as many people as possible. Once you’re no longer useful to them, they stop calling, they stop returning your phone calls, they stop sending you games, and they stop sending you press releases. That’s just how it works.
Obviously this is a source of frustration for me. I’m trying to build and grow a web site. I need support from PR people. They control the information and coverage opportunities. On one hand, I completely understand where they’re coming from — I’m not as useful to them as I once was. On the other hand, I naively hope that people I’ve known for more than 10 years will help me grow my site. At the very least, I’d like to be invited to events that are miles away from my apartment. To be fair, I suck at self promotion and I hate groveling for stuff; I need to get over this in 2011 for the good of the site.
The good news is that I have several relationships with developers that many of you like. I will try to pull in favors for video interviews and stuff. Recently I was chatting with a pretty famous developer and he asked me what I thought about a recent press release. I told him, “I don’t know. Your flacks took me off the mailing lists. I don’t get your games or press releases anymore.” He was surprised and a little pissed off. He asked me if I wanted him to “fix” that situation. I declined. I’ll try to “fix” that myself next year.
So yeah, I get a fraction of the coverage opportunities I used to get and it kind of sucks. I’m going to try to change that in 2011. Also, I’m making a list and checking it thrice — I will never forget the PR people that still send me games, email me press releases, and invite me to events…nor will I forget the PR people that completely dropped me.
Thanks SlickyFats! This was therapeutic.