If you’ve been keeping up with our blog posts, you might remember a post about our completely unreasonable expectations of the media. This blog post is somewhat related to that and is meant to help with what seems like the simple task of requesting a copy of a game from us. See, we receive all forms of email from people requesting copies of games. Some are super clear, engaging, and full of relevant info; others are … not so much. So, here are five helpful tips to use in your emails to Evolve PR (or heck, PR in general) when requesting a game:
Use the email address associated with your website or channel
If you’re writing for a website, I normally expect you to have an email address with an @domainname.whatever at the end of it. But, if you don’t have one, it would be helpful to have a managing editor or EIC cc’d on the email to confirm your identity or at least be able to verify the email address on the staff page of the website. If your channel is on YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, or elsewhere, I’d expect you to email from your email address visible on the channel. Doing this removes the step of verifying your identity before doing what I can to help you out.
Describe your website or channel focus
I’ve received emails with all kinds of stats about readership and viewership, but there wouldn’t be even a small mention of what or how they cover games. This is even tougher with some YouTube and Twitch channels, because we look to see what games you play. If you’re a YouTuber who mainly covers PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds but occasionally has special videos for other games in the shooter genre, it really helps to point that out. This can be even more crucial for people on Twitch and Mixer where archived videos can be even more temporary.
If your website or channel covers specific subjects such as VR or Horror games, definitely mention that because if you’re reaching out for SUPERHOT VR or Observer, that might be what encourages us to get you a key for the game.
Include a link to your domain or channel
You’d be surprised how many emails I’ve gotten from people super stoked to reach out about a game only to describe their website, but not link to it. Sometimes it’s easy for me to do a manual search, but sometimes it’s extremely tough to find a site that’s titled “Game (Insert Noun Here).”
Don’t use a bland, cookie cutter email outline
As someone who writes emails professionally, I know when I’m looking at an email that isn’t personalized. The most blatant ones are where I can tell he or she literally copied and pasted some boring, universal description about his or her website then entered the game name in the middle of it, but the copy is in one style of font while the game name is in another. Even worse would be if the name of the game being requested is left out altogether!
While some information about your website will always be the same from pitch to pitch, at least take a moment to personalize something outside of the game name. Again, if your coverage would fit well with the theme of your website or channel, that’s a wonderful thing to mention here. Also, if English isn’t your first language, I’m not going to hold that against you. You’re more than welcome to write in your native language if that would help you be more confident in your writing. Gmail can usually translate an email, or I can totally take a moment to run it through a translation tool.
Keep it short and simple
Ain’t nobody got time for long emails! My ideal email pitch would consist of a personal greeting (make sure to spell their name correctly), the reason you’re reaching out, and a quick explanation of why your website or channel is a good fit for the game you’re requesting with any relevant links to the website and/or past coverage that would support the pitch. For example:
Now, just so you’re aware, common practice at Evolve PR is to encourage media to sign up for an account on Terminals. This usually helps us confirm the general information of who you say you are, if we aren’t already on familiar terms, but we’re happy if you to reach out through email or the internal messaging system in Terminals if there’s a specific focus on your website or channel that we don’t immediately notice. You can even add those to the notes when you’re requesting a key for a game – we do read them.
Hopefully these tips are helpful for any pitch emails you’re sending to people, not just to us here at Evolve. Did I miss anything? Add it to the comments or hit us up on our social channels.