Getting the right content to the right contacts
Learn how one of the world's leading game publishers uses campaign data to inform their outreach and secure more coverage.
InnoGames is one of the world's leading publishers and developers of mobile and online games. The company based in Hamburg is best known for its global hit Forge of Empires, Elvenar and Tribal Wars. The company has millions of registered players globally and a comms strategy that spans the entire world.
But with such a diverse audience, how can you be sure that the stories you pitch resonate with journalists in different areas and result in coverage?
In this interview, InnoGames' Head of PR Peter Meyenburg shares:
How using a single platform for contact management, distribution and publication saves his team time and provides actionable insights into campaign performance
How he and his team use email metrics to inform outreach and win coverage
How to secure greater journalist attention and social media reach by including visual assets in press releases
More than Product PR
“External communications at InnoGames is more than Product PR. On top of news from our games, we also focus on Corporate Communications and employer branding activities. As we are one of the biggest developers and publishers of mobile and online games with a global audience, we're doing all of that in many markets and languages."
That's Peter Meyenburg, Head of PR at InnoGames.
Now, making a name for your brand within any industry is never an easy task, because it relies on a sustained show of quality and integrity. It is even more challenging when you want to work on shaping your profile beyond your own industry. Fortunately, InnoGames perfectly fits the bill.
"We stand for high-quality games and a very sustainable approach. Our games are not shootout, fire, and then you're done. Our games are longevity – players around the world enjoy them for years. Tribal Wars, our very first game, for example, has been on the market for 17 years and many players are still with us since day one," says Peter.
InnoGames’ portfolio encompasses seven live games and several in production
“What ensures our player’s loyalty are regular content updates, our high-quality approach and the high level of expertise in our teams in general, which is another news hook for us in PR," explains Peter.
To ensure a strategic focus on employer branding activities and to promote this knowledge accordingly, Peter and his team launched an own-brand ambassador programme a couple of years ago and support colleagues with the development of expert articles, speaking opportunities and other content.
Thanks to Prezly, we can send our content in a very convenient way to the right people in various markets.
For InnoGames' PR efforts, that means that even within the gaming industry and in publications, the team is reaching out to different journalists from the same editorial team.
"Then, for other topics like milestone achievements, we are focusing on trade publications,” describes Peter. "Depending on the topic, we need to make sure to carry out the right content to the most relevant contacts."
That said, Peter and his team are constantly targeting different publications to make sure the company’s messages are being heard.
Informed analytics to inform outreach & tailor your media list
Obtaining press coverage isn’t a simple matter of firing off pitches and hoping for the best. As Peter describes, successful media publicity is the result of hard work, detailed planning and being mindful of what journalists are looking for.
So what do journalists want? Simply put: great stories. They want clear and reliable information that is relevant for them and their target audiences. Anyone who can help journalists achieve these goals is able to earn media coverage.
A tool that offers additional insights on the performance of your send-outs is a must for building a mutually beneficial relationship with journalists.
Prezly allows us to check open and clickthrough rates so that we can follow up with key stakeholders in a timely manner.
"Our variety of topics and news hooks don’t allow us to simply shoot and see what we can hit in the field. We don’t want to spam journalists with stories that are not relevant for them. Therefore, we’ve been looking for a tool that allows us to treat our press releases as targeted campaigns. Prezly allows us to check open and clickthrough rates so that we can follow up with key stakeholders in a timely manner," says Peter.
See exactly how your contacts engage with your campaigns & pitches
For instance, when Peter and his team notice that someone has opened an email and has clicked several times on the links included, but has not yet published an article, they follow up and ask if there is anything else the journalist might be looking for. When it is a key contact, they might offer them an interview for a deeper dive into the topic, while journalists that react quickly might be a good fit for an exclusive outreach on specific topics.
Careful contact management and watchful relationship building are keys to success in PR, and the analytics from Prezly help us to adapt strategies where needed.
Additionally, if a contact consistently doesn't open your emails, then there's zero point in including them in campaigns – all it does is skew your data and fill up their inbox.
Instead, tag them for follow up and spend a bit of time digging deeper: why aren't they opening your emails? Is it a technical issue – are they going straight to spam? – or is it that these people genuinely aren't interested? Having access to that information gives you the chance to get in touch and ask.
If they are opening but not responding or covering your stories, reach out to them personally and ask why. Find out what stories they're looking for and how you can provide material that is more relevant to them. (Psst... For practical insights into how to use campaign metrics to improve performance, check out our free pitching guide.)
See what the most effective pitches are made of, based on 15,976,113 emails.
“Thanks to Prezly, we can send our content in a very convenient way to the right people in various markets. We exclude journalists from specific distribution lists if they don’t open our mails or simply don’t publish articles. However, it often helps to simply ask them directly why they don’t seem to be interested, and go from there," says Peter.
“Careful contact management and watchful relationship building are keys to success in PR, and the analytics from Prezly help us to adapt strategies where needed.”
Include the right assets helps
This approach of studying what works and constantly tweaking distribution lists and processes to earn coverage is core to InnoGames' PR strategy – and naturally we're thrilled to hear that Prezly helps them do just that.
"The new campaign manager and the content editor are easy to use and support us in getting good results. The multimedia options in particular allow us to make our content much more attractive and digestible. It simply increases coverage and interaction on social media when you combine your messages with the right assets,” says Peter.
Each story in InnoGames' newsroom includes relevant assets such as pictures and videos
"Primarily, we use press releases to distribute bigger updates and news, like milestone achievements, to selected audiences. On top of that, we pitch a lot of stories to individual outlets. Most of these are expert articles or other content from our brand ambassador programme. Prezly is a great tool to support us with that targeted approach. The UI is easy to handle and you have all the options you need from a multimedia perspective."
The multimedia options in particular allow us to make our content much more attractive and digestible. It simply increases coverage and interaction on social media when you combine your messages with the right assets.
We launched a new version of our content editor in 2019 with the aim of making the process of creating a press release as pain-free as possible. By stripping away cluttered menus and giving you space to put together any types of media – text, images, videos, audios, tweets and more – we hoped to provide a really clean and intuitive way for you to tell your story. We're thrilled with the feedback we've had from clients like InnoGames; of course, you're very welcome to come try it out for yourself :)
A modern story editor perfect for publishing press releases, blog posts, newsletters, reports, and so much more. PR has never been this easy (or fun).
In addition to being easy to build, every press release you design through Prezly can be published to your own branded newsroom, together with any assets, bios and contact details.
"Obviously, the newsroom is also very important as it allows us to have all our press releases in one single place, which is easy to manage and to maintain," says Peter. "Our contacts, campaigns and the newsroom are centralised in the tool."
The main takeaways
To keep up, you need to measure and adjust your approach constantly, even in seemingly personal areas like relationship building. By carefully using campaign data and watching how his contacts react, Peter has been able to refine his comms to get InnoGames' content to the people who are hungry for it.
To recap, here are a few of Peter's strategies for effective and considerate PR:
Using a single platform for contact management, press release distribution and publication saves time and provides actionable insights into campaign performance
Watching open and clickthrough rates helps to pinpoint opportunities for content creation and find contacts requiring follow-up
Including rich media in press releases results in greater journalist attention and social media reach
Publishing all stories in a newsroom helps shape InnoGames’ online profile (and makes upkeep easier)