How Prezly helped a mobile game dev 4x their coverage
An interview with Kolibri Games' Tom Weber.
"Having our story be noticed by non-gaming media was one of the hardest challenges that we had to overcome. You can make a name for yourself in gaming media, but that doesn’t guarantee that people outside of gaming media will pick up on your story."
Sound familiar? That was the challenge facing Kolibri Games' PR Editor, Tom Weber. He had the story, he had the contacts, but there was still a disconnect between the news he was sending out and the mainstream non-gaming media outlets – they simply weren't biting. That was before he joined Prezly.
Since starting with Prezly, we have more than doubled our coverage. We introduced Prezly in Q1 and by the end of Q2 we already had more clippings than in all of 2018 combined.
Let's find out how Tom uses Prezly to get traction outside of industry press and take some of the unpredictability out of the PR process.
One of the leading idle game devs in the world
Kolibri Games (formerly known Fluffy Fairy Games) is a mobile games developer based in Berlin, Germany, that in just three years has become one of the leading idle gaming companies in the world – an astounding achievement for a business founded just three years ago by a ragtag group of IT and business students operating from their student apartment.
What's even more incredible is that Kolibri Games developed Idle Miner Tycoon, their flagship title, in just eight weeks and launched it to a roaring immediate success. Their strategy? To continuously refine their games based on player feedback. Their goal? To become the most player-centric games company in the world.
Since then, Idle Miner Tycoon and its equally popular successor, Idle Factory Tycoon, have clocked more than 100 million downloads, enabling the company to grow to more than 100 dedicated engineers, artists and game designers.
And people took notice. Kolibri Games’ exceptional growth story saw the company rank in LinkedIn's 2018 list of Top 25 startups in Germany; placed among the 2018 Top 100 Global by Red Herring and awarded first place in the "Rising Stars" category of 2018’s Technology Fast 50 by Deloitte.
With its early success, continued growth, industry recognition, and phenomenal download and player retention rates, everything appeared to be going great for the young, ambitious startup.
But there was a problem.
Publishers outside of the gaming industry just weren't biting.
See what the most effective pitches are made of, based on 15,976,113 emails.
"As a PR person in other industries, most of the time you can just go and spam your stories to a huge database of media contact and someone will most likely pick up on it. And in gaming – and I think mobile gaming even more so – that’s not really the case yet," explains Tom, Kolibri's PR Editor.
"Games press and mobile games press is still quite niche, so you really have to know who you’re targeting and you have to know how you can grab their attention best."
Episode 1: What can we learn from gaming PR?
This is a problem we see over and over again.
Journalists, bloggers, influencers – they deal with dozens if not hundreds of press releases every day. They need a reason to notice yours.
In the vast majority of situations, mass mailing strangers through a bought contact database no longer works. You need to target your audience carefully, shape your story to be relevant for them, and deliver it in a way that captures their imagination and gives them the resources they need to write it up.
Fortunately, we'd come prepared.
We chose Prezly because it perfectly fits our use case: it’s the perfect tool for a company that knows their audience and is looking for an elegant, user friendly way to get their message across.
"That’s where Prezly really comes in for us. The tool allows us to professionalise our message in a way that we weren’t able to do before," says Tom.
"And by accompanying our stories with images, with super convenient backlinks and all these sorts of things, we were really able to make our story attractive to a much wider audience than we were before."
We've said it before and we'll say it again: multimedia matters. Including images within your press release doubles the chance of it getting noticed; video quadruples it. Press releases that use all of the above and more get up to 9.7 times as many views as those using text alone.
Why does this work?
Visual storytelling: visual content helps the reader connect to your story and gives you the opportunity to make the key points of your message stand out
Time saving: by including images, videos and more in your press release, you're making life easier for your media contact since they don't have to spend precious minutes chasing these down themselves
Increased distribution: certain distribution points, such as video-sharing sites and image archives, are multimedia-only, meaning stories made up of text alone are immediately disqualified
Social sharing: people on all social media platforms post and repost visual content more often than text-only posts – something journalists and bloggers are all too conscious of. According to Sprout Social, 58% of consumers prefer visual-first content, while 74% share video content from brands on social media
We were really able to make our story attractive to a much wider audience than we were before.
This year's survey focused on the topic of Contact Management, tapping into the experience of 412 PR professionals from across the world, identifying their biggest pains and finding that most PRs can save hours each week by making one simple change
And Tom didn't stop there. In order to better target his new, beautifully multimedia press releases at different audiences, he tracked the way his contacts were interacting with his content and shaped Kolibri's comms strategy accordingly. Needless to say, we're thrilled to have been able to help.
"Prezly offers us great reporting and statistics about clicks, visibility and traction – insights that we weren’t able to gather before. And now, we can. We can see who opened this, who read that, who clicked, and have a better idea of how we need to structure and phrase our stories for specific people to gain interest from them."
Prezly offers us great reporting and statistics about clicks, visibility and traction – insights that we weren’t able to gather before. And now, we can.
In addition, through assembling Kolibri's stories in a single branded newsroom, Tom added an extra channel for the company's outreach – organic.
"We get a lot of organic traction from whatever press release or stories we publish, so the need for pitches is not super high for us right now."
Kolibri's Prezly newsroom is available in two languages and houses the company's latest news and stories as well as its backstory and vibrant media gallery.
Because the newsroom is crawled by Google's bots, Tom can choose for anything he posts there to come up in Google search results, automatically extending the reach of new posts – a sort of idle PR, if you will – and freeing Tom up to concentrate on other parts of his PR workflow.
So, what did all these changes mean for Tom and his team?
Just kidding – or am I?
"Since starting with Prezly, we have more than doubled our coverage," explains Tom. "We introduced Prezly in Q1 and by the end of Q2 we already had more clippings than in all of 2018 combined."
Wow. That's a phenomenal result – a huge congratulations to Tom and the team!
By using Prezly to:
🎁 Better package his stories together with images and videos
🌱 Take advantage of organic discoverability with Kolibri's newsroom
🕵️ Track how contacts engage with campaigns
Tom was able to land as much coverage in a single quarter than the business had secured in the whole of the previous year.
That's exactly what we wanted to achieve when we first built Prezly: to give PR professionals like Tom the tools to tell their story beautifully and communicate it to their most important contacts.
"We chose Prezly because it perfectly fits our use case: it’s the perfect tool for a company that knows their audience and is looking for an elegant, user friendly way to get their message across."
While some PR challenges are universal, the nuances fluctuate from industry to industry. On top of that, the way people discover news has changed.
Your stories need to be discoverable online, media-rich and easy to share.
Create beautiful online newsrooms, publish your stories, embed galleries, livestreams and more, and build your audience without relying on your tech team.
How will this evolve in future? Who's to say – but we love to speculate, listen to the challenges our clients face and, much like Kolibri's ethos, continuously refine Prezly based on customer feedback. Whatever the future holds, we plan to continue building the tools you need to get your story seen.
Thank you for reading :)