Friday, November 6, 2015

The Power of Publicity

The hobby or specialty game industry is a comparatively small market. I would be willing to bet that the entire industry’s annual sales only amount to a small percentage of Wal-mart’s or Amazon’s sales, meaning that news in our industry does not matter much to those who don’t play hobby games. The trick, in order to get people in the greater market and the news media to pay attention to your news is to tie it to their interests or to tie it to a more “newsworthy” event, and unfortunately, while the release of Battle for Zendikar and the Zendikar Expeditions cards were very important to those within our industry, it caused barely a ripple in the wider world.

This means looking for events that the general public has an interest in and finding a novel way to tie your product or business to it. I have managed to get invited to appear on the local morning news twice this year but not because of any of the games or comics that we sell. Heck even Free Comic Book Day and Free RPG Day didn’t warrant a mention in the local news, except in the event listings of the local entertainment paper. What did get attention was our embrace of National Pi Day (March 14)with an offer of free pie to customers coming in and our Haunted Carbondale tours in October. Both were only tangential to the store focus but they did get the store’s name out there and brought in a number of customers. Publicity works, unfortunately moreso than advertising in today’s market.