A look at the Do's and Don'ts of Public Relations.

Posted by Dragonmaw on Sep 25th, 2004
Basic PR.

So you've started a mod, and want to attract people to help or admire your work. This naturally leads to some essential Public Relations as more and more people get interested in what you are doing. This leads to some incredibly awesome and incredibly stupid PR moves. So here are some tips and examples of good and bad PR.

PR Dos
April Fools News Post (Modding Classic)
The April Fools news post is almost a tradition in the modding world. The essence of it is that on April 1st the mod team posts news about absurd, insane, or downright impossible things they are going to do with their mod (Note: Announcing the mod has died is a *bad* PR move if it is an April Fools joke)

Example: "Surprise your teammates and friendly units with this portable Headcrab. Provides hours of fun, sneak up on them and give them a suprise! Side effects may include lacerations, blood loss and zombification." -Sven Co-op ( Svencoop.com )

New Eye Candy
Eye candy is the primary way to get people interested in your mod. If you release a lot of eye candy gradually, people will stay with you to watch the development and eventually play the mod. (Note: A dump of eye-candy is BAD. You release it a little at a time)

Example: None that I can show. There are many mods that do this though.

Accepting Ideas From The Community
One of the best ways to get people to watch your mod is to make them feel like they make a difference in what you are doing. That means opening up the modification to suggestions from outside source. (Outside being outside the development team) If the suggestion is good, you implement it into the modification, which pleases the person who suggested it, making them go out and say, "Hey I helped this mod a bit, lets watch its progress," to people giving you a bigger community

Example: None at the moment

PR Don'ts
Stealing Ideas
Stealing ideas is the worst possible PR you can possibly have. It shows that you can not be original in the slightest. If someone comes along and says "Hey you stole that idea from *blank*", You are pretty much screwed. However, it is acceptable to use ideas under certain circumstances (Ports, continuation of dead licenses, etc.)

Example: "Rivalry Of Legends is an 80's Video Game and Cartoon Character Modification/Total converstion based on the Quake 3 Engine. The Quake 3 Engine will be brought up to date with some new code and gfx. Cool mod it looks like, Marvel Power Battles, a mod registered here, was halted and they joined this mod. Check out the site for info. Me being a fan of MPB, I decided to register this for all the people who were modwatching MPB." -Rivalry of Legends ( Moddb.com )

Example: This thread on ModDB: Moddb.com

Claiming Company Support
One of the absolute worst examples of PR is claiming that you are recieving a special treatment from a company before the company announces that they even recognize you. Saying the "Gabe Newman is helping me with my mod" makes you look like a liar and an idiot. One of the absolute worst PR moves you can possibly make.

Example "Well first of all we are developing our mod by tips that Valve is giving us. EQHL2 is being developed with the support of Valve, so first of all the model's polys range from 3000-4000 polys and thanks to a suggestion from Gabe it will not slow down the game a bit" -Equilibrium Mod (Half-Life 2) (No longer availible)

Poorly Lit (Or Secret) Promo Shots
Having poorly lit promo shots make you look like an attention whore. You want to release eye candy, then release with reasonable light sources. No one like a bad promo shot, especially one that trys to look good by toning down the lighting until all the blemishs are gone. Combined with bad graphics, models, or logos, you have just made another botch in PR. And "secret" promo shots are awaste of time. "Promo" implies they are open to the ppublic, whereas "Secret" says they are for us only, to fawn over and love.

Example: A recent news post by the DB:LB team on our very own modDB. You can view it here: Moddb.com

Mispelling Words
You may not think that this is a big deal, but trust me, it is. When you don't spell right, or spell like a kindergardener on crack, that is when the bad PR hits. Because if you can't spell a four-letter word right, then what makes your audience think you can keep the mod together?

Example: "galexy warfare", a WH40K mod that was recently deleted from ModDB

Just because you weren't able to get on a mod team for something you like does NOT mean you should start your own mod based on the exact same thing. It makes you look like a plagerist and idiot. No one wants to work with someone who can't even come up with their own ideas. If you want to make a mod, make sure one hasn't been made before on that subject.

Example: Once again, "galexy warfare" takes the cake here with a direct copy from another WH40K mod for Half-Life.

Non-Working Mod Leaders
Mod leaders who don't do anything but so-called "brain work" are nothing but leechs who want to get credit for nothing. So you came up with an idea, but now you have to implement it into the game engine. That requires work. If you aren't will to spend the time, effort, or money into working on a mod alongside your fellow modders, don't even start it. Hand it to someone else who will do it.

Example: SortOfSlow and his Rurouni Kenshin mod Nogard. (Link not Available)

Insufficient Goals/Description
One of the worst botchs you can do is giving your mod a poor description or not giving your team good goals. Don't say "Make a vehicle", say "Make me a medium-sized tank with large tracks, a large base, and a medium sized gun. Include an AA cannon on top". If you don't give your team sufficient goals, or spark interest in your great ideas by describing your mod, then nothing will happen.

Example: "Description: Silent Hill" ( Moddb.com )

Post comment Comments
VonGimli Sep 26 2004 says:

Im a mod leader, just saying thx for the tips!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonmaw Author
Dragonmaw Sep 26 2004 says:

No problem

+1 vote   reply to comment
DaFranker Oct 7 2004 says:

Well, this was a very good tutorial. Although I already read one of the kind a while ago, it did help remember how to manage a team, and I'll probably need to keep this noted as a reference, as one of my friends and myself are starting a mod together, and right now I'm trying to get as much information of this kind as possible. Looks like I have one subject less to look for. Thanks again.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ImTheDarkcyde Oct 10 2004 says:

i dont see how people wihtout highly successful mods can post this stuff

its like me teaching statistical thermodynamics (pm me for a free course :D)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonmaw Author
Dragonmaw Oct 13 2004 says:

No problem

ImTheDarkcyde: Shoosh it ><

+1 vote   reply to comment
briguy992 Oct 19 2004 says:

Heh as a PR guy myself it's good to see you placed it at the Beginner level lol :D

Nice tutorial for people just getting into the PR scene and marketing :)

One suggestion though.

Explain! Saying that releasing a large ammount of media is bad probably won't convince a lot of people unless you have been on a highly succesful mod team (like Counter-Strike or something). People will believe you much more if you explain yourself.

+1 vote     reply to comment
yalldropdead Oct 21 2004 says:

awesome tut, man! very helpful.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Aut Dec 28 2005 says:

This is nice, there was a guy on my mod team that I basically got rid of and he started a rival mod based on the same thing. Too bad he didn't read this, he did basically everything you shouldn't and I havn't seen his mod move.

+1 vote     reply to comment
AyAn4m1 Mar 12 2006 says:

It's somewhat amusing that in your "don't" for spelling, you spelled kindergartner "kindergardener."

Still, there were some good points made.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Lady_Nerevar Sep 12 2006 says:

some very good points are made, this is a great tut for those who are just starting. it totaly upsets me when a good mod pulls a bad PR move...

spelling errors are the reason tamriel rebuilt dosent let me PR :P

+1 vote     reply to comment
RazorsKiss Oct 30 2006 says:

"It makes you look like a plagerist and idiot"

You misspelled "plagiarist", and it would be better if you used "and an idiot". Also, I know it's marginally acceptable to use one s in misspell, but it's entirely correct to use 2 s's, not 1.

"botchs" is "botches"

"leechs" is "leeches".

Other than that, good tips.

+1 vote     reply to comment
epicbox Feb 14 2012 says:

This is very nice, thanks for sharing.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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