As the esports industry matures, executives are increasingly stressing the importance of effective esports communications. Enter The Story Mob. The agency is today releasing the “Seven Commandments of Esports Communications,” a whitepaper designed to give a brand, team or business best practices for effective communication in the world’s fastest growing sport. Mantras include: create value; be authentic; be timely; be media savvy; be transparent; be truthful about who you are; and be bold. (Be sure to check out the white paper and its examples at CynopsisEsports.com and via TheStoryMob.com.)
Company co-founder Nicola Piggott told Cynopsis about its guidelines, the evolution of esports PR and tips to engage audiences. For the full interview, visit CynopsisEsports.com.
Piggott on Esports PR: Although games PR has existed for decades, The Story Mob is the first consultancy solely dedicated to esports. With any new sport, it takes time to build up the support services that help it succeed – from lawyers who understand the ecosystem’s complexities to comms pros who are able to help brand speak to its fans. Luckily for us, esports is one of the most exciting and dynamic places to practice communications, largely because the audience is so connected and responsive. With more investment than ever flowing into the ecosystem and teams and brands looking to create stronger bonds with esports fans, now is the time for communications pros with experience to help shape those conversations.
On the whitepaper: We wrote the whitepaper to answer a lot of common questions that we get as esports communications professionals. We’ve been privileged to work in esports for multiple years, and we care about helping the sport to grow and avoiding pitfalls that hold it back. That’s why we wanted to spread the word about a few simple things that we think everyone in the scene should keep in mind when planning out their communications. The commandments may seem obvious – say what you mean, don’t fake knowledge or enthusiasm – but too often we see them being broken. I’d like to think that this is relevant for anyone that’s looking to speak directly to esports fans – whether or not they have the budget to work with an external consultancy like us.
On good PR/communications: As we say in the whitepaper, esports fans are some of the most demanding – and bullshit resistant! – sports fans in the world. This is a sport born into a post internet world, which means fast and plentiful information, close connections with athletes and the potential for crises to explode in the blink of an eye. Having a thoughtful and thorough approach towards your communications is what separates esports teams and brands from their competitors. Automotive or telecom brands aren’t thinking moment to moment – they have decade long brand goals and messaging to help them get there. When we work with brands in the esports space, we encourage the same long view.
On the seven rules: We approached the commandments as a set of universal truths that we wanted to see more awareness of within esports. We could have been more specific and tactical – given a playbook on how to run an AMA or how to work with a pro or team after a crisis – but our goal was to highlight the values that we should all be holding to. Some of the simpler commandments – ‘be truthful about who you are’, for example – felt pretty obvious, but we see so many examples of brands making statements that they don’t stand by, or claiming standards that they don’t apply in their operations. We need to dial things back and help brands articulate who they are, what they bring to the ecosystem and what they stand for. Everything else is window dressing.