Ben Kuchera has spent nearly 10 years in games media, first at Ars Technica and now running the Penny Arcade Report. As far as experience goes, Ben has a lot to share.
A good episode, this. We spent nearly an hour talking about interview techniques, how to deal with PR people, and why it’s important to keep on top of your contact list.
Sorry, no talk about how games journalism is broken!
I do want to point out one thing, though, and that’s something we discussed in the episode about dealing with PR people. We talk about how fostering a relationship with PR reps as it can lead to opportunities. The examples we gave were being able to get in to appointments at conferences because of our relationships with those reps.
I want to clarify this isn’t an elitism thing, it’s not “oh look how good we are, we’re getting into these appointments”. It’s just the fact we’ve established a working relationship with the PR reps and we were able to take advantage of that relationship. Any one can do it! Not an exclusive thing. You just have to put the effort in. And as I point out in the discussion, that relationship can become a problem.
I’d also like to point out this podcast is not necessarily for people who have been in the industry for a while. This is for new or beginning games journos who want to get some advice. I’ve had a few responses from people who say, “well, I already know all of that because I’ve been writing for X years”, and I just want to point out – politely – that this podcast may not be for you! And that’s okay.