Sunday, August 08, 2004

Alternate Reality PR 

I have written before that online games are good PR tools, and I wonder why more PR departments have not used them. Hollywood has adapted to gaming brilliantly and constructs complex, multi-web-site games that hype a movie, for example. Game companies have shown similar skill as this story relates.

Perhaps the lack of PR involvement lies with a simple fact that there are few PR practitioners with any experience in this area. If so, that is a disappointment. We could at least come up with creative ideas and then contract with programmers to make them real. But, we don't appear to do much of that. It is an area that still seems beyond the capabilities of the PR business.

What could games be used for? For any kind of promotion and certainly for serious purposes, such as health education. I could see a game, for example, that teaches the importance of frequent blood-sugar monitoring for diabetics. The game would not focus on the testing, but it might give the hero diabetes and have him black out at the wrong moments if he or she has failed to test for blood sugar levels. It would add a touch of real life to a game.

Advertisers are getting involved in games and getting their messages or products into them. Why not PR?


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