Womenize – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition in cooperation with the Film und Medien Stiftung NRW, we talked to Yvonne Lukanowski, PR & Marketing Manager at astragon Entertainment. Read more about Yvonne in this interview:
Hi Yvonne, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! You’ve originally studied 3D animation at the SAE Institute Cologne. Now you work as PR & Marketing Manager – how did this change of fields come about?

Thank you for having me! The switch from 3D animation to PR & Marketing was not as abrupt as it may seem as I earned a part of the knowledge I need for my current job at university.

I have been a dedicated gamer throughout my whole life and always had an interest in arts, so I chose to study 3D animation after school. I felt like this was a great opportunity to turn my hobbies into a career. At university, I underwent not only practical trainings including how to create 3D models and animations, use a game engine, and many more game art lessons. I also needed to pass a theoretical course to get my bachelor’s degree, where I learned a lot about marketing, journalism, public relations, writing and project management. This is where the change happened, and I think many young people can relate to that: although my focus was on the practical content, I realized in the middle of my time at university that I had way more fun and dedication when it came to theoretical topics.

So, with this in mind, I decided to stay in the gaming industry but apply for jobs which fit better to my newly discovered dedications. I was very lucky and got hold of a PR & marketing internship at astragon Entertainment just a few months after graduating, where I have stayed to this day. Although I never worked in the fields of game art, it still is a huge advantage to own the knowledge of how the development of a game works in detail.

Could you tell us a bit more about the tasks and responsibilities of a PR & Marketing Manager? What does a typical work day look like, if there is such a thing as a typical work day?

It is very hard for me to summarize my tasks because there are so many! When it comes to public relations, I am responsible for the communication with the press about an upcoming game. I decide when which game details will be revealed, how those details will be delivered, which is the best time to provide our partners with press copies and eventually put everything into practice. All in all, I am always in close contact with our media partners, and they know that they can contact me whenever they need something.

If a game requires my marketing support, my tasks are to closely analyze the market in which the game will be integrated in and, with all the results in mind, to create a fitting marketing strategy around it. Each game and its marketing strategy require quite some research for better and more efficient ways of advertisement to reach the target groups. The most rewarding part is then, after setting up all measures, ads, and events, to see our game take the spotlight on the various platforms I chose.

From time to time, I also support the event team, keep our staff updated internally and I even manage our own eSports team! This makes it difficult to describe a typical day. Every game, and all the different people I work with every day are unique, and so are my work days.

Which (soft) skills would you say does a person need to be a successful PR & Marketing Manager?

I would say it is essential to have a sense for wordings. Creating convincing wordings is something you will do all the time as a PR & Marketing Manager: When setting up ads, speaking to media partners, writing press releases or advertorials, and in crisis management situations (which luckily are rare but can happen).

Flexibility is also a very helpful skill. Especially during the development of a game there is always a risk that something may not go the way you originally anticipated, and all the dependencies quickly shift. So does your whole PR and marketing strategy you might have elaborated for ages. Then you should be able to quickly adapt your plans to the new circumstances. Also working that close with customers and partners can sometimes bring you into situations where flexibility is everything.

Other than that, a little bit of creativity as well as the will to learn new things, and to stay updated on trends can only benefit you. Some empathy also helps to better understand your audience. Oh, and you should have an interest in monitoring, analyzing and evaluating data because that is what you constantly need to do to keep improving your strategies.

Thanks for sharing your experience and advice with us, Yvonne!

Yvonne’s Links: LinkedInFacebookastragon Entertainment Websiteastragon Entertainment Twitterastragon Entertainment on Steam

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Jessica Hackenbroch