Books, news, & views from Karen Traviss

Xboxing (Gears 3 event herogram)

Showing Gears of War 3 to the UK media

I love it when a plan comes together.

I spent yesterday at Shoreditch Studios doing the UK media preview of Gears of War 3, which, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’ll know is on sale on September 20 and is a thing of beauty and grace which you must buy. I say that not only because I wrote it, as false modesty isn’t my style any more than it’s Baird’s, but because it also happens to be true. The graphics are superb, the cinematics are divinely beautiful (all hail Greg Mitchell, the bestest cine director evah) and the gameplay is pretty damn shit-hot too. If this game doesn’t raise your pulse rate, you better check for rigor mortis. It’s a big, meaty package with lots of stuff that’ll keep you occupied for a very long time. And it’s a proper thriller that reaches a real conclusion. Job done.

Anyway, I mention the media preview because it was one of those events where you see PR at its best. It was textbook. Its silky efficiency warmed the block of black granite that passes for my heart.

I am, as many of you know, an old spin doc as well as a former journo, so I’m doubly unforgiving of slack PR or sloppy event/ press management. I do a Malcolm Tucker when things aren’t carried out to my stringent standards. (Look, I never said I was lovable. My contracts never specify “nice.” That costs extra.) I’m overjoyed, then, when I do a gig and it just runs on rails. The lovely guys at Xbox UK and JCPR (part of Edelman UK) laid on a truly excellent day and impressed the arse off me. Special shout-out for Cliff (Jin, not B) of JCPR and Dom. (No, not that Dom. Xbox UK’s Dom.)

My definition of a well-managed event is like a military op order. A timed schedule well in advance. A list of who’s going to be there and why, and what everyone has to do. A summary of outcomes expected. Contact numbers for everyone. Check-up calls to make sure everyone has what they need and is ready to roll. Clear instructions for participants (i.e. the likes of me) and hands-on minding by event staff to make sure I’m gainfully employed and adding value during the gig. Making the most of the opportunities and sticking to a timetable. Making sure I’m introduced to people I need to know. Sorting out the housekeeping (toilets, coffee, food, transport) without being asked. Anyway, the Xbox/ Edelman crew delivered in spades. I did nearly seven hours solid of interviews, and that’s what I call maximising the opp.

And they were really good fun to work with. A big Bravo Zulu all round.