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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On Captain's Log #48, Away Team Log, and Marketing

Jean Sexton writes:

Once upon a time I dreamed a dream that when a product was being printed that I could take a breather. Once upon a time I believed in unicorns and the Easter Bunny, too.

Captain's Log #48 saw me writing more than I have ever done for any other issue. I have contributed an article on writing (the Input Guide) for years. I've made suggestions about updating the "Communications" section. For the last bit I have contributed to the Conquest Note pool. At times a Federation Commander scenario that I contributed has made it. However, I have taken on more responsibilities and Steve Cole is (finally) delegating more.

We have started a column that reports on the activities and promotions of our Rangers. As Ranger Commandant I maintain the database of Rangers and their status. I am proud that some of our Rangers are getting promoted because of their hard work and diversity of experience. I'd like to encourage others to join this group and spread the word about our games.

We also are revitalizing our battle groups. As the Battle Group Facilitator, I try to encourage groups to form and report. We'd love to see a dozen formal groups by the end of the year.

For this issue, I encouraged Steve Cole to write a light-hearted story about tribbles and Klingons. He worked in a space battle. Reading the story, I realized he worked in a lot of information about promotions in the Klingon Empire and the relationship between border worlds and the military.

Away Team Log has had a long wait to see print. This was created last summer, but had to wait until we printed covers for another product -- Captain's Log #48 in this case. I used to think that covers were printed individually. In our case they are printed three to a sheet. The tiny spot of "waste" we filled with a small poster to promote SFU games.

So now that these products are printed, I can take a day off, right? Well, no. People have to know they exist or else we'll be housing the covers forever! We've sent out Star Fleet Alerts forever. These are PDFs announcing the release of products. We've always announced it on the BBS and FC Forum. Since we started our page on Facebook, I've announced it there. I'm branching out to fan pages on our games. There's only one problem -- we are announcing it to known customers only. I want our company to grow.

That means I am reaching out to other websites. BoardGameGeek is great for wargames. I could use people to help me field questions that will be popping up there. I'm also reaching out to Starship Combat News. Neither of those is appropriate for Prime Directive announcements. I'm starting to reach out to sites like RPGNews, RPGsite, and RPG.net. Each location has rules specific to the site. Some places don't allow outside links. Some want tailored posts.

So my days of taking a deep breath and resting on my laurels are done. I push forward and get the news out promptly. Even then I can't sit back -- those announcements must be monitored and any questions answered.

Is it a lot of work? Yes. People sometimes ask questions that have been answered a dozen times. Still, to them, the questions are new and need answers. It takes time to do all of this and time is not unlimited in a small company.

Is it rewarding? Yes. I am happy in my new job. I look forward to doing it for many years to come.