Our time and human resources where running thin and we needed to regain momentum that press can bring to a project. Our press efforts were not going well. The $600 dollars was completely reasonable.
They reviewed our content and product, then created a pitch that was more pragmatic, clear, and concise. Ours was too colorful. The press pitch went out on the recommended Tuesday and by the time we woke up on Wednesday we had been covered by 2 press outlets and the traffic and funding on our campaign took off immediately.
We had actually retained a professional PR firm 2 months before our Kickstarter launched on the first day of CES. They charged us $8,000 per month ($16,000 total) and delivered absolutely nothing. After our launch was a dud, we started hiring a bunch of other Kickstarter specific promotion services (each charging us $500-$2000 each) and none of them could get us featured anywhere either. They all kept making these dumb press releases and pushing it out to large email lists expecting people to just notice us.
My cofounder and little sister Karishma, who was managing our Kickstarter account and responding to messages, heard from someone else who messaged us that we really should be getting more publicity for our product which he/she thought was pretty awesome, who then recommended Fundzinger.
I figured we had nothing to lose, so I gave them a call and spoke with David and Jeff at Fundzinger. They told me about their approach, where they craft a short, personalized pitch instead of writing out a long press release, which was refreshing to hear so I decided to give them a shot on their one-time fee plan. They made a pitch for me, and after a day we were on TV (ABC News). Next thing I knew I was featured on TechCrunch and a few other top tier publications. Soon after, Fundzinger got a response from Wired as well and we were featured there too.
I am really glad I found Fundzinger, I actually plan on asking them about doing PR work for me post-Kickstarter once we announce general availability. They were both directly and indirectly responsible for us getting a boost from $50,000 to $75,000 pledged, after approaching them with only 15 days left in our campaign. I highly recommend giving them a try.
One thing that really struck a chord with me was the fact that Jeff and David continued to provide advice to me even though I signed up for just their gold plan, helping me close some features on my own. They weren鈥檛 obligated to talk to me any more after fulfilling their gold plan obligations, but it meant the world to me that they did. That鈥檚 when you know you are dealing with businessmen of character, they have nothing but my utmost respect.
Kickstarter lets you track your backers by where they came from. I would google our name and never saw anything ever come up from Fundzinger.
I would say Fundzinger is a crapshoot. Looking at other reviews, some got good press, some got none. Unfortunately, we got none.
Root and Root Plus 3d Printer
The most bitter of these is was my decision to "invest" $520 in Fundzinger, which provides service by writing up a Press Release for the mass market (i.e. anyone BUT the hobby game industry). Of any of Bezier Games' product lines, the Ultimate Werewolf product line is the one with the most potential mass market appeal, so after careful (but not careful enough, clearly) consideration and research, I paid them for:
1) Creating a specialized press release aimed at the non-gamer market
2) Getting that press release in front of targeted media folks
3) Getting a mailing list of 15,000 media contacts that i could use at my discretion.
I tracked the progress of the KS very closely, as well as outside coverage. I got absolutely NO benefit from them.
1) The press release wasn't anything special, it wasn't even particularly good, and in my opinion didn't even address what makes werewolf and UW compelling.
2) I received NO coverage from anyone outside the hobby game industry.
3) Only 10,000 of the media contacts were good (the rest were not valid), and by good, I mean that they didn't bounce. I did get hundreds of auto responses saying that they don't answer or even read emails because they get so many. I sent out 3 emails to those contacts, and got NO traffic as a result.
And now they are using my campaign as a success story…I just received a message from another KS creator saying that Fundzinger told them that I used them and that's why my campaign did so well. They are lying, as they had nothing to do with its success, and if anything, I could have put that marketing money to better use elsewhere, so they cost me potential backers.
I sent them a note asking for a refund (or at least a partial refund), and to stop using my campaign as an example for other KS creators. 9 months later, still no response.
It's too bad, as this seemed like a great opportunity to expand the reach of a game.
Further underscoring what an underhanded company Fundzinger is is what happened when I posted this comment originally on BoardGameGeek (search for "fund zinger" on google, and it's the third item from the top: Fundzinger: Do not use) : it appears that someone from Fundzinger posted a positive "review" of their own service using a fictitious user account on BGG using the name [NAME], and then after several BGG members questioned the validity of the post, the post was deleted (fortunately I captured the entire post in a reply later in the thread if you're interested in their claims…this user registered on BGG on 2/16/14 and posted just this comment, and their last login was 2/19/14 when they deleted the post). So not only do they take your money without giving you a benefit, they are outright deceitful when it comes to marketing their service.
Stay far away from them and warn others!