Welcome to E3, Los Angeles, and the biggest video games trade show in the world! In truth, I’m penning this piece not while basking in the hot, Californian sun, but rather from my house in a typically overcast south London. For once in my life I won’t be wandering the halls at this year’s expo as I’m currently engaged in a rather bigger adventure: getting married.
Nevertheless, E3 remains an event I practically called home for the last two decades – and whether they like it or not, a part of me will forever remain in the Los Angeles Convention Centre.
This year’s E3 falls during an interesting and, dare I say, rather stressful time for many of E3’s British delegates. As you read this, the United Kingdom has just come through its second general election in three years, and the path to Brexit means the way this country operates is set to change in the months ahead, for better or worse.
I’ve been working in public relations in Britain for over a decade now. I’m an Italian man initially recruited by a German company to do PR in the UK, who spent a large part of his career toiling for a French publishing giant – and you can’t get much more European than that.
I will forever be grateful for that very first interview that opened the door to this beautiful country, which is now playing host to the current exciting chapter in my career. In 2015, I decided to head down a new path and set up my own company, Renaissance PR.
"The UK remains a home to some of the brightest and best
the games industry has to offer."
Stefano Petrullo, Renaissance PR
Running your own company is never easy, and it’s even harder to do so in a country now consumed by uncertainty. It’s no exaggeration to suggest I woke up the morning after last year’s referendum with a heavy heart: the UK has long been one of the most open and tolerant countries on earth, and I hope its withdrawal from the European Union – and the passions that move is guilty of stirring up – won’t change that.
In a climate such as this, nothing is certain for a relatively small business such as mine, but we’ll continue to reach out to the games press, to put them in the best possible position to talk about the games we represent. Transparency, access, and doing away with needless jargon are the keys to good PR. They are also lessons our politicians could learn from when talking to the public about Brexit.
Yes, there are concerns, but I offer an invitation to everyone reading this to take a trip to the UK. Come and see what we’re still achieving in the worlds of development, marketing, PR and sales. Brexit is not something I’m proud of – either as an Italian or an adopted Brit – but the UK remains a home to some of the brightest and best the games industry has to offer. These people have made a big difference to the games industry as a whole, working hard and signing deals at E3 (and after E3) and I’m confident that, even in adversity, they’ll be true to their nature, do the British thing and “keep calm and carry on.”
Stefano Petrullo is an award-winning PR professional with over 25 years of experience in planning and implementing full PR campaigns for some of the world’s biggest entertainment brands from indie to triple-A