Mark Ward, Director of Corporate Communications, EMEA and APAC at Wizards of the Coast, talks about what it takes to not only be good at PR for globally recognized brands, but to “be legendary” at it. .
What is your role and how would you describe your typical day at work?
As Director of Corporate Communications for EMEA and APAC, my role is to build and enhance our company’s reputation, as well as lead our PR, influencer and marketing teams and campaigns. social.
My typical day is extremely varied and involves engaging with media contacts, working with our brand marketing teams and network of PR agencies on our Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering campaigns, liaising with our leadership team on press interviews and public speaking opportunities and event planning and award submissions. I am also in contact with our wonderful CSR partners including BAFTA, Women In Games, Digipride and GamesAid, and trade associations including Ukie. As a member of the leadership team myself, I try to spend as much time as possible supporting not just my teams, but the business at large.
I am incredibly fortunate to report to Brian Trunk, our Vice President and General Manager for EMEA, APAC and LATAM, whose excitement inspires and motivates me every day. So I always strive to achieve that gold standard.
It’s an extremely exciting time for Wizards of the Coast, as our traditional tabletop games have expanded into the digital gaming space with the release of Magic: The Gathering Arena on mobile and PC and D&D: Dark Alliance on console and pc. Along with our digital expansion, we are also stewards of the immense legacy behind our game franchises and we have a Magic 30th Anniversary event in Las Vegas in October and D&D 50th Anniversary in 2024!
D&D in particular has seen huge growth in popularity and is featured prominently in the final season of Stranger Things, as well as the D&D: Honor Among Thieves movie in March 2023, where I also support my UK colleagues at eOne who , along with Wizards of the Coast, are also part of the Hasbro family.
What are the qualifications and/or experience you need to get your job?
I’ve worked on both the PR side and the client side, in games, film and technology, and that combination has proven incredibly useful for my current role.
The years I spent working at my first PR agency and learning my craft from some classy acts (I’m looking at you, Dean Barrett, Ciaran Brennan and Simon Byron) early in my career gave me cut my teeth quickly working in PR in the games industry and represent a lot of different developers and publishers. I think it’s really useful to have worked in a public relations agency before, if part of your role is to manage agencies.
Experience working with regional teams in different time zones is also essential, along with an understanding and appreciation of the nuances of the media and influencer landscape in different territories.
Speaking other languages in an international role is obviously advantageous and I have taken an adult education course to learn Spanish for the past two years. Learning a new language was an absolute joy and I can’t recommend it enough!
If you were interviewing someone for your team, what would you be looking for?
While relevant skills and experience are obviously important, I have a strong sense of attitude. Skills can be taught and experience gained, but enthusiasm, team spirit, energy and a willingness to learn are crucial to me. This kind of positive energy is contagious and helps contribute to our larger Wizards culture and values.
One of the values that defines us at Wizards is to be “legendary”. It’s about practicing excellence, enhancing our heritage and creating greatness. Achieving that requires a special team, and I’m very proud to work alongside that team every day at Wizards.
What are the career opportunities progress?
We have great opportunities for career progression at Wizards of the Coast and our current growth constantly presents exciting new opportunities. We are both a developer and a publisher of game content and nurture and develop our talent in many different professional disciplines. Consult us!