Sega game launch boosted with Gen-X hire

SAN FRANCISCO: Sega is continuing to bolster the corporate marketing and PR troops in the days leading up to the September 9 launch of its hyped Dreamcast gaming console.

SAN FRANCISCO: Sega is continuing to bolster the corporate marketing and PR troops in the days leading up to the September 9 launch of its hyped Dreamcast gaming console.

The company last week added 25-year-old Heather Hawkins as manager for gaming PR, a post that reports to new marketing communications director Charles Bellfield. With her blue hair, Gen-X ties and background as a former radio personality, Hawkins obviously represents the company's attempt to woo the core 14- to 24-year-old gaming demographic.

Hoping Dreamcast's fall debut will propel the company out of third place behind Sony PlayStation and Nintendo, Sega has dedicated dollars 100 million to the marketing campaign - dollars 5 million of which is specifically earmarked for PR (PRWeek, July 12).

Hawkins will manage all media relations for gaming publications. Corporate, consumer and technology-specific media will be handled by Access Communications, Sega's agency of record. In addition, Hawkins will handle internal communications about the campaign, as well as assist with special events leading up to the fall debut.

Sega plucked Hawkins from San Francisco PC gamemaker Eidos Interactive, where she served as a PR specialist for the past four months. Before that, she worked for Access Communications from March 1997 to February 1999 as an account coordinator on Sega of America, among others. While at Access, Hawkins established the agency's first 'Radio Bureau,' calling on her experience as an on-air radio host for KXFX/Santa Rosa and later as a producer for KBGG/San Francisco's 'Big Request Party Show.'

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