By: Jodie Shpritz, Vice President of Media Relations and Branding 

When I was a television reporter, I saw the way the industry was changing and decided I wanted to go to the other side, aka “The Dark Side”.  Not because I wanted to be behind the scenes, but because I realized I could use my skills to help clients and build brands.  With that being said, more so now than ever, my skills are truly coming into play. 


At a recent event with a client, a television crew sent a videographer with a backpack camera to do a live shot.  A backpack camera is the new age of reporting for a lot of stations strapped for cash or looking for an easier way to get stories on the air immediately.  Essentially, a videographer will show up, they will hand an earpiece and a microphone to the client/person being interviewed, and then there will be anchors on the earpiece back at the studio.  They will ask the interviewee questions and might even ask them to walk them through the location they are at live on-air.  Not only is there often times a horrible delay on the earpiece, but interviewees are now forced to become the reporter; something most clients are not prepared to do.

This means we, as publicists, need to be more on top of our game than ever before. We need to not only media train and keep our clients on message, but we need to teach them to control the message and essentially deliver the points with enthusiasm the way a reporter would.  This can be positive because you can control the message and the story.  However, it could be a recipe for disaster.  Think small market reporter doing their first live shot.

This is definitely something to think about as more and more large market TV stations are turning to backpack cameras.  Perhaps it’s even a reason to make a former reporter a spokesperson for your company?  But that is another topic for another time.