Thursday, December 01, 2011

Media interview smarts: Cameras all around you

Used to be that media trainers included "ambush" interviews to prepare trainees how to be ready to be questioned at a moment's notice. That's where a camera operator jumped out from behind something and, wielding a big camera and bright lights, started questioning you, as a test of how well prepared you are for the impromptu question under tough conditions.

I'm not sure, frankly, that anyone I've trained ever faced an ambush interview. I prefer a training ambush that's simple and silent: I just pull out my smartphone. No big lights, no camera operator. But I can leave my device on the table and record what's happening--whether in audio or video--then upload it and post it online in a matter of moments. So can anyone else. CNN just laid off photographers, citing the wide availability of broadcast-quality cameras that anyone can use. Here are some ways users can wield camera phones with even more savvy:
  • Eyes in the back of your head: You can make your smartphone or video camera rotate in a 360-degree circle to capture what's going on around the room, using the EyeSee360 GoPano Micro for iPhone 4/4S for about $80 (there's a version 10 times more expensive for other cameras). 
  • Ear to the ground: Evernote's notetaking apps for desktop or smartphone include audio notes--all you need to do is hit the microphone button, and you're off and recording. Signing up with one of the Evernote-compatible transcription services means you can have a transcript ready quickly, for pennies.
  • Share and share alike: Sharing video is easy from a Flip camera, but not as much from a smartphone--unless you use these sharing apps and advice. Worth reviewing.
But remember, all it takes is a smartphone and no attachments. Do you need a media training for your leaders that's focused on the conditions they'll face today? Email me at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz.

As for quality, no less a photographer than Annie Leibovitz, when asked to recommend a good basic camera, pulls out a smartphone in the clip below--and remember, someone trying to ambush you doesn't need museum-quality video:

Clip to Evernote
Use the Evernote clip button, above, to save this post in an Evernote notebook or start an Evernote account. Subscribe to For Communications Directors, my free monthly newsletter, which features content before it appears here on the blog.

No comments: