Get Ready to be Ambushed

First, it was bloggers who’d come up to you at a conference, video camera or smartphone in hand, asking for a few comments and a snip of video about industry trends.

Then local publications launched “backpack journalists,” who were expected to take notes, photos, video and audio, all at the same time, while reporting. From AOL’s Patch to cash-pinched local newspapers, staff reporters were suddenly doing all of it.

Now, big media has gone backpack. In August, the Wall St. Journal launched WorldStream. Now, WSJ reporters use their smartphones to upload micro-interviews, video snapshots of scenes, and spur-of-the-moment commentary, all the time.

What does this mean for you, the potential source?

It means that you must have a messaging formula memorized. Not a message itself — because you’ll customize what you say according to whom you are addressing. Having a formula at the ready means you can quickly frame up your comments. Even if a WorldStream reporter catches you at the baggage claim carousel at the airport, just like Mike Huckabee.