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Have you ever seen someone photo bomb a news reporter’s live frame? Imagine 34,000 kids serving as the background to a live set. That’s what Metro Detroit Youth Day looked like on July 15.

Up until Metro Detroit Youth Day, I had only been in news studios for TV segments. Metro Detroit Youth Day attracted all the major Detroit news stations and a radio station. Metro Detroit Youth Day is a treasured event in Detroit that invites children ages 8-15 for a day of fun, learning, activities and sports. This was my first time being live on location with media and wow, it is a different ball game.

We usually arrive 30-45 minutes before airtime for in studio segments. That gives the client plenty of time to set up, review speaking points and prepare anything needed on-air. We have lots of time to stage the set carefully, making it look appealing for camera. Being in a studio provides a controlled environment, so it comes out exactly how we want.

TV in studio

TV on location makes you stay on your toes. I followed our resident media relations guru, Dan Stocking (check out his most recent blog on measuring success in business) for the day while he organized interview after interview with multiple reporters. Often times it went a little something like this:

Reporter: “Can we get insert name to go on air with us? We’re live in 5 minutes.”

Off goes Dan to find someone to put on air.

It is truly a different beast. TV on location forces you to set the stage on the fly with whatever you have, wherever you are. This means running around to find an appropriate spokesperson who can provide necessary information on air. Being live on location also makes the surrounding environment a variable. You never know who could mosey into the frame or what kind of commotion can happen behind the reporter.

walking in tv frame

It’s fast-paced and can be challenging, sure. However, the result of being live on location makes it all worth it, giving reporters the opportunity to be interactive with Metro Detroit Youth Day. It makes a standard studio stage an exciting backdrop that conveys the energy of the event, which at Metro Detroit Youth Day was a LOT of energy with 34,000 kids running around.

Camera operators were able to capture things like:

mdyd in action 2

mdyd in action

Metro Detroit Youth day was a successful day of activities and fun for the kids and for those of us working it. I’ll leave you with the motto of the organization, craftily painted by the students that attended.


Sasha Reeves is a PR Coordinator for Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at 313-567-5090 or [email protected].

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