How 'backpack journalism' can help your brand | Inquirer Business

How ‘backpack journalism’ can help your brand

/ 09:40 PM September 12, 2016

The mobile phone revolution can’t be overstated — it has changed our personal lives and the way we interact with each other (negatively, some may argue).  It has also redefined the way companies promote or extend their brand presence.  Activation events, promos, product launches and announcements are now prevalent on our social media accounts.

But one challenge remains: how can companies generate enough content that would feed the 24/7 viral nature of this new information channel?   We’ve asked our colleagues from, in particular Ms. Kristine “Tine” Sabillo, Chief of Reporters, to guide us on how to address this dilemma.

How can companies or brands apply the concept of backpack journalism”?


Backpack journalism is about having multi-skilled people create a wide range of content, using equipment that can fit in their backpacks. reporters produce several articles, photos and videos on a daily basis, sometimes using only their smartphones.


Backpack journalism can teach marketing and social media professionals how to work with multimedia content at a faster pace. It is most helpful for those who want quick publishing, uploading and promotion of videos and photos. Small businesses can benefit a lot from it because it helps you produce creative content through cost-efficient methods.

Mobility and speed are key here — and we have significant experience as multimedia journalists, adept in breaking news articles and videos.

If a company chooses to adapt this, and presumably saves some costs and uploading time, won’t quality suffer? How can we ensure that we maintain our brand equity or look?

Mobile journalism can help people produce video content faster but the same rules on standards apply. It will be up to each brand to set their own standards to maintain their desired visuals, on top of technical standards required by the media.

A lot of smartphone-produced videos, for example, are being used by professional broadcast networks and even filmmakers in other countries. When you see their films, you would think that they were made using professional (and bulky) equipment. They are able to produce stunning content at a fraction of the cost of a full production. Of course that requires skill, training and diligence.

Online journalists balance accuracy and speed on a daily basis. Accuracy is always a priority because media organizations have to protect their integrity and credibility.  Speed should never give way to quality and creativity.


What are some of the benefits for brands which choose to invest more on digital media?

If you’re not on digital yet, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities. Online presence is important because people now do their research about brands and companies through the internet.

Your online image is as important as the look of your store or office. It is even more crucial if you’re targeting or catering to millennials, who spend much of their time online.

It is not enough to have a website. Social media presence and engagement are important as you deal with content (online reviews, comments by customers) you cannot control. Multimedia content such as video are essential to convince your audience and keep them engaged. In digital media, just as in other platforms, visual content is king.


The author is Executive Director of Inquirer Academy.

Tine Sabillo will be conducting a module under the “Digital Media Management Series” entitled “Digital Media Storytelling: Connect and Engage with your Audience”, which will be held on September 20-21, 2016.  Topics include understanding digital media, creating smartphone videos for social media content, covering live events, editing videos using smartphones.

The workshop is ideal for professionals in marketing, communications, journalistic, or content management functions, as well as bloggers and online personalities

Other remaining modules of the series are “Social Media Landscape: Game of Trends (Create, Interact and Influence Trends)” and “Principles of Creative Video Production: How to produce interesting, compelling and viral videos”.

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The Inquirer Academy is located at 4168 Don Chino Roces Avenue corner Ponte Street, Makati City. For more information about the Digital Media Management series or any future programs, you may email [email protected], call (632) 871-9256 or 0998-9641731, or visit the website at

TAGS: Business, Digital Marketing, economy, INQUIRER Academy, journalism, Management, multimedia, News, social media, video

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