by Kalil Bushala
It’s not often one gets the opportunity to display their own hard work on national television, but that’s exactly what happened to me in early October. Not only did I get to show my off-road truck that I’ve been building since I was 17 on KTLA news, but I got to see the other side of my major, public relations.
KTLA was at the Pomona Fairgrounds doing a demo for the Off-Road Expo. As a PR practitioner at Long Beach State, I was quickly able to notice that KTLA’s appearance was part of a PR campaign designed to garner media impressions and generate awareness for the expo.
I was given the opportunity to showcase my truck through a company called Dirt Alliance, who were asked to present a couple trucks for the news channel, due to Dirt Alliance’s large social media following.
As a team driver for Dirt Alliance, the CEO reached out to me and asking if I wanted to represent the team by driving my truck at the demo for KTLA. Although my truck was sitting in pieces and wasn’t anywhere near being ready, I told him yes, without hesitation.
With a few late nights ahead of me, my truck would be ready to drive on the dirt track. I knew
this was an opportunity of a lifetime, so I wasn’t going to miss the event. I was working on the truck till 12 a.m. the night before and had to be at the Pomona fairgrounds, where the expo is hosted, at 6 a.m..
During this demo, I learned a lot about TV news and what goes on behind the scenes. Prior to the event, I never really understood how news channels could make events look so perfect. However, after the event, I quickly learned how staged they can be.
News Anchor, Gayle Anderson, a fellow team driver and I drive the dirt track while they filmed us and talked about the Off-Road Expo, giving viewers a taste of what was going to happen if they attended the event.
We did a few practice laps to make sure we were ready to drive on live TV, which was a bit intimidating at first. But once the checkered flag dropped, all nerves went away.
We ended with an interview while I gave the cameraman a walk around the truck, explaining the
different components and what was modified and what were the original parts of the truck.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience made those long nights of getting the truck ready, worth it.
I would have never thought the truck I drove to my high school prom would put me on national television and give me real-life experience in my college studies.
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