Tips & Tricks To Building
The Perfect Anchor Reel

Tips & Tricks To Building The Perfect Anchor Reel

Written by Soul Witness
🕒 August 14, 2020

Okay anchors, it’s time to put together your next reel!

Whether you’ve put one together before or not, it can sometimes seem like a daunting task. I mean, you’re on the desk EVERY DAY. Odds are, you’ve got some amazing stuff…too much amazing stuff! So, how do you decide what to include in your anchor reel?? That’s the question that gets all of us, don’t worry. 😉

Something that often gets overlooked time and time again is a nice opening slide…

Jessica Guay Anchor/Reporter Resume Reel 2017 - YouTube

Like the example above, you should include a nice headshot or two, your name, and your contact information. Sometimes people include their social media handles as well. (A reminder: DO NOT put your phone number out there for all the creepers.)

Nice opening slide, check! But, don’t make it last too long. I’d say 5 seconds at the most. If someone wants to look at your contact info, they can hit pause. Otherwise, they want to get to the “good stuff.”

Of course, in your anchor reel, you want to show off your range: Breaking news, serious stories, happy stories, emotional stories. Make sure you’ve got a variety of reads that showcase your abilities!

An extra tip to keep in mind though: Know your audience. We all have to think about “the audience” for our jobs, right? Well that includes your reel.

If you’re applying for a lifestyle show, or entertainment show, then you want to have more of that content in your reel. If you’re applying for an all serious, all the time, all hard-core news position, then you may want to tone down the silly reads.

It’s okay to have a couple of different reels, that focus on different skill sets, to choose from.

Another thing to keep in mind is your voice. So many news directors, or hiring mangers, don’t even watch you at first. They’ll hit play, then close their eyes.

They want to focus on your voice. Is it squeaky? Is it too raspy? Does it convey authority? Does it convey confidence? Your voice can say a lot about you, and news directors pay attention to that.

So, if you have a read that has awesome graphics, great video, great staging, great camera work, great everything… but your voice breaks… choose another read.

That leads me to my next point: Most news directors can separate a production error from an anchor error. If you have an awesome read that you feel is the best one you’ve ever done…but the video freezes, or there’s an error with a graphic… don’t worry.

Again, for the most part, the NDs are not going to dock you for someone else’s mistake that you had no control over. If anything, it may showcase how you handle errors with professionalism…a valuable tool for anchors.

Finally, a tip that may seem like it is rooted in arrogance…but it’s true…

This reel is to showcase you and your anchoring skills.

A little crosstalk with a meteorologist or a co-anchor is okay to include in your reel, but keep those clips few and far between.

Just keep in mind: You want them to hire you, not your current co-workers. And before you say, “well that’s harsh, Soul Witness,” I’ve seen it before. It does happen.

I’m not saying don’t be a team player. Please be one! We NEED MORE of that in the news business. Pull your weight, help your co-workers succeed, be a mentor, be an encourager. But, when it comes to your reel, keep in mind that you’re creating it to showcase your talents.

Best wishes to all of you! 💜

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