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Dealing with the media

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This is my first year putting up a LOR display, last year I used a generic bought unit..

 

I received an email from a local newspaper who's coming tomorrow to do an interview to spotlight my display.  Seems someone noticed me messing with the lights and called them.

 

While I'm flattered, I'm not exactly sure what I should say, and not say to them.

 

Would it be out of line to tell them to tell people to drop off old lights etc that they aren't using and I'll use them for my next display?  Lights are expensive, donated ones would be great rather than people throwing them in the trash..

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I think if you stated in such a way that it sounds like you're "recycling" their old lights for a new purpose, you might be on to something.   I use a lot of old light strands for extra sockets, cut off the female and male/female passthrough ends and use them for ends on extension cords I make for my display.

 

So I don't thik that would be out of line as long as it was put tastefully.  Just my .02¢ worth.

 

Since I've not had the problem of dealing directly with the media on my display, I have on other issues, but on the display side, I'm just not sure what you should or should not say, others here that have, when they see your query, I'm sure can give you some great sage advice on how to handle the media.

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Personally, I avoid the media at all costs. More attention to the display means more traffic, and more possible problems. Look up the stories of Carson Williams and Richard Holdman. Media attention isn't always a good thing.

 

*Disclaimer: Yes, I'd search out media for commercial projects.

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I think if you stated in such a way that it sounds like you're "recycling" their old lights for a new purpose, you might be on to something.   I use a lot of old light strands for extra sockets, cut off the female and male/female passthrough ends and use them for ends on extension cords I make for my display.

 

So I don't thik that would be out of line as long as it was put tastefully.  Just my .02¢ worth.

 

Since I've not had the problem of dealing directly with the media on my display, I have on other issues, but on the display side, I'm just not sure what you should or should not say, others here that have, when they see your query, I'm sure can give you some great sage advice on how to handle the media.

I think that's a great way to word it.  I want to keep adding to the display because no one around here does anything like this, but the cost of lights is ridiculous.  I've been trying to go mostly RGB and LED, and I realize that people who "donate" their old lights wont be the newer type, but anything saved is money saved.  Its mostly an older neighborhood that's slowly turning over to a younger crowd, so I'm thinking if I do a decent job tomorrow and the press mentions it, as people move and/or die, people will have items to get rid of.. 

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Personally, I avoid the media at all costs. More attention to the display means more traffic, and more possible problems. Look up the stories of Carson Williams and Richard Holdman. Media attention isn't always a good thing.

 

*Disclaimer: Yes, I'd search out media for commercial projects.

The main concern I had was pissing off my neighbors, but they all seem to like it.  I've lived here 5 years, and not once have I talked to them until I started decorating.  The lady right across the street from me would sit in her driveway at night and watch them.

 

I suppose their attitude will change once the traffic patterns change and make it difficult for them to get through.  Only complaint I've heard so far has been from 2 doors up who talks to my neighbor about the music playing, so tomorrow i'm going to change the direction of the speakers.  Seems it echos up the road in a weird way because I cant here the music.

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There is nothing like having 100 vehicles show up for your show.  How about 10,000.

Avoid the media.

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I have to agree with Don and MikeA on this one AVOID THE MEDIA.

This. We had to shut down our display in 2010 because of a TV spot where they didn't even mention our address. People started driving around our town asking gas stations and restaurants where the "crazy Christmas house" was.

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Only complaint I've heard so far has been from 2 doors up who talks to my neighbor about the music playing, so tomorrow i'm going to change the direction of the speakers.  Seems it echos up the road in a weird way because I cant here the music.

 

This alienated my neighbors too - buy an FM transmitter NOW & shut the speak off.  My 2 cents.

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 Look up the stories of Carson Williams and Richard Holdman.

 

I live near Carson & have talked with him.  Unfortunately because I do live in the same area, everyone thinks I'm him & every media interviewer wants me to say he was the reason I started.  I even hate Wizards of Winter, but people would riot if I removed it from the show.

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aahhh.. if you do talk to them.. perhaps not mentioning FM broadcasting would be a good thing.

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For an even more recent example...ask John Storms (aka the 2012 Gangham Style sensation house) what a seemingly innocuous lil local media report that suddenly gets picked up nationally can do to your display...They had to shut down mid season last year and although he is decorating this year, he isnt doing an official public show to music at all any more!

 

 

As cool as it sounds to be "famous" and as much as well love the idea of everyone getting to enjoy the fruits our labors, it simply isnt practical for 99% of us that live in residential areas to accommodate the amount of traffic the harsh media spotlight brings...

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Tell the local media that you are not interested and to respect your privacy and not to publish the location of your home. Local media will draw too much traffic. My local media said, "It's okay, we won't give out your address."

 

They did however name the sub-division and town I live in narrowing it down to a 1 sq mile area. This resulted in *hundreds* of cars roaming the neighborhood, stopping pedestrians in the street asking for hints to where the house was, etc. Each time I turned on the lights (unscheduled, unannounced) 50 cars would instantly appear out of thin air.

 

For the record no one, or my association asked me to curtail my show, but I recognized the problems and more importantly the dangers of too much traffic. In my better judgement I decided to change how I do my show. I know lots of people don't like my approach, but who cares :) 

 

National media really isn't that bad. They never give out the address and half the time get the city wrong. However; when combined with a local story then people seem to go nuts.

 

What I don't like about too much traffic is that I can't do my full show. So instead of running a shortened show in a loop I would prefer to do a few quality longer shows, share a magical moment with neighbors, friends and family.

 

If I get the itch in the future to make some big traffic I might try talking to someone who has a venue that can support it.

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This alienated my neighbors too - buy an FM transmitter NOW & shut the speak off.  My 2 cents.

I do have a FM transmitter and looking to hook it up, just trying to find a decent sign.  One sign shop locally wanted $40 per sign, which I think is ridiculous.  I can see that for the first one, but I need 2-3 of them at least to spread it out..

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aahhh.. if you do talk to them.. perhaps not mentioning FM broadcasting would be a good thing.

The reporter did ask about having one, I told them I have it, but I'm still messing with it because last time I hooked it up, it reached 15 miles away clearly, but sounded like crap at my front door, and most likely a violation of FCC..  I have to figure out how to set it.

how did the media get your email address?

Seems it came through facebook, I had posted a video of my display and someone forwarded it onto them...

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I do have a FM transmitter and looking to hook it up, just trying to find a decent sign.  One sign shop locally wanted $40 per sign, which I think is ridiculous.  I can see that for the first one, but I need 2-3 of them at least to spread it out..

Try and find a small mom and pop sign store.   I got my sign this year for $15.00,  It may not be the best sign, but it tells folks what station to turn to.  It's a simple coro sign with plastic lettering they cut from some type of machine.   They would even toss in the stakes for free, but I didn't need them as I was screwing the sign to the side of my house next to the street lamp {that I wish wasn't there, but does save me a spot light LOL} that illuminates it nicely.

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The reporter did ask about having one, I told them I have it, but I'm still messing with it because last time I hooked it up, it reached 15 miles away clearly, but sounded like crap at my front door, and most likely a violation of FCC..  I have to figure out how to set it.

 

You actually said that to a reporter?  Not such a great idea me thinks..  If you want to raise red flags for everyone, just mention possible violation of gov rules.. that will do it almost every time. 

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Tell the local media that you are not interested and to respect your privacy and not to publish the location of your home. Local media will draw too much traffic. My local media said, "It's okay, we won't give out your address."

 

They did however name the sub-division and town I live in narrowing it down to a 1 sq mile area. This resulted in *hundreds* of cars roaming the neighborhood, stopping pedestrians in the street asking for hints to where the house was, etc. Each time I turned on the lights (unscheduled, unannounced) 50 cars would instantly appear out of thin air.

 

For the record no one, or my association asked me to curtail my show, but I recognized the problems and more importantly the dangers of too much traffic. In my better judgement I decided to change how I do my show. I know lots of people don't like my approach, but who cares :)

 

National media really isn't that bad. They never give out the address and half the time get the city wrong. However; when combined with a local story then people seem to go nuts.

 

What I don't like about too much traffic is that I can't do my full show. So instead of running a shortened show in a loop I would prefer to do a few quality longer shows, share a magical moment with neighbors, friends and family.

 

If I get the itch in the future to make some big traffic I might try talking to someone who has a venue that cansupport it.

I'm hoping I don't get that much traffic, I live on a main county road, but it runs through a nice quite suburban neighborhood.  Lots of entry and exits, side streets etc, but still..  don't want to bombard my neighbors with traffic jams.  I don't have hundreds of thousands of lights like most people, just 15,000, but I'm trying to make an emphasis on a quality display with decent music..  I have 8 songs synchronized to singing faces, but I want to mix them up with a few other ones I have that don't have singing..

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You actually said that to a reporter?  Not such a great idea me thinks..  If you want to raise red flags for everyone, just mention possible violation of gov rules.. that will do it almost every time. 

What I said to him was that I have one, but not currently using it because I didn't want to violate the rules.  I know they allow them for small time displays like this, but I doubt one that reaches 15 miles away would meet that specification..  ;) 

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I do have a FM transmitter and looking to hook it up, just trying to find a decent sign.  One sign shop locally wanted $40 per sign, which I think is ridiculous.  I can see that for the first one, but I need 2-3 of them at least to spread it out..

If you have an old computer and display, put up a power point presentation with the frequency and put the display in a window.

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I'm hoping I don't get that much traffic, I live on a main county road, but it runs through a nice quite suburban neighborhood.

If this is your goal, avoid the interview!

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If this is your goal, avoid the interview!

Too late.. their doing the story on the day before Thanksgiving.. 

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Here where I am, there's someone else who's been doing LOR for years and widely known with the locals and media. They interview him every year. He ends up with a mile of cars lined up each night to see his display. Huge home, huge yard, '50 megatree and so on. Very beautiful display and actually, I'll drive over there today to see and talk to him about how his show is coming along. I know he'll light up Thanksgiving night like I will. Last year was my first year and I didn't publish that to anyone. This year, more people know about it so will wait and see how the traffic goes. I'm using an EDM and its set for about a block of transmission and I tested it for that.

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We had media out by us 3 years ago. We had a big surge of visitors after that. They did give address. It calmed down a lot a few weeks after. We are fortunate enough to live in a small village about 20 to 30 minutes from a major city and they don't like to drive out this way much. Next year we plan on moving into a larger city so we will see how traffic dies off. Feel for the new owners of our old house when it sells.

   As others have stated if you can handle the traffic and neighbors don't mind it would be ok especially if you live in a smaller community like we do. If there is any doubt you shouldn't have done it.

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