Today, we’re talking to Roger Brown, our sign legislation expert.
WHAT HAS CHANGED IN THE LAST YEAR?
The biggest, most important change I’ve noticed is an increased Federal Communications Commission (FCC) attention focused on our industry. It is vital for buyers of LED displays to understand this and do their research. All electronic devices used in the U.S.A. must be tested to comply with FCC guidelines.
FCC’s aggressiveness in enforcing their requirements is growing. Only a certified laboratory can validate that a display complies with the FCC guidelines. It’s very important to buy from reputable manufacturers who make sure their products meet the FCC standards and that they stay compliant.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE TRYING TO GET A PERMIT?
Well, to start off, I’d have to say that the major trend in getting a permit for a digital billboard is that it is easier than ever before. Acceptance of this technology has grown, from all levels of government.
So, here are some tips to help you understand how Daktronics provides permitting support.
First, it’s the owner’s responsibility to get the permit, and they should have it in hand before placing an order. Make sure you follow the proper steps. While Daktronics doesn’t obtain the permit, we do help our customers through the process in a myriad of ways.
When you go in for the permit, sweep issues like brightness and traffic safety concerns right off the table. You can do so by sharing good technical information that Daktronics provides for city officials.
For example, there used to be a lot of concern that digital billboards cause traffic accidents, and some still argue this point when trying to block digital billboards. Extensive research shows that this just isn’t true. Daktronics provides our customers third-party research focused on digital displays and safety. Seeing data really helps city officials change their minds about this topic and others.
Knowing your audience is also very important. Take the temp of the officials you’ll be speaking to and understand the local political environment.
Also, be ready to explain to the city about the value of digital billboards. Don’t forget to mention how a billboard’s advertising could benefit local businesses. You should also highlight community messaging, fugitive alerts, weather alerts capabilities and how they can positively affect a community. An example we still use is what happened when the Twin Cities bridge collapsed in 2007. It is a major roadway spanning the Mississippi. The digital billboards in the area were up in minutes, redirecting traffic. There are endless examples of public service announcements that digital owners have offered to support their communities.
Many cities are concerned about content that moves. It’s good to explain that billboards don’t run animated content, like an on-premise sign does. Explaining why billboard signs are different from on-premise signs, and why they are regulated differently, aids in allaying these “movement” concerns.
WHAT TYPES OF RESOURCES DO THOSE LOOKING INTO OOH HAVE?
We will handle technical questions and conduct sign demonstrations to help win your permit. At a live demo, city officials see how the display’s content looks, how the sign operates and how the software controls it. It’s good to have the manufacturer there to supplement your presentation with specific information. We can also show brightness graphs as prospective locations to mathematically show how little light will actually trespass onto neighboring properties. Assistance like this has proved vital in garnering permits in the past.
We have a library of free materials available to our customers.
IF YOU WANT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH SIGNAGE LEGISLATION, SCROLL DOWN AND FILL OUT A BRIEF FORM, AND WE’LL GET BACK TO YOU.