When you’re out on location you will be seen by the client and public and become their idea of what “drones” are really all about and may be their first time seeing one up close in person.
Be an evangelist for the industry and show the positive side of their use. In the long run it benefits everyone and helps grow the industry and dispel fears.
With the media focusing mostly on the negative side of UAVs (or as they prefer to say “drones”) it is important that the positives are also promoted as well. Take the time to answer questions and dispel myths. Show some footage of what you are shooting and explain how the system works. Most people are very interested to learn about UAVs and seeing an aerial view of the area can provide a big wow factor. Seeing first hand that you cannot easily “spy” on people with most cameras used can quickly change most peoples opinion.
There will always be a few people bothered and upset by the use of “drones” and may take a negative tone with what you are doing. Do your best to respect their viewpoint and try and educate them on what you are doing and the safety procedures you implement. Be professional and courteous as it all reflects back on your business and the industry. A few minutes of your time can go a long way in making the shoot go smoothly and without incident.
When shooting in public area also be aware that others may be using the space and see what you are doing as an intrusion. Try not to be confrontational and do your best to work around their activities and concerns. Explain why you are there and what it is being done for so they are not assuming ulterior motives. If needed politely ask them to remain in safe areas while you fly, generally flights only last a few minutes and most people are happy to assist and watch the process.
Try and plan your public shoots for periods to minimize public traffic when possible and make sure you have the proper permissions to be on the location. You want to take all the steps to do things the right way with all stakeholders that may be involved. The more upfront you are the smoother things will go.
In addition to providing positive feedback about the industry when on the job, try and volunteer some time to local clubs, groups, associations, and media to talk on the subject. Not only does it help promote the industry but it also helps promote your business and becomes a win win situation for all involved.
Providing a positive first experience to people can go a long way to changing public opinion on UAVs.