The Realities of Reality TV

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Part One

Cora Scott, Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement for the City of Springfield, and Laura Whisler, Vice President of the Convention and Visitors Bureau share the ways Springfield based reality television shows affect the way they do their jobs and the way people view the city.  Scott specifically addresses the difference local as opposed to national media attention can make for a business and for the city and how the vetting process is constantly evolving. Whisler discusses how the CVB tends to focus on the positive aspects of the city in day to day operations but also as a response to any less than flattering press.

Part Two

Gina McMurtrey of Gina McMurtrey Interiors shares how reality TV has changed the way she and others in the design industry do their jobs. She talks about how clients’ expectations are sometimes unrealistic because of the way design changes are portrayed on many of these programs, especially in regards to budget and time frame. She also talks about how she’s learned to accept that this is the reality of doing business in the age of reality television and that patience and openness are key, both on the part of the designer and the client.

Part Three

Claire Faucett, owner of engage5w talks about the voyeuristic nature of reality TV and how anyone who accepts a show is essentially staking their identity on something they can't control. She advises anyone in this position to set boundaries for themselves and to be careful not to misrepresent their brand. She also advises assessing the risks and benefits to decide if it's really worth it to jump into the world of reality TV.

Part Four

Jeff Houghton, host of The Mystery Hour talks about his experiences with reality TV and also his perception of it. He had a conversation about the possibility of a behind-the-scenes Mystery Hour and tells a bit about that. He says that the producers of these shows are not necessarily interested in reality but in creating a great storyline. 
Then Betsy Miller of 2B Organized talks about being approached by HGTV for a show about her company and the work she does. She says there were a lot of surprises for her. The personal criticisms and the changes they wanted to make to her story caught her off guard. She gives advice to anyone considering the reality show life: better have thick skin, work hard, and stay true to yourself.


Jeff Houghton of The Mystery Hour stays and talks more about reality TV and social media. He addresses the recent controversy surrounding a local reality TV show's teaser and how he hopes the best for them. He also discusses how social media "justice" doesn't always fit the social media "crime". He also talks about having to learn that when you put yourself out there, you can't control what people say about you. Then he tells how he deals with negative commenters: he finds them hilarious. He also offers a couple nuggets of wisdom about seeking out those who are different from us and getting to know them in order to foster good behavior on social media and in life.


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