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MEDIA RELEASE – audio’connell Voices Political Commercials for Pennsylvania General Assembly Primary Contest

audio'connell Media Release

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, March 31, 2008 – – Political candidate Caleem L. Jabbour, running for the 38th District’s Representative seat in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, enlisted audio’connell Voice Over Talent to serve as the voice for his campaign’s advertising.

Peter K. O’Connell, president of audio’connell Voice Over Talent, served as the voice talent for Jabbour’s advertising campaign.

AUDIO SAMPLE

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A professional voice over talent and audio producer for over 25 years, Peter O’Connell is president of audio’connell Voice Over Talent, a worldwide, English language-based voice talent company. He also operates International Voice Talents, featuring foreign language male and female voice actors.

Both organizations provide professional voice talent for commercials, animation, corporate narrations, documentaries, broadcast voice imaging, audio books, podcasts and messaging on-hold (MOH). Industries served by the two companies include advertising agencies, media and broadcast production companies as well as both large and small businesses around the world.
Mr. O’Connell also owns Voice Over Workshop, which provides professional voice over training to novice and experienced voice talent around the world.

The three businesses are all a part of O’Connell Companies.
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► NOTES TO EDITORS

Company Name Pronunciation:
au•dio•o’•con•nell (awe-de-oh-oh-kah-nel) or au•di-o’•con•nell (awe-de-oh-kah-nel)

Company Name Spelling:
Use lower case letters- audio’connell or audio’connell Voice Over Talent

Company Web:
http://www.audioconnell.com
http://www.internationalvoicetalents.com
http://www.voworkshop.com

Company Blog:
http://www.voxmarketising.com

Corporate Web:
http://www.oconnellcompanies.com

Social Media Connections:
Linked In
Facebook
FriendFeed
Twitter
Naymz

best commercial evar

FedEx Logo; all rights acknowledged

Great advertising has a simple, understandable message.

Great advertising spurs a call to action.

Great advertising ignites emotion (hopefully a strong positive one, but not always).

Great advertising creates buzz.

This is great advertising….

are performance unions getting weaker?

hands

Talking about the strength of unions in the voice over business can be a bit like talking about politics and religion at a family gathering. You’re pretty sure a fight could break out but you’re just not sure what’s going to get broken.

In the past 24 hours, news of the day and a film festival I attended brought this issue to the fore.

This item from today’s New York Daily News:

Unions representing film and television actors will negotiate separately with producers in upcoming contract talks after board members of the TV actors union voted Saturday to sever a long-standing agreement between the two guilds.

The vote by the board of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists came hours before a meeting with the Screen Actors Guild and just three months before the expiration of the contract covering movies and prime-time shows.

Despite a sometimes rocky 27-year relationship the unions had shown recent signs of peace as they prepared for the upcoming talks.

The two groups had hoped at Saturday’s meeting to set a start date for negotiations. Instead of discussing strategies the sides swapped accusations.

I’m all about synergy and combinations of effort to save time and money. A merger between SAG and AFTRA should simply happen for the good of all and no one should be allowed to go home until it’s done. The above makes me think the strength of those unions will take a hit in negotiations because of their dispute. Regardless of the reasons (many of which could be valid on either side) their positions at the bargaining table will be weakened.

At the conclusion of the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival (what, you never heard of it?) there was a great presentation by New York City casting director Judy Henderson. Along with everyone in attendance, I wanted to learn more about the casting business she ran and how I might work with her.

The bottom line is all the work she casts is union. Her markets are New York, Los Angeles and some national commercial work. It’s all union work.

Not knowing yesterday about the SAG-AFTRA tiff, I asked what I prefaced as possibly an impertinent (though that was not the intent of the question). Could she gauge the strengths of the unions based on her current experience? She was unabashedly pro-union (being a member of the new Casting Directors union) and said the unions were strong and necessary. Given the examples she offered and the markets she primarily works in, I fully understood and respected her position.

The reason I asked the question is because in many markets outside New York and LA, my non-union work is skyrocketing. That’s an observation, nothing scientific about it but I keep getting a sense that business owners and some production companies cannot be bothered with the expense and paper trail forced upon them by the unions. Of course, the reasons performing unions were needed in the first place was because wages and conditions companies offered were abysmal. So can there be a happy medium?

I’m really not for one side or the other. You really have only two choices…if you’re not in the union at some level, you are non-union. I am non-union. For many performers, a union membership is very valuable. That’s cool. It is strictly a business decision…one that on any other day could change for either group.

My choice was made because ultimately it gives me more opportunity to work than union work does. Its also less complicated than tracking the union work and payment rules. Certainly the down side is that there is opportunity in some cases to make much more money as a union performer. But for my business, I can currently, consistently make more money as a non-union voiceover.

Were I based in New York City or Los Angeles, I would likely be a union performer as those are primarily union towns and most of the work they do goes around the country. That said I have done work in both cities as a non-union performer.

What does dishearten me is how the two main performance unions cannot either get along or better yet merge into one stronger union. The politics of it all, the turf battles and what seem to be egos in this battle must certainly be a turnoff for other observers besides me.

I hope it gets worked out amicably for my performing peers.

Whatever your opinions, I look forward to a civil discussion here :)

California voice talent Bobbin Beam also writes on her blog about this situation, from the perspective of a union member.

a special morning treat

Z-100, New York logo all rights acknowledged

Sometimes when I read my Google Alerts I come across some really fun and unexpected stuff.

The first thing I found in my alerts was a link to voice talent Joe Symanski’s blog, which I have added to my blog list on the right. Great content.

If I haven’t added your voice over blog to my blog roll, let me know. Usually I try and keep up on new blogs by reading Bob Souer’s blog roll because he’s awesome about linking to everybody but still I miss stuff.

Included in that great content from Joe Syzmanski was a video produced back in January for the NAB meeting featuring Z-100 production director Dave Foxx. Amazing insight and candor from an imaging master (save for his annoying cigarette habit).

Then after that You Tube video was done, there was a list of a bunch of voice over and jingle related videos on You Tube that I know I’ll enjoy watching if I ever get the time (which is probably why I missed all of the above in the first place).

Oh well, I get to stuff eventually. And there’s this really cool new band that I think is going to be very big soon called the Beatles. Check them out and remember where you heard it first.

if your web site is your store, are you displaying a “closed” sign?

seo

People look at me funny for many reasons, one of them being my preoccupation with Search Engine Marketing or Search Engine Optimization. I personally understand about only 1/16 of the rules of SEM, most of the content being like Sanskrit to my brain. But I get its importance (both to web sites in general and my business particularly) and I hang on every word of the experts I know personally to try and derive some nugget of information that will help my web site perform better on search engines. That’s a big chunk of my marketing focus, always has been.

Well recently, it wasn’t so much for monitoring progress and Google rankings (though I do check my key words) as it was adding to my Google bookmarks the web sites of some of my fellow voice talents whom I know, respect or can otherwise learn from (no, not steal from, but sincerely learn from). The bookmarks are placed on my Google toolbar which has become a very handy resource for me because it’s available to me on any computer in the world. If you don’t have it or something like it, boy I sure would recommend you drop your Explorer or Firefox tool bar and use Google’s.

I thought an easy way to find my friends’ web pages would be to just Google my own big generic keywords for our industry and my peers would show up in the first ten pages of any one of 4-6 keywords. Those keywords didn’t include Peter O’Connell or anything regarding audio’connell as I search those keywords only when I need a significant ego boost (less than I used to, now it’s only daily instead of hourly).

Most of my peers didn’t show up. Gulp. 10 pages (or the top 100 sites) on keywords that most should show up on. Not there.

It’s extremely possibly that their marketing objectives for their web sites are different than mine. I know there are a few that use their sites solely as a web brochure and have really no interest in keyword search. For others, their brand is only their name and their city. For still others, it’s their specialty like radio imaging or promo voice. I’ll leave it to them to know whether those words are popularly searched by their target market or whether they’re just hoping they are popularly searched. God speed on that one.

But to my mind, if you’re not aggressively working on keywords in your web site’s text – first knowing the best ones (a herculean task, I’ll admit) then second, using them effectively – I don’t understand how your web site can be truly effective/found. If people can’t easily come upon your site (because let’s assume they don’t know you or your company exists) they aren’t going to find you on page 20 of Google. They won’t go that far. And you’ve lost a sale…oops, there goes another one right now.

But, maybe I’m wrong.

it’s mourning again in america

hal_riney

Not everyone will remember the 1984 re-election campaign of President Ronald Reagan but it featured not only one of the best made political commercials ever but simply one of the most effective commercials of any kind ever made.

It was made by a San Francisco ad man named Hal Riney, who owned Hal Riney & Partners, and some other prominent ad men who were part of the “Tuesday Team” who helped ensure Reagan and Bush were reelected that year.

Besides the fact that Riney and his partners did amazing work for clients like General Motors and Gallo Wines (great interview on the campaign here from KCBS-AM), he was among one of the great voice talents ever to breath into a microphone. He was one of two ad men that I would qualify as outstanding voice talents (the other being Ferdinand Jay Smith from Jay Advertising).

Hal Riney died today at age 75. His creativity and his voice are but two small parts of his legacy.

I’d be happy with just one of them.