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a very nice story from (i think) marice tobias

From the Tobias Entertainment Group blog comes this very thoughtful story that I hope you’ll take a moment to read.

rowell gormon performs the last aflac audition

If you have never before been exposed to the vocal versatility of Mr. Warm and Friendly Voice himself, Rowell Gormon, enjoy this brief piece of voice over brilliance – written by the man himself.

Uh, yup, those voice are ALL him.

If the folks at AFLAC, or any other advertising agency or video production house were smart, they’d just call Rowell to get the job done right, the first time.

vote for me – buffalo’s best radio voice

Peter K O'Connell_Buffalo's Best Radio Voice

I already know that I am going to regret doing this.

The “this” is beginning a campaign to be voted Buffalo’s Best Radio Voice by readers (or you) of the very popular local publication Buffalo Spree (a magazine to which our family subscribes).

Every year they do a ‘Best of Buffalo’ ballot and today I noticed they listed “Best Radio Voice” as a category.

While they may mean best disc-jockey or radio personality, that is NOT what the ballot says.

The ballot under the category of “WNY: It’s the people” says “Best radio voice”.

Now my voice has been on a number of radio (and TV) commercials in Buffalo and I was born and live here so I believe I fully qualify as a nominee.

Certainly it’s debatable as to whether or not I have the “best” voice – but as in most elections, ‘qualification’ (in this case being the “best”) seems pretty inconsequential.

This is about ego, hubris and voice over vanity – muscles I have not stretched nearly enough. Contrary to the belief of some, I need to work harder at making an ass of myself and I think this campaign may fit the bill perfectly.

So there you have it…vote and get your Buffalo friends to VOTE HERE and if elected as Buffalo’s Best Radio Voice, I promise to wear my sash with pride. If there was a crown, that could be cool (maybe I’ll sell it on ebay) and I suppose a scepter would be too much to ask for.

I can only hope there is a cash award for winning this silly thing.

community pages on facebook

I’m sure there was some kind of furor about the community pages when they debuted – I guess by my research – about a year ago. I don’t remember caring much about the topic then but I do remember hearing about them. I just didn’t think it would ever relate to me.

Except now audio’connell Voice Over Talent has one and there’s nothing I can do about it.

This actually doesn’t make me happy.

This is how Facebook defines Community Pages:

“Community pages — the pages that link from fields you fill out in your profile — are for general topics and all kinds of unofficial but interesting things. You “like” these pages to connect with them, but they aren’t run by a single author, and they don’t generate News Feed stories.”

So when I saw in a Google Alert that I had this community page (which I immediate thought I had set up some long time ago and just forgot about – I’m getting to that age now) I wanted to make some changes to it. Which let me to this little Facebook provided factoid:

“Can I edit the content on a community page?
No. Community pages display Wikipedia articles about the topics they represent when this information is available, as well as related posts from people on Facebook in real time. At this time, there is no way for you to add your own pictures or edit information on these pages.”

If one uses social media to control branding (as much as possible) this lack of control is not a good thing. I don’t think I like it and at this moment it is a pretty negative element of Facebook in my eyes. To be continued, I guess.

can there be too much help for Japan?

A wave approaches Miyako City from the Heigawa estuary in Iwate Prefecture after the magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck the area, March 11, 2011. REUTERS/Mainichi Shimbun

Pretty much globally we are watching with shock and horror the aftermath of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

And while our feelings are nothing compared to the Japanese who are living through all this – we all feel pretty helpless but are trying to find whatever small ways we can to help.

My small way, not surprisingly, is through voice over and specifically creating a :60 public service announcement about how people can donate to Japanese Red Cross through the American Red Cross – with a script based very tightly on copy from the American Red Cross web site.

I simply did this on my own as a way to help – any broadcast or web media can use this PSA and spread the word.

But was mine too quick a response?

It was noted in a March 15, 2011 article in the New York Times on this “Charitable Rush” for Japan that a lot of money is being collected for Japan – by the American Red Cross and other agencies – but that the Japanese Red Cross (as just one example) hasn’t really requested such funds. The Japanese Red Cross will accept it but at this writing there doesn’t seem to be a financial need like there was in Haiti last year (and I’m sure that need still continues).

After reading about this I wondered if I pulled the trigger too quickly on a PSA?

And I didn’t know that the American Red Cross keeps 9 percent of any money it raises for operational purposes. That is not unheard of in fundraising circles but I know, for example, that Catholic Charities holds back a much smaller percentage, 3% I believe – but don’t quote me.

So was I hasty?

In the end, I don’t think so. Here’s why I think that and please feel free to offer a contrary opinion in the comment section – even a nation with the significant wealth of Japan will have financial difficulty dealing with the residue of their massive earthquake, aftershocks, tsunami and now worst of all the escalating problem with nuclear radiation for so many people at one time.

At this writing there are an estimated 15,000 people dead or missing in Japan. Maybe I’m an alarmist and I pray to God I am wrong but I am worried that number will be higher in the end. The swath of damage covered so much land and affected so many people and facilities that the as yet unforeseen need seems unfathomable to me.

I believe the American Red Cross is an organization that does good work and I believe they are trying to serve a greater good as a donation site in the United States on behalf of their sister organization in Japan.

I would really like the idea of the American Red Cross significantly reducing its commission or handling charge or whatever on this particular fund raising effort as it is not responsible for much else except the collection and transfer of money. I think 3-4% would probably adequately cover any American Red Cross expenses. But that’s not my call and maybe not my business.

My goal, your goal, the American Red Cross’ goal – everybody’s goal I think or at least I hope – is to help, in whatever way we can, a group of people who we don’t know and we’ll never meet to have a better shot at a return to normalcy in their lives. That may take awhile.

There but for the grace of God, goes any of us.

japanese earthquake and pacific tsunami public service announcement (psa)

The American Red Cross is now taking donations on behalf of the Japanese Red Cross – helping those people impacted by the earthquake in Japan and the subsequent tsunami in the Pacific.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Click here to download the PSA

This PSA, written and produced by audio’connell Voice Over Talent from content taken directly from the American Red Cross web site, is available here from audio’connell Voice Over Talent for free download and general public use at no charge by any media outlet wishing to rebroadcast this audio clip only in its entirety.

The American Red Cross has had no direct responsibility for the production of this PSA.

The script for the PSA is as follows:

Your donation to the American Red Cross can now help support the efforts of the Japanese Red Cross.

In response to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and given the widespread damage and enormous humanitarian needs, the Japanese Red Cross indicated that it would accept financial support from the American Red Cross for its role providing first aid, emotional support and relief items to those displaced.

Those who want to help can go to www.redcross.org and donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by this disaster.

Your gift to the American Red Cross will support the disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and the tsunami throughout the Pacific.

Financial contributions to the American Red Cross are tax-deductible. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters.