Entries Tagged as 'commentary'

the new los angeles chargers seem graphically challenged

SanDiegoLosAngelesFootballLet me be clear, I really like the city of San Diego. I would consider living there if only the city was not in the state of California.

As far as football, this week they announced they are leaving San Diego and going to live in Los Angeles. Oh well, that’s sports.

But with a new city comes a new logo and that’s where I become interested. Don’t get me wrong, I like sports. But logos, I really like.

As I have noted here before, team like the Los Angeles Rams can really botch a logo opportunity. Badly.

Well in just a few days, the Chargers of Los Angeles have quickly botched their new logo opportunity as well.

The logo roll out gives you a pretty fair indication of what kind of operational chaos the Chargers of (pick any city in California, I guess) are in.

sandiegochargersNow, to begin with, the Chargers, late of San Diego, seem to me to have lost a bet when it came to logos and colors. Certainly, they didn’t have as bad a situation of it as the Cleveland Browns, but logo and word mark wise, the Chargers could certainly do better with the move to LA and a new icon.

The logo roll out (such as it was) gives you a pretty fair indication of what kind of operational chaos the Chargers of (pick any city in California, I guess) are in.

The first logo (LA on the left) was, I’m pretty sure, designed on Fiver as it looked like an amateurish mating of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

I wasn’t the only one who caught that (the internet had a blast with it).

Then, for reasons that I perceive as panic driven because of the poor reception given the Los Angeles Chargers “Fiver Logo”, the team went back to their horrible word mark with yellow/goldish lettering on a light blue background about 24 hours later. They must have called the “braintrust” at the Los Angeles Rams for advice and were told, go back to your old imagery and just change the city name.

Then to add insult to injury, the LA Chargers went and hired a coach from the Buffalo Bills to be their new head coach. Who hires anybody from the recent Bills staff and hopes to win anything? Oh yeah, Jacksonville. Oy!

So between this logo fiasco (and I expect it to continue) and the coaching choice, don’t expect season ticket sales to go through the roof next season for the Chargers.

In other sports news, the Oakland Raiders (it seems) will be moving to Las Vegas in a few years. Hope their new logo is better than the horribleness that is the name, branding and worst of all colors for the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Ick!

why you should consider my voiceover advice on public relations and publicity

UD Magazine Winter 2016-17 (not the real cover)

No this is not the REAL cover of University of Dayton Magazine. The guy in the pink shirt just pasted himself on there. What a goof!

Maybe it was because the new President of the University of Dayton is, like me, a native of Buffalo, NY and a fellow graduate of Canisius High School.

Maybe the University of Dayton Magazine wanted to profile someone who graduated 30 years ago.

Maybe it was because I finally paid the fines on all those overdue Roesch Library books from 1986.

Those are some of the answers I’ve given people who asked me how I got a profile article about my business in my university’s alumni magazine University of Dayton Magazine.

“How did you get THAT?” seems to be the question. They should be asking: “How did YOU (of all people) get that?”

My best guess reasons for getting the placement was a splash of creativity, timing and luck.

Let’s flash back to late summer or early fall 2016. The O’Connells had made like the Clampetts and moved, but instead of moving to Beverly (Hills, that is, swimming pools, movie stars) we moved to Raleigh, NC (more accurately, Cary, NC but everybody knows Raleigh, so there).

What one forgets, when one hasn’t moved in decades, is how many people need to be notified about ones change of address and what a pain that is to do. Oy!

While doing all the mandatory address changes, I remembered the secondary groups I needed to convey information to about our move, one being my school alumni associations, which included the University of Dayton (Go Flyers!).

In addition to wanting to know where to send their donation requests (as all private high school and colleges do) schools also update the alumni notes section of their newsletters. I didn’t remember the last time I updated UD about me (not so very often)  so the move seemed worthy of a note.

I sat at the computer and composed a note. The initial drafts of what I wrote bothered me because they were plain and dull. “I moved from Buffalo, NY to Cary, NC just outside of Raleigh.” Really? That was the best I could do? Nah, I could do better. I could make it more fun and interesting than that.

So this is what I sent:

“Former radio broadcaster (WVUD-FM ) turned voice-over talent Peter K. O’Connell (RTV, ’86) has moved from the 53rd largest broadcast market (Buffalo, NY) to the 24th largest broadcast market (Raleigh, NC)…mostly because it’s warmer. In August, O’Connell, his wife Andrea and their 3 children moved the clan to Cary, NC. Peter owns a popular voice-over company, audio’connell Voice-Over Talent, producing audio for commercial and narrations for clients around the world. He can be reached at peter @ audioconnell.com.”

Editor’s note: WVUD-FM was a 50,000 watt commercial FM radio station owned by the University of Dayton until they sold it some years ago.

My thinking was this new version was unique, fun and maybe interesting and informative…to somebody. At the very least it wasn’t boring. I sent it and promptly forgot about it.

Some days later, I received a nice email from Gita Balakrishnan, who writes for University of Dayton Magazine, where the alumni notes are published.

It said:

“I would like to know more about the Class Note you submitted to the UD Magazine for a possible Anatomy of a Class Note. If you are interested, please let me know so I can send over some questions to know a little bit more about you.”

Hmmm. Seems they were plotting their next edition of the alumni magazine and my timing was pretty fortunate (lucky). Were I a public relations specialist (and I am not) I believe I would have heard in my head the voice of a hockey announcer screaming ‘He shoots, he SCORES!’

What’s the point of sharing all this with my fellow voice talent? I just want to present some thoughts for you to consider as you draft your 2017 marketing plan or while you just play tiddlywinks at your desk waiting for the phone to maybe ring with a new VO job.

I don’t know what the publication numbers are for University of Dayton Magazine but simple math estimates easily assume there are certainly 100,000+ active living alumni to whom the University sends this publication. I really want to say there are more but let’s just use 100,000 as the number.

If even .5% of those 100K UD alumni (@500) are somehow involved in media production, isn’t it worth a few minutes time to write a creative, 4-sentence promotional blurb, send it in for free and see what happens? (Hint: the answer is yes).

My experience in interacting and advising a great many professional voice talents tells me they are generally deathly afraid of marketing and it’s tools, like public relations and publicity. The reasons range from lack of understanding about how to do it and what’s involved to the fact that marketing is too much like work (seriously).

Universally, ALL of that same group are concerned about the expense of marketing. Public relations and publicity may cost you some time, but usually very little (if any) money.

There was no guarantee that my 4-sentence email would turn into such a nice profile or that they would even print a sentence of it. There was a 100% guarantee NOTHING would be published if I didn’t send it.

audio'connell_logo_blue_raleigh, NCSome voice talents look at writing press releases about their business as embarrassing, because as a voice talent you are the business. So, in essence, you are just writing about ‘how great thou are’ when you’re writing something about your own business and it’s awkward. That’s very true. But remember, readers (press or the public) either don’t know or mostly don’t care who wrote the release – they are just reading it. They’ll discover the facts as they need them.

Here’s my trick and maybe it will work for you too: when writing a press release or presenting a story idea about your “business” (which, again, is you), think about yourself as. a. business.

When you write your personal name in the release or pitch, you write “John Smith” but you should perceive it in your head as writing “The John Smith Company”. There, now you’re not an individual, you are an entity. People write releases about entities all the time!

I respect humility more than you could possibly know and I too feel extremely awkward about writing about myself in releases. But the bank respects my monthly mortgage payment more than my humility. So if publicity helps me make more money to pay that mortgage, then I will use my little trick to get past my internal awkwardness and just cash the checks from any business my small PR efforts get for me.

My hope for you is you take a day, or a ½ day and think creatively about your business, your services and the institutions/groups you are involved with in your life. I just know there are public relations and publicity opportunities for your business within some of those groups. Think! 🙂

Alumni groups are one such group, churches are another, charities you work with are another. Of course there are more if you just think about it, it’s your life. Make a list!

You read newspapers, listen to the radio, watch local TV….they need content to fill their paper and airwaves. Is there a story idea or an angle you could offer them with some service you offer or some project you’ve worked on or a client you’ve secured that the public might find interesting and unique?

Still not sure?

Is what you do, the services you offer and the projects & clients you’ve worked with/on more interesting than an 800lb pumpkin? Because I see TV crews and radio stations covering pumpkin weigh-offs like the darn Super Bowl at Halloween. So I think you might have some angle on your business that someone in the media might want to cover too. I think at least SOME of what we do is more interesting than an 800lb pumpkin.

But you have to do the research and the legwork.

You have to look up the contact information for all the media outlets in your area.

You have to make those editor or reporter calls to pitch your idea or write that email.

You have to learn how to write a professional press release (it’s NOT hard).

You have to think about what you do and how to translate that into an interesting pitch for an article in the business section of your newspaper or even the lifestyle or sports section.

You may perform as a voice talent but you’re really a business owner. Instead of fretting about where your next job is coming from, how about focusing on expanding your audience now…without much if any expense and see what that leads to. It will be more productive than fretting. I hope this helps.

Oh, and that 4-sentence blurb I sent to UD Magazine evolved into this….

Peter K. O'Connell University of Dayton Anatomy of a Class NoteFormer radio broadcaster (WVUD-FM) turned voice-over talent Peter K. O’Connell (RTV, ’86) has moved from the 53rd largest broadcast market (Buffalo, NY) to the 24th largest broadcast market (Raleigh, N.C)—mostly because it’s warmer. In August 2016, O’Connell, his wife Andrea and their 3 children moved the clan to Cary, N.C. Peter owns his popular voice-over company, audio’connell Voice-Over Talent producing audio for commercial and narrations for clients around the world.

WVUD-FM—Peter started working at WVUD in 1982 after the station’s program director heard him on the University’s carrier-current station, WDCR. He started at “Hitradio 100” doing afternoon drives news before later coming the evening disk-jockey.

Broadcaster, Voice Actor and Teacher Jack Rang

Jack C. Rang, September 27, 1923 – February 7, 2011

RTV— A radio television major, O’Connell credits a former General Manager for WVUD, professor and great voice talent, Jack Rang, with teaching him commercial performance at UD. As he recalls, “Jack had an awesome voice.” Most of Peter’s early training came via imitation of others, listening to local and network broadcasts to analyze how they did it. Since then, he has had professional training from talented industry veterans in New York, Chicago and LA.

24th largest broadcast market—Peter’s move opens up his work to a larger and more media centric market. And Peter notes that “the weather is a bit more forgiving here than in Buffalo from December to March.”

audio’connell Voice Over Talent—Peter started his company right after graduation, where he started doing spots for local companies. When Peter works with students who want to become talents in the business, the one thing he tells them is that “You have to want to perform voiceover like you want to breathe—because it takes a lot of work to be noticed in this industry, to stand out, it’s not just about a cool voice.”

World—Peter’s voice-over recordings have been heard globally including London, England; Seoul, Korea; the Caribbean; Sydney, Australia; Toronto, Canada; Delhi, India and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nationally across the United States, Peter’s voice has been heard in all major markets including New York City; Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Dallas, Texas; Dayton, Ohio and Buffalo, New York.

merry christmas 2016

audioconnell_Christmas_2016

When my family and I moved from Buffalo, NY to Raleigh, NC (actually Cary, NC) this past August, we knew the weather would be a bit warmer.

But going from what used to be Christmas Day temperatures in the single digits and teens to now the mid-50’s shall be something I think The O’Connells will adapt to quite well.

Certainly, in her annual Christmas card picture for you this year, Isabella is loving the warmer weather! 🙂

But Christmas is about family and friends, not weather. Whether (see what I did there) you are a little colder or a little warmer than us, my family hopes your family is surrounded by joy, peace and much love.

Merry Christmas.

–Peter

a free marketing idea for the university of dayton

University of Dayton Mugs - photo courtesy audioconnell.com

Ed.Note: The following is a friendly, open letter to University of Dayton President Eric Spina from UD Alumni Peter K. O’Connell.

Dear Dr. Spina,

First, welcome to the University of Dayton. It’s a nice place (as you now know) and everyone thinks you’ll do great things for UD.

You and I have a couple of things in common. First, we’re both from Buffalo and we both graduated from Canisius High School.

No doubt with all the good things you found at the University, you’ve likely come across some challenges…like big, headache inducing challenges. And I know what’s at the top of the list.

UD’s new sports logo.

It’s awful. You know it and so does the rest of the free-world.

It’s the one the spells out ‘VD’. The V is supposed to be a stylized version of wind or possibly an Indian feather. No one really knows what it is. You’re not supposed to have to guess about logos anyway.

I’m not blaming you…you had nothing to do with it. But you’re kind of saddled with it. On my visit to the campus on Monday, the new logo monstrosity was everywhere.

So, what to do?

Well, evidently the school paid big money to somebody for the “VD” logo. So who ever IS responsible for approving it doesn’t want to be embarrassed for spending that kind of money only to admit defeat in a short amount of time.

Personally, I don’t like to come to a problematic situation like the “VD” logo without a reasonable solution. I have the solution AND it’s a money making solution, at that!

You see those pictures in this post of the UD mug with the last UD sports logo used just prior to the new “VD” logo? The sports logo the basketball team wore during their run in the Elite 8 a few years ago.

I bought that mug Monday night at the bookstore. I couldn’t bring myself to buy any merch with the “VD” logo.

Buying the mug with the nice, old logo got me thinking.

Why can’t the University of Dayton create a, 8-12′ section of the bookstore and a page on the on-line shop dedicated solely to items featuring this last sports logo? Mugs, hats, shirts…whatever! But LOTS of stuff, not just the few measly items I was able to find in the bookstore Monday night. Market it as the “UD Classic Collection”?

Alumni will eat it up! There will be a run on the bookstore and it will crash the on-line store with sales!

You do realize most of the alumni hate the “VD” logo right? The marketing department may say the “VD” logo is ‘widely accepted by students and alumni’ but something tells me the marketing department was in on the creation of the “VD” logo.

Plus, you know how the NFL and NHL play in classic uniforms from days gone by…and SELL merch with those “old” logos? Now UD can do the same thing. So my idea has already been tested and proven successful by the pros.

Everything old is new again!

With this plan, the University of Dayton can avoid the short term embarrassment of having to change the new, awful logo so soon (but UD still should design something new in the next few years), all while still keep alumni happy with the logo they (and everyone with really good eyesight) likes better.

A win-win.

Eric, this idea is yours for the taking! No charge! One less headache for you to worry about.

Hope this helps.

Best always,

Peter K. O’Connell, University of Dayton Class of ’86

audio’connell in atlanta (thanksgiving 2016)

Voice Talent Peter K. O'Connell recording at Creative Sound Concepts

Voice Talent Peter K. O’Connell recording at Creative Sound Concepts in Atlanta, GA 2016

Living now in Cary, NC (outside of Raleigh) means my family is a lot closer to our family in Atlanta…but it’s still a six hour drive (oy!)

But it was very much a worthwhile (albeit whirlwind) trip, enjoying family and friends for this Thanksgiving weekend!

From a voice-over perspective, it was a REAL whirlwind.

You would think that voiceover might take a break around Thanksgiving but not in my case. A new national client needed a spot recorded while I was in Atlanta, so over to Creative Sound Concepts I went for a great session there. Happy client, happy life.

Peter K. O'Connell and Jeffrey Umberger

Voice Talent Peter K. O’Connell and Voiceover Agent Jeffrey Umberger in Atlanta, 2016

To make it even better, I was able to grab a late lunch/dinner with my friend and my agent Jeffery Umberger. He has a number of very cool action items planned for 2017…plus he had all the scoop on the Atlanta voiceover market. We could have kept talking for hours. Always great to see Jeffrey.

Voiceover Talents Peter K. O'Connell and September Day Carter at September and Bob Carter's "Neighborhood Studio", Atlanta 2016

Voiceover Talents Peter K. O’Connell and September Day Carter at September and Bob Carter’s “Neighborhood Studio”, Atlanta 2016

Talking off like a rocket in the past few months is The Neighborhood Studio owned by September and Bob Carter. Both have been friends of mine for sometime, but it was great to catch up with September at the new studio (Bob was working) and see what they are doing with it…it’s more than just VO. Trust me when I tell you that if you want an update on the Atlanta video game, film and VO market, September has it but she was shooting information at me like a firehose!!! We had some great laughs about that.

Sean Caldwell, Jill Perry, Kelley Buttrick and Peter K. O'Connell

Voice Talents Sean Caldwell, Jill Perry, Kelley Buttrick and Peter K. O’Connell, Atlanta 2016

Then finally, I was able to catch up at breakfast with Jill Perry, Kelley Buttrick and Sean Caldwell (and Sean’s terrific parents too!) There were so many conversations, I couldn’t keep track so here’s a quick summary: Sean liked CB radios when he was growing up (as did I), Jill Perry loves Al Green’s music (me too) and Kelley cannot be trusted around HVAC electrical outlets.

So appreciative to all my Atlanta friends and colleagues with whom I was able to connect. I hope your Thanksgiving was as fun as mine.

 

MEDIA RELEASE – Fox Sports North/Midwest Fishing Show Hooks O’Connell

audio'connell Voice-Over Talent Media Release

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, November 3, 2016 – – Jason Mitchell Outdoors Television, the popular fishing show broadcast on Fox Sports Net North and Fox Sports Net Midwest, has secured male voiceover talent Peter K. O’Connell as the show’s announcer. O’Connell voices the show sponsor bumpers as well as narrates certain video packages within the program.

Jason Mitchell Outdoors Fox Sports NorthBroadcast across 10 states, Jason Mitchell Outdoors host Jason Mitchell is a well-respected outdoorsman with a legendary reputation as an extraordinary guide, hunter and angler as well as a gifted writer, communicator and promoter.

About ‘Jason Mitchell Outdoors Television’

Jason Mitchell Outdoors Television is a regionally broadcast television show available throughout the Midwest on both Cable and Broadcast, covering North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin Indiana, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri on Fox Sports Net North and Fox Sports Net Midwest. This informative and educational half hour show features and showcases some of the greatest fishing opportunities in the region along with techniques, guests and tactics that viewers find informative and enjoyable to watch.

About Peter K. O’Connell

From Fortune 500 companies to companies that think $500 is a fortune, multi-award winning male voiceover talent Peter K. O’Connell has shared his voiceover skills with a wide variety of companies globally. Some of Peter’s clients include General Electric, Kraft Foods, PBS Television Network, Shell Oil, Deloitte Canada, U.S. Army, Starz Cable Television Network, BlueCross BlueShield and SunSetter Awnings.

Known as America’s Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent, Peter is a natural born storyteller whose voice-over work has been featured in radio and TV commercials, corporate narrations, political commercial voice-overs, TV network promos, e-learning narration projects and other media productions. Originally from Buffalo, NY, now living in Raleigh, NC, Peter owns audio’connell Voiceover Talent, a division of O’Connell Communications, LLC. Peter can be reached via audioconnell.com.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

CONTACT:

Peter K. O’Connell Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent

audio’connell Voiceover Talent P.O. Box 5493 | Raleigh, NC 27512-5493

PH. +01 716-572-1800 EM. peter@audioconnell.com W. audioconnell.com

COMPANY MEDIA CENTER:

http://www.audioconnell.com/media

PETER K. O’CONNELL VO CREDITS:

http://www.audioconnell.com/clientuploads/pdf/PDF%202016/OConnell_Peter_Voice_Over_Resume_160926.pdf

COMPANY NAME SPELLING:

Use lower case letters- audio’connell or audio’connell Voiceover Talent

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)