An Example of How Newspapers are Killing Themselves

Buffalo News Front Page July 14,2024The following is an opinionated media observation, not a political statement, endorsement or position.

Media here, not politics; got it?

Here we go…

I fully understand the awful challenges of operating a newspaper today and how so many newspapers have gone under because of those obstacles.

I respect that the talented people working at newspapers and even owning newspapers are also frustrated by the operational constraints forced upon them by plunging readership and ad revenues.

However, the fact remains that a newspaper’s primary goal is to report the news of the day, without bias.

I’ll make that goal even shorter: report the news.

On the early evening of Saturday, July 13, former United States President (and current Republican nominee for President) Donald Trump was shot by an attempted assassin in Pennsylvania. Trump was hit by a bullet but has recovered from the wound.

It is a big story in America when anyone tries to assassinate a presidential candidate (or worse, succeeds)…but this candidate was also a former President. As far as news stories go…you really don’t get much bigger.

And for a Sunday newspaper edition – often a newspaper’s biggest circulation day- there will be a LOT of people who will be searching for the in-depth reporting that is the key point of difference a newspaper offers the media consuming public.

There was a time in the newspaper industry when publishers would have stopped the presses and redesigned the front page (even deliver the papers late) to make sure they got the FULL story into the hands of readers.

A political assassination attempt (regardless of political party) IS front page news…unless you are The Buffalo News in Buffalo, New York.

Not unlike some other newspapers in America, The Buffalo News seems to pre-set its Sunday edition front page section – well in advance of publication – to…save money, I suppose. If there is a breaking news story, I guess they could run it in an inner section?

As you can see from the graphic on this blog, The Buffalo News – the newspaper of my hometown – did not redesign the front page to carry the assassination story. They missed the story completely on their front page. There was not a story ANYWHERE in The Buffalo News Sunday, July 14th edition (that I saw) about the attempted murder of President Trump on July 13th.

An attempted presidential assassination omitted from the front page of a U.S. newspaper. Wow.

While all of what I have written here is opinion – what I am about to say is especially opinion, as I have no facts to back this up, save for having some personal knowledge about media professionals taking pride in their jobs: somebody or many somebodies on the Editorial side working Saturday at The Buffalo News very likely screamed their fool heads off to get that story in print for Sunday’s run. I have faith they tried but were foiled one way or another, probably by accountants.

Buffalo News Tag LineAnd no, I don’t think this story’s omission was for any kind of political reason or bias. This was financial, all the way…in my opinion.

BTW, some years ago while I was inside The Buffalo News offices in downtown Buffalo, I saw the company proudly hung history making front pages of their newspaper on their walls – including, as I recall, the death of President John F. Kennedy by an assassin’s bullet.

There will not be a page hung on the wall for July 14, 2024.

If there hasn’t been already, there will be excuses proffered and reasons given by the newspaper as to why The Buffalo News omitted the story. They are just excuses and are, in fact, inexcusable if your primary purpose is to report the news.

The exclusion would be tragic if it wasn’t so pathetic. Or worse, maybe I am one of only a few who noticed or even cared.

Irresponsible omissions of professional journalism like this allow newspapers to prove their own irrelevance. Certainly The Buffalo News has done that here.

If the Buffalo Bills are more front page worthy in July, the day after some tried to kill a U.S. President, just reformat the News to a sports tabloid and call it a day. What about Digital? Local newspapers have already lost that space to more talented digital news services. For the most part, it seems local newspapers can’t win there. For the most part, local newspapers are not winning there.

While all of what I have written here is opinion – what I am about to say is especially opinion, as I have no facts to back this up, save for having some personal knowledge about media professionals taking pride in their jobs: somebody or many somebodies on the Editorial side working Saturday at The Buffalo News very likely screamed their fool heads off to get that story in print for Sunday’s run. I have faith they tried but were foiled one way or another, probably by accountants.

It’s over for newspapers and those involved in their publication.

It’s truly sad, heartbreaking, to witness the newspaper industry’s slow suicide.

Accept Change and Let Go of Mistakes In Voiceover Marketing

Peter K. O'Connell voiceover email signature comparisonWhen other voice talents call me about their marketing or how to do marketing, there are many things I try and remind them.

Yes, I hammer on the importance of database and ALL that entails. Marketing plans too. And in reality, the anxiety and eye rolling that these points cause for many voice talents lets me know quickly that they really aren’t cut out for small business or micro business ownership.

But for those who still seem engaged after those two previous points, for those that want to learn more, I try and focus on two more things: be adaptable to change (change is OK) and know that you will make marketing mistakes (and don’t spend the emotional effort beating yourself up about your mistakes).

In my conversations with people, they can really be hard on themselves and feel like they’re failing. They feel like they have to get everything right…folks, it’s not going to happen.

So if you are one of those people, let me share with you the insignificant but maybe helpful (for you) story of my voiceover email signature.

At the beginning of 2024 I did a couple of things for my voiceover business:

  1. I created a new logo for my voice acting business that better reflected my voiceover brand in many ways
  2. I dropped my paid voice talent email signature tool (it felt like money wasted) and opted for a static design that I created for free from the templates available in Canva (my Canva signature is living proof that such templates make design like this idiot proof — says the idiot)

What you see in the graphic is the email signature that I created in February 2024 and then in July 2024…so 5 months.

Within that 5 months (again, just 5 months)….this Certified Marketing Executive and business owner for 40+ years made the following changes to the tool that is my email signature:

  1. I took the logo design that I created (shown in February) over to my graphic designer and I think you can clearly see why it’s worthwhile to hire a professional (so the signature has an updated logo) — that’s the CHANGE
  2. In my information ON my email signature in July, you’ll notice there is an additional line of information that was OMITTED, LEFT OUT and FORGOTTEN in the February email signature design – my voiceover credits (that’s the MISTAKE)

This last part is a significant omission/mistake because many media producers – whether they like to admit it or not – prefer to work with voice actors with national brand credits. It’s not that Chico’s Bail Bonds is not a respectable account (and I have voiced for many smaller brands) but if you have those recognizable credits, it gives you a leg up in the eyes of some hiring producers.

VO Workshop Mistakes Happen

But this experienced marketer, this “certified wizard of marketing” (I just made that up), this guy WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER left off the V.O. credits line from a marketing tool that is easily one of the most visible in my marketing arsenal.

How could I make such a mistake??

Because I was recording voiceover work, because I was producing audio, because I was fielding client calls, because I was sending out emails…because I was and am overwhelmed and I-made-a-mistake.

It’s going to happen and I am truly not beating myself up over it. You should not either – but I KNOW many of you are…knock it off! 🙂

So to summarize:

Yes you can and occasionally should (if warranted) make changes to your marketing – even if it’s only 5 months old – be open (but not a slave) to change.

You are also going to make errors in your marketing…some may even cost you money. Whether they do or not, stop the self-loathing and negative talk. Every darn body makes mistakes.

You. Are. OK.

Hope this helps.

6,000 Posts in 17 years on Twitter or X or Whatever

There is no way for me to justify my 6,000 tweet – which I am sure is just as meaningless as the 1st tweet was 17 years ago. And yet when I was updating my profile today — there it was: 6,000 posts.

I can’t say that anything I’ve offered on the platform was terribly worthwhile and (aside from catching a few breaking news stories) I’ve not read that much that was interesting (but it helped pass the time).

What this…I don’t what you call 6,000 tweets…a signpost? A waste of time and effort?

What this “thing” did remind me of was when I first really focused on Twitter.

My recollection was I was at Podcamp Toronto in 2007 – social media was kinda just coming into it’s own and Twitter was barely a year old. But there were a couple of thought leaders who I heard in the hallways of the Podcamp chatting about Twitter.

I think within a month I had set up my account — having NO idea what I was supposed to say or do with it (much like the rest of the world then AND now.

X TwitterAnd I think it can only be my 17 year longevity on Twitter or X that explains how I have over 3,800 followers. At one point I had 4,000 followers but I must have said something that pissed some-200 -bodies off and that 3,800 count is where my follower count has been for a while.

If you are a follower, thanks. If you want to be a follower, thanks. If you don’t want to follow me, thanks.

There is a Science to social media and I was more of an English and History guy myself.

Let’s try not to take ourselves too seriously out that. Thanks.

 

A Declaration of Voiceover Networking and Education  

WOVOCON Unconference 2024I HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT….in my voiceover career 😉  – I’ve learned from many great voice acting teachers but I also feel some of my best professional learnings have come from my fellow voice actors during workshops and discussions.

One of the best examples of that for me was the FaffCon unconference events. They were awesome but FaffCon – with its wonderful uniqueness – is not coming back.

However, the unconference format (which FaffCon founder and fellow voice actor Amy Snively adopted) is about to make a major comeback in the voiceover industry and I am here for it.

World Voices (WOVO) board member George Washington, III met with Amy some months ago and Amy agreed to train George in the unconference format. While Amy will not be part of the event, WOVOCON (WOVO’s annual member conference) will adopt the unconference format in 2024.

This is not Faffcon redux – this will be its own event within the walls of a very popular and well proven voiceover conference format.

Voiceover Emcee Peter K. O'Connell at FaffCon 8

FaffCon 8 Emcee and Voice Talent Peter K. O’Connell

MY big news is that, similar to the role I had at FaffCon, World Voices President Dan Lenard has asked that I join George Washington as co-host the WOVOCON Unconference in Chicago on October 18-20, 2024.

A very nice honor indeed and I appreciate it.

Why does the unconference meeting model make me so excited for the 8th WOVOCON in Chicago?

I am happy because the WOVOCON Unconference format is 180° different from all the other voiceover conferences out there, both in presentation and spirit.

Does that mean the other conferences are bad? Nope, they are, generally, just not for me for — so many reasons, on so many levels.

The WOVOCON Unconference has nothing BUT fresh perspectives, discussions and topics. You pay one fee and that covers all your learning from association members. Simple, clean, effective.

I think this new opportunity wrapped up within the WOVOCON Unconference is a great gift to all the members of World Voices. I hope you’ll join us.

How Do You Not Know This: Print on BOTH SIDES

Peter K. O'Connell Voice Actor Business Card - Use Both Sides

You know how we all know stuff that other folks do not seem to know or are at least unaware of at that moment?

And yes…we’ve each been that person that didn’t know or was unaware (I know I have).

So anyway – I‘m just going to throw this out there for small or micro-business owners that might need this reminder – cause we gotta help each other out.

For most print marketing purposes (yes, I know there are exceptions) – print on BOTH sides of a sheet of paper.

What made me post this was (and I think over the decades I’ve posted this message before) AGAIN TODAY got an unsolicited flyer in my mailbox from a window cleaning service (printed on nice paper, attractively typeset, etc.) that was only printed on one side.

I believe that was a wasted marketing and branding opportunity (also I threw the flyer out because this kind of forced, unwelcomed marketing  – jammed in my mailbox – I find annoying as h-e-double hockey sticks).

But now back to the more valuable, overall marketing lesson.

Flyers, business cards, mailer inserts, postcards (that one should be VERY obvious)—point is whatever the printed piece — use the space you are given on the sheet of paper to get your message and branding across to your audience.

This does NOT mean you have to fill the entire document (front and back) with every darn thing. No, no, white space is still your graphic friend.

But you can use both sides judiciously, creatively and memorably to get your brand, message and call to action across to your audience.

If you’re going to shoot your shot…don’t leave any ammo unused.

Hope that helps.

MEDIA RELEASE – AAA of Western New York Secures O’Connell as Narrator for Walt Disney World Vacations Presentations

AAA Western & Central New York Walt Disney WorldBUFFALO, NEW YORK – June 10, 2024 – – Voiceover Talent Peter K. O’Connell was signed by AAA of Western & Central New York to narrate a series of informational videos for members on the many benefits of booking Walt Disney World vacations through Triple A.

AAA of Western & Central New York is an authorized Disney vacation planner.

Serving nearly 900,000 members in western and central region of New York State, AAA of Western & Central New York specializes in selling Disney destination vacation and helps their members navigate all things Disney.

About AAA of Western & Central New York

As Upstate New York’s (Buffalo, Rochester & Syracuse) largest member organization, AAA of Western & Central New York provides more than 887,000 members with travel insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Triple A Western and Central New York is an authorized Disney vacation planner.

About Peter K. O’Connell
Voice actor Peter K. O’Connell has shared his voiceover and audio production skills with companies around the world.

In addition to his most recent voiceover work for Triple A and Walt Disney World, Peter’s commercial, narration & web clients include brands like Tic Tac Mints, iHeart Media, Crest Toothpaste, IBM, SXM Media and AWS.

O’Connell’s company, audio’connell Voiceover Talent, is a Source-Connect equipped voiceover studio and is a division of O’Connell Communications, LLC.

WATCH PETER K. O’CONNELL’S NARRATION FOR AAA DISNEY TRAVEL

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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 & +01 919-283-1516

EM. peter@audioconnell.com

W. audioconnell.com

SOURCE-CONNECT: @audioconnell

COMPANY MEDIA CENTER

http://www.audioconnell.com/media

PETER K. O’CONNELL VO CREDITS

VO Credits Link

COMPANY NAME SPELLING

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

COMPANY NAME PRONUNCIATION
au·di-o’·con·nell (awe-de-oh-kah-nel)