Senseless Marketing Is Occasionally Worthwhile

T-shirt Advertising Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover TalentEvery micro-business owner (like me) will tell you that you need to have an expectation of a return on investment (ROI) for the marketing dollars you invest.

Why?

Because while many micro-businesses don’t have unlimited marketing dollars, most have barely ANY marketing dollars…we have to make them count.

Which of course is why I just dumped multi-hundred o’dollars into my neighborhood swim team’s sponsorship program from which I am sure will lead to almost zero ROI.

Yup, no ROI and no charitable write off

Ain’t I a marketing and business genius? 🙂

Let me explain.

I’ve written so many marketing posts over all these years I’m guessing I must have mentioned Gut Marketing. It’s a highly technical business term which means marketing that may not make business sense but feels right.

Whether you as a business owner mean to support or straight out donate to an event or group, it’s your gut that tells you that you CAN make this one community investment…you have confidence in your other targeted, ROI-focused, customer-centric marketing programs that WILL build your customer base and your branding efforts.

When you know, you know.

Don’t go crazy BUT trust your gut.

Introducing: Bucky the Voiceover Superdog

Bucky Voiceover Superdog audioconnell Peter K. O'Connell

Follow the adventures of Bucky the Voiceover Superdog on Instagram

We’ve no way of knowing if Bucky the Voiceover Superdog came from another planet.

We’re not even sure if the “V” and “S” in Voiceover Superdog should be capitalized – but we’ve decided for a dog of such importance, it shall be capitalized.

We are pretty certain he came from many breeds, yet to be fully determined.

What we do know is this…Bucky is a super dog.

His Da does voiceover.

Thus Bucky, named by his siblings after a certain character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), is now his own kind of Super Hero.

As a Super Hero (and now Super Dog) is wont to do, Bucky is Instagram official and you can follow all his #studiobeast adventures there.

Is this indulgent? Possibly.

Is this obnoxious? Probably.

Is this all for fun and full of love? We certainly think so.

Bev Standing Her Ground Against TikTok

(If ever there was a name that was ripe for a headline, it’s my friend’s name: Bev Standing. That’s a writer’s gift, right there.)

(L-R) Voice talents Glad Klassen, Peter K. O'Connell and Bev Standing

Voice talents Glad Klassen, Peter K. O’Connell and Bev Standing in 2018

Professional female voiceover talent Bev Standing is one of those voice talent friends where I cannot remember the exact time we met…it’s like she’s always been in my orbit. Part of that comes from her proximity to Buffalo, NY (where I used to live) and her home across the border in Welland, Ontario Canada. I was blessed to see her many times in our various VO meetups. She is a total pro, lovely to be around and work with and…certainly knows her stuff.

Anyway, Bev Standing is defending herself against what I consider a pretty egregious misuse of her voice files by the social media company TikTok, a video-sharing social networking service owned by Chinese company ByteDance.

Bev, who in addition to being a VO also runs the VO Watercooler page on Facebook, did one text-to-speech voiceover project involving Chinese translations for the Institute of Acoustics, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 2018.

More recently, though, her voice was being used by various videos on TikTok from that recording session. These additional uses, as I understand it, were not part of her agreement with the Institute of Acoustics. That kind of unauthorized use is actionable, so Bev lawyered up and filed suit recently in the US. District Court, Southern District of New York.

See, here might be another GREAT headline: the case might be known as ‘Standing vs TikTok’. These things practically write themselves!!

Text-to-speech, if you are unfamiliar, is a process where voice actors read a large script of sounds (think “-er”) and specific words that can be manipulated by computers into sentences that – in some cases – sound very much like a human voice, resulting in full human voice sentences.

The full story on this suit is much more completely reported by John Florian at Voice-Over Extra.

I had gotten wind of this problem some months ago but didn’t know until today that the suit had been filed. I think this is a very wise move on Bev Standing’s part…and brave, because such suits can be emotionally and financially draining. But it must be done.

Text-to-speech (TTS) jobs for voiceover talents became a very enticing proposition around the time Apple introduced us to Siri…the most famous TTS project since “Hal” into 2001 A Space Odyssey (except “Hal” wasn’t actually TTS).

But I’ve always been wary of TTS projects for the very reason Bev is bringing suit…reckless usage of entire voice files that can be close to impossible to contain once the files are released.

Basically, a voice talent is sharing their entire talent (their speaking voice) with a client for unlimited use – supposedly for a specific project. But if that entire file gets out to somebody else or is used for other purposes (for which the talent SHOULD be made aware of and compensated for) the talent has very few resources to stop that abuse.

It will be left to the courts to decide this – but if it sounds bad, looks bad and smells bad…it usually is bad. This sounds like TikTok has created a problem for itself that my friend Bev rightly aims to correct with her legal action.

MEDIA RELEASE – iHeartMedia Hearts O’Connell as Promo Voice Talent

iHeartMedia Promo Voice Talent Peter K. O'ConnellAUSTIN, TX – April 12, 2021 – – The global leader in podcast publishing – with a monthly audience of over 25 million – iHeartMedia signed promo voiceover actor Peter K. O’Connell as the in-network and broadcast announcer for the Ridiculous History Podcast.

O’Connell voiced a series of promos highlighting the highly rated, historically-based podcast that focuses on some of the weirdest stories from across the span of human civilization. The Ridiculous History Podcast, hosted by Ben Bowlin and Noel Brown, is available on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts or wherever podcasts are offered.

Ridiculous History Podcast Peter K. OConnell Promo Voice ActorCLICK ON “THE RIDICULOUS HISTORY PODCAST” GRAPHIC TO HEAR A PROMO

 

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia is the #1 audio company in the United States, reaching 9 out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. iHeartMedia is the #1 podcast publisher globally, with shows distributed on all major podcast platforms, including the iHeartRadio app.

About Peter K. O’Connell

Promo voice actor Peter K. O’Connell has shared his voiceover and audio production skills with companies around the world.  In addition to his recent voiceover promos for iHeartMedia, Peter’s commercial and narration clients also include brands like Crest Toothpaste, IBM, Duracell Batteries and AWS (Amazon Web Services). O’Connell owns audio’connell Voiceover Talent, a division of O’Connell Communications, LLC.  He can be reached via peterkoconnell.com.

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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

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)

Writing a useful Voiceover Profile for Source-Connect

Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover Source-Connect Profile 2021With so many more voiceover talents jumping on the Source-Connect bandwagon in the midst of COVID-19, some voice talent may ignore a key marketing tool included with their Source-Connect membership.

The Source-Connect user profile.

As with almost all things internet, every Source-Connect member can (and should) fill out their profile. There’s the basic form to fill out (name, rank, serial number….that was a joke, don’t try to search for rank and serial number).

But the important part, in my opinion, is the biography information below the form.

This is where I think thoughtful voice talents have the opportunity to stand out successfully.

There will always be a few producers who blow past the Source-Connect bio opportunity and not read it because…whatever.  Some voice talents may feel the same way. That’s fine.

There are a few more producers who may be torn between picking from some Source-Connect voice talents whose sound is similar, who both obviously have Source-Connect but whose profiles say and convey different things.

Those conveyed differences could be the distinction between you getting and losing the gig. Those same million variables exists on every voiceover job, I know. My point here is: with a little work now, do it right, set and forget it and you’ll have a better shot of getting the job.

You want that possible advantage, don’t you?

Here are the things I think you should make sure you include in your Source-Connect profile biography.

OVERALL
This biography is absolutely NOT like the biography (the “About”) page on your web site. This should be informative, concise, easy to read and extremely focused on the needs and wants of the studio producer reading it. Lots of meat, very little warm and fuzzy.

THE STUDIO
Many but not all people hiring you will own their own recording studio, your Source-Connect session will be recorded in their recording studio. To the people who do the hiring, studio information can make a difference. Be as detailed and yet as matter of fact as you can be. Those recording in closets, do your best to describe your custom built or custom designed recording space. You need not feel shame as long as your recording space SOUNDS professional…no doubt most Source-Connect using producers have recorded more than one voice talent who voices from a good sounding closet.

THE TOOLS
Especially with (but not exclusively to) recording studios, engineers will look with a keen eye at your list of mics, audio interfaces and software. They do not have many ways to ensure for themselves they are going to be receiving quality sounding audio BEFORE they actually hear it in the session so reading about your gear IS important to them. That said, don’t get into a “brand-panic” or fall into an inferior mic complex or some such thing. Just make sure you consult with an audio engineer (the George Whittham’s of the world) to make sure your studio tools give you a quality, broadcast-ready sound BEFORE you try selling yourself ANYWHERE, let alone via Source-Connect.

THE CREDITS
The word credits is born of word credibility. While your entire Source-Connect biography is about establishing your recording credibility (studio and performance) – listing your professional voiceover credits is a way to assure producers that whatever project they have you in mind for…their session with you will NOT be your first voiceover recording rodeo (this is true for any professional voiceover biography). Your list of voiceover credits allow the media producer to know other producers and specifically other brands (hopefully, well known, easily identifiable and respected brands) have trusted your professional voice talent and/or recording abilities and so can they. Anywhere from 7-10 featured brand credits (across multiple industries) should assure them you are an experienced, professional voiceover talent.

Peter K. O'Connell Voiceover Source-Connect IconTHE YOU
Probably the biggest difference between your “ABOUT” biography on your personal web site and your biography on your Source-Connect web site is “The You”. On your web site, you can talk about your likes and family and unicorns and rainbows. All fine.

Not on your Source-Connect biography…at least that’s my opinion.

Producers are usually rushed for time when hiring a talent and if…IF…they take the time to read this part of your Source-Connect profile (and again there are no guarantees they will) give them ‘just then facts, ma’am’.

If you want to tie in a few words about your personal brand (very few) and location, that’s fine. Keep it short. For example, in my Source-Connect profile, I mention I used to live in Buffalo, NY and now live in Raleigh, NC. Some producers from years ago may remember me from Buffalo, not realize I moved to Raleigh and thus may not be sure I am the same guy. That location detail has professional, business relevance to my profile. Otherwise I wouldn’t include it.

Why so much info on a profile that is supposed to be so brief? Because to be concise, you have to be fairly thoughtful about those few, right words…about sharing the most valuable content. I hope this blog has offered you some helpful guidance and ideas.

MEDIA RELEASE – Amazon Web Services (AWS) Likes O’Connell’s Character

Amazon Web Services audioconnell Peter K. O'ConnellSEATTLE, WA – March 1, 2021 – – Channeling a famous old movie character with a modern twist, voice actor Peter K. O’Connell was signed as a voice talent for a sales conference presentation for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

With O’Connell voicing one iconic role among a quartet of beloved cinematic characters, the media presentation focused on defining the new year’s priorities for the leader in easy-to-use and cost-effective cloud computing solutions.

About Amazon Web Services

For almost 15 years, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs.

About Peter K. O’Connell

Multi-award winning male voiceover talent Peter K. O’Connell has shared his voiceover and audio production skills with companies around the world.  In addition to his recent narration recordings for Amazon Web Services, Peter’s commercial and narration clients also include brands like Crest Toothpaste, IBM, Duracell Batteries and Metro by T-Mobile. O’Connell owns audio’connell Voiceover Talent, a division of O’Connell Communications, LLC.  He can be reached via peterkoconnell.com.

-30-

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

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)