Atlantic OnHold Helpers

Kendra_smallWritten by Kendra Jones 

On a daily basis, there is an integral group of people who help with making a company’s on-hold messaging as smooth as silk at Atlantic OnHold. The work involved in creating an on-hold message masterpiece is not that simple. Let’s take a look at the helpers who run Atlantic OnHold effortlessly as a team.

Presenting…

                     Russ Reynolds & Marguerite LeBlanc

RussMarguerite Lower Thirds

The Founder/Salesman and The Payroll Specialist

Russ, the founder of Atlantic OnHold, is in charge of selling each prospective client on-hold marketing packages. He consults with prospects to determine the best on-hold marketing plan for them, which includes suggesting how often the prospect should change messages, and determining the equipment necessary to create their on-hold message. Russ also encourages prospects to develop creative messages to capture callers’ attention.

Marguerite handles the day-to-day financial aspects of Atlantic On-Hold including accounts receivable and accounts payable and payroll.

Donna Mason

Donna

The In-House On-Air Talent

Donna ensures that clients’ scripts are up-to-date which involves calling them to make sure the clients have not added any new information about their company or if old information needs to be omitted. Donna also writes on-hold messaging scripts and records voice-overs for on-hold messaging projects.

Donald Best & Dustin Painter

DonaldDustin Lower Thirds

Audio Recording Engineers

Donald and Dustin are both involved in the on-hold messaging process, respectively, from start to finish.

The process includes tasks such as recording and editing voice-overs, making sure each company’s on-hold message has appropriate music, and uploading the messages to the companies for its on-hold systems. If a company needs to rent an on-hold box, then Donald and Dustin would then place the message onto an Atlantic OnHold box and issue it to the client for the duration of their partnership.

Once all of these steps are taken, callers can hear the company’s on-hold messages as they wait patiently to speak to a representative.

When Donald is not in the office, Dustin is the audio recording engineer on staff, vice versa. Sometimes the two work on on-hold projects together and even remotely.

 

Welcome 2016 Summer Interns!

If you ever get a chance to swing by our office, you will always notice two or three interns hard at work doing everything from taking the trash out, to recording their own radio spot in our studio! This summer, we are fortunate enough to have three new interns from area high schools working with us in the coming weeks. The contributions they make during their time here will undoubtedly be beneficial to our growth as individuals, and growth as a company because of the unique insight they are able to provide. If you don’t get a chance to swing by and meet them, check out the awesome blog on Blueforest’s website to learn more about our three fantastic interns.

Daniel Engman

Daniel

Mason Carrara

Mason

Brendan Bello

Brendan

 

One of the first things we had the interns do during their orientation was create a fake radio spot for one of our partners, Cause for Paws. The interns were tasked with researching the organization, and creatively telling their story in just under 30 seconds. The interns worked with Donald Best, a talented member of our audio team, to produce the spot. I encourage you to check out their awesome work on our Soundcloud below!

Music Plagiarism & The Art Of Sound A-likes

“A good composer does not imitate: he steals.”

-Igor Stravinsky

Usually when someone like Stravinsky, a man of immense talent and knowledge in the field of music, gives you advice you want to take it and apply it to your own work. Unfortunately, in this case, stealing ideas from songs/compositions will get you into some serious legal trouble (especially today).

Take for example this recent event: Tom Petty has been awarded songwriting royalties for Sam Smith’s hit “Stay With Me.” Apparently people started to sing along to this song with lyrics from Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” and realized they were eerily similar. It seems Tom Petty thought so too. Have a listen to this mash up and you’ll hear similarities in the chorus melody.

This isn’t nearly the first case of plagiarism in recent memory of popular hits. Remember the Coldplay song “Viva La Vida?” I’m sure Joe Satriani does…

What is the one common factor that has allowed these artists to have a case against another artist? The melody! Within music copyright laws you can not sue for someone using the same chord progression. If that were the case no one would be able to write a song destined for radio airplay (which is a whole other soapbox moment I may get into at a later date).

But what are you to do if you want something similar to your favorite song but can not pay to afford the fees to license that specific track? It’s obvious many people like specific genres for a reason. With the way the music business is working currently there is bound to be an attitude of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” There just may be a formula to produce an instant hit…

The reason I bring this up is because in the world of marketing it is understandable that people will want a big hit song for their video. They might even want a number one hit for their on hold messages! With the cost of licensing fees and the consequences of not paying those fees if you use the track what is a smart alternative? A sound alike!

Yes it is possible to have a song that sounds similar to the hit song you want but will avoid copyright infringements. Remember, the copying of melodic content is what will get you into hot water with copyright law. This does not apply to using similar instrumentation, gestures, tempo/song speed, or chords. The idea of a sound alike track isn’t new either. It has been used frequently in many mediums for quite a while. One of my personal favorite examples is the classic Animaniacs cartoon “West Side Pigeons.” Besides the title alluding to the great “West Side Story” you can hear how similar the music is to the work of Leonard Bernstein.

 

The same ideas can be applied to any genre of music: pop, rock, indie, hip hop, etc. I will always try to advocate for creating original content BUT if you are in desperate need of something that sounds like the latest radio hit, yet can’t afford the song itself, a sound alike could be the answer for you.

Do you prefer an original composition for your marketing content or do you think a sound alike track would bring in more attention and suit a production better? Let me know in the comments!

– Dustin

 

 

Did you know that playing the radio as your message on hold is illegal!?!

Did you know that playing the radio as your message on hold is illegal!?!

Being on hold is great isn’t it? Especially when you get to listen to your favorite artists like Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood, or Ke$ha. But did you know that playing the radio for your on hold music is actually illegal?!?! Well, t’s illegal if you aren’t paying licensing fees to ASCAP, BMI and/or SESAC.

Below are some common questions about radio music for on hold from the BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) website:

Q: Our Music-On-Hold System Only Uses Programming From Local Radio Stations. Aren’t The Stations Already Licensed?

A: Though radio stations are licensed with BMI to perform the music they broadcast, that agreement does not cover further public performance by those receiving the radio broadcast signal. When radio music is used in music-on-hold, that use is a separate performance under the copyright law.

Q: We Use Our Own Tapes, CDs Or Audio Files On Our Telephone. Isn’t This Our Private Property To Play Where And When We Like?

A: Although, most people buy tapes, CDs, and audio files thinking they are now their property, there is a distinction in the law between owning a copy of the songs and owning the actual songs. The music on the tapes, CDs and audio files still belongs to the songwriter, composer, or music publisher of the work. When you buy a tape or CD, the purchase price covers only your private listening use, similar to the “home” use of “home” videos. Once you decide to play these tapes, CDs, or audio files in your business, it becomes a public performance.

Songwriters, composers, and music publishers have the exclusive right of public performance of their musical works under the U.S. copyright law. Therefore, any public performance requires permission from the copyright owner — or BMI — if it is BMI-licensed music. With a BMI Music License, you can publicly perform all BMI-licensed music.

Problem: So, you are playing radio music for your on hold. Crap! That’s illegal! Don’t worry Atlantic OnHold has the solution!

Solution: Atlantic OnHold has the use of licensed music from an extensive library! Do we have Justin Timberlake or Jason Derulo? No, but we do have a wide variety of genres ranging from classical jazz to country. So you can either contract with BMI, SESAC and ASCAP to pay the monthly fees based on your call traffic or you can let Atlantic OnHold help!