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!

What’s New With Atlantic OnHold

Kendra_smallWritten by Kendra Jones

 

Think about when you call a business and are put on hold. That cool music or those interesting company facts you hear as you wait is what Atlantic OnHold does so well. They make engaging custom on hold messages for businesses so customers will not get bored and continue to hang tight while being transferred to a representative. When callers stay on the line revenues increase and costs decrease.

Donald Best, lead engineer of Atlantic OnHold, has been a part of the OnHold family for about 3.5 years. He gives us the inside scoop of what happens at Atlantic OnHold–from what’s new to what direction the company is heading next.

Donald and mic

Audio Engineer Donald Best

Best says Atlantic OnHold is working on going in a different direction with on hold messaging. They are seeking to capture sounds from natural sources to help people feel as though they are in a story. The goal is to create on hold messaging that makes people feel like they are actually in the business they are contacting.

“Something more interesting than just music and voice,” Best explained, “We like to maybe have something with sound effects.”

Donald mentioned a project where the audio team recorded live sounds such as auto service repairmen working on cars and people chattering. This idea of pre-recording live sounds would be the basis of future on hold messaging produced.

Voice talent for Atlantic OnHold comes from a wide array of areas. The company has a reputable relationship with several talents–plenty are local to Raleigh whereas others are outsourced from different states such as California or Washington.

Many of the voice talent that are not local have their own studios to record their voices for projects. The non-local talent would send their scripts via email and a digital file of their voice, also by email. Donald Best would then piece the on-hold messaging project together.

Donna and mic

Donna Mason

The Atlantic OnHold in-house voice talent is Donna Mason, who has provided her professional voice to a variety of on hold messaging projects. Best said having an in-house voice talent makes the process easier because projects can be fixed quicker, conveniently.

Donald Best shares his full insight about Atlantic OnHold in an interview. Take a listen.

A First Class Recording

The other day I received a call from one of our long time on hold customers, First Class Automotive. They wanted a creative on hold message like our Audio Tour. Since they were located right up the street Dustin and I decided to go and record some sounds to complete their customized audio tour.

Portable recording device

Portable recording device

You have to be in the right stance to record accurately..

You have to be in the right stance to record accurately…

Recording some awesome sounds in the shop!

Recording some awesome sounds in the shop!

 

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! 

On Hold Music & Cell Phones

Have you ever called a company on your cellphone, got put on hold and had to listen to staticky music? It’s happened to all of us. Dawn Hartford, Neltech Labs, explains why cell phones and music on hold don’t always sound crystal clear.

Cell phone callers typically experience a type of “active noise cancellation” or over-compression of the data stream from the cell phone to tower. This is happening in one of two places:

1. The cell phone itself is making the determination of what it thinks is an audio conversation – if a human is not talking then the phone may determine that the leftover background music track could be noise and they will hear periods of silence or a “shhhh” sound in the audio.

2. The other way is that the cell phone company is compressing the data as it travels from point-to-point. It is only compressing the data that the algorithm they are using determines is relevant – so, if it’s a phone conversation and not a data transfer, it is looking for a voice conversation. If the audio is not loud enough or the background music does not fit within the algorithms calculations then it removes that data during the compression process – almost like how an MP3 is compressed when using a low bit rate.

What are some solutions? 
1. Make the background music track a bit louder when the voice over track is not active.

2. Use a background music track that does not have a lot of periods with very low or very high frequency audio.

3. Have the end-user increase the volume of the audio player.

4. Make sure the customer does not have any type of AGC (Automatic Gain Control) set on the phone system.

Related Articles:

http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-ceo-tim-cook-changes-apples-on-hold-music-2014-7

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/technology/personaltech/hd-voice-promises-better-call-quality-but-dont-hold-your-breath.html?_r=1

 

Atlantic OnHold is back!

Well…we never went anywhere, but we are reinvesting in the brand in an effort to serve our customers better! On hold marketing is the most cost effective way to be heard by your customers. When a customer is on hold this gives you, the seller, a 100% captive audience.thumbs up mature woman-resized-600

We’re even bigger and more creative than before. Customers don’t like being put on hold, and guess what? Neither do we. But who says you have to be bored when you’re on hold? Click here to preview the best message on hold in the world (at least we like to think so).

Are you ready to dazzle your customers’ ear drums? Then you should probably look into messaging on hold. Shoot us an email, joanna.schurtman@accav.com, for more information.

 

Surprising Audio Production

Atlantic Creative started a long, long time ago as part of a recording studio known as on_hold_messaging_200x180Osceola. While Osceola is still around and churning out great work, we have veered into a number of different avenues of audio and video production. However, recently our newest audio producer has had the opportunity to work on jingles, soundtracks, and radio spots and remind us what great audio production is all about. We’re waiting for those works to air before we can debut them so in the meantime, here’s a little sample of what he can do with an on hold message. If he can do this to On Hold Marketing, imagine what he can do with everything else! If you’d like to hear more of his work with you on a national quality jingle or radio spot, just give us a call at (919) 832-2220. To learn more about Donald, check out our team!