Jersey Cares Annual Coat Drive

group in winter coats

According to data from the US National Center for Health Statistics for 2001-2007, an average of 7,200 Americans die each day during the winter months (December-March). High-risk individuals include infants, the elderly, pensioners, and the homeless.

This winter is predicted to have intense drops in temperature, accompanied by several blizzards. With unemployment stagnant at 9.2% and heat prices climbing, more and more people cannot afford winter clothes to defend against the cold.

For several years, Holdcom has supported the Jersey Cares Annual Coat Drive, which runs from November 1st to December 15th. Holdcom collects donations and promotes the cause to local businesses. According to their website, “every fall, The Jersey Cares Coat Drive collects and distributes over 40,000 ‘gently used’ winter coats to at-risk men, women, children, and infants.”

If you are in the North Jersey, you can drop off donated coats at our Holdcom office, located at 955 Lincoln Avenue in Glen Rock. Last year Holdcom collected over 70 boxes of coats. For a list of public collection sites, or to find out more about Jersey Cares, check out their website.

Also, we are collecting this month for our annual “Toy’s for Tots” drive!

Thank you!

Holiday Hours

Please note that the Holdcom offices will be closed the following days during the Holiday period:

  • Christmas Eve Day, Friday, December 24th
  • New Year’s Eve Day, Friday, December 31st

If you have time-sensitive Message On Hold updates or Voice Production projects during this time.  Please allow enough time to meet your due dates.

Have a great holiday!

If you need to purchase a Holiday Message On Hold Program, you can get a promocode based upon your customer status (Active, Former, Soon To Be) for an additional discount at our Audio Production Store.

holidaypromocode

Click Here to get your promocode

Please Don’t Repeat… I Repeat…

pencil on white paper with eraser

There’s nothing wrong with being polite, but repeating the word “please” monotonously in your IVR menus can be overkill.  Imagining hearing the word “please” throughout a lengthy employee directory: “For John, please press 1. For Joe, please press 2. For Kim, please press 3. For Ed, please press 4…etc.” With all that repetition, the congeniality begins to lose its sincerity.  Our suggestion is say it once before the first direction and then simply continue with “…press X” for the remainder of the prompt.

Just For Fun Video – Santa Sessions

This month’s video strikes home for studio producers and voice talents alike.

To welcome the coming holidays, Santa Claus needs to update his voicemail greetings with the perfect recording of his trademark chuckle, “Ho ho ho!” He decides to stop in at Sunspot Productions, an audio production studio, to deliver his message.

Of course, hilarity ensues.

Holdcom wishes to extend a hearty “happy holidays!” to our peers in the industry – and to everyone who cherishes the power of voice!

New Holiday Music!

As the days march on towards the holiday season, the music we know and love fills the air. At first the childish glee of “Frosty the Snowman” or “12 Days of Christmas” is heartwarming, but after the five-thousandth time it becomes, well, a bit tired.  You can’t go shopping, driving, out to dinner – well, anywhere – without hearing an overly joyous rendition of “Jingle Bells” or “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”

holiday music collage

At Holdcom, we’ve decided to change things up. We have received feedback that our clients want more diverse interpretations of holiday classics: tracks that capture the excitement and anticipation of the holidays that you wouldn’t hear in an elevator. Well, not only have we gotten off the “elevator,” but we have also demolished the building.

Alongside bolstering our traditional holiday selections, Holdcom has acquired four new albums of eclectic holiday music that can be accessed from our audio production store or our website: Christmas Kitsch, Christmas Crackers, Masterworks V3 Acoustic, and Happy Happy Holidays.

To commemorate these collections, each member of our Productions Department is going to provide an insightful, and pointed, review of each album a la Rolling Stones. Check out all the reviews on our website to find out more.

Department Feature: Production

Then following is the third installment of a five part series featuring Holdcom’s specialized departments.

In last month’s issue of the Holdcom Voice, we explored how the Scripts Department contributed to the “Holdcom Story”: it is “the guts of the novel, the plot, where information gathered by Client Relations…is digested, formulated, and finally put to paper.” This month, we proudly feature the Productions team, who is responsible for taking the manuscript one step further.

production department

The Production department is responsible for infusing the scripts with sound: they hold live studio session with voice talent, edit and produce the files, and are responsible for sending the final product directly to the client. The Production team could be compared to the proofreading and editing team of a publishing house who formats the manuscript, or in the words of Production team member Brett Lubansky, “we bring it all together and put on the finishing touches.”

But Production not only realizes the final product; they work with Scripts to create a program that reflects the client’s vision. “We are the ghostwriters,” says Production team member Nicholas Bolton. Just like proofreaders and editors meticulously scan the manuscript, Production analyzes the sound files second by second, deleting breathiness, adding spaces, clipping, stretching, and restructuring. Production is responsible for insuring clarity, high quality, and that proper file formats are used; they make it possible for large, complex files to be played through a phone system.

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Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots (logo)

This month, join Holdcom in supporting Toys for Tots, the annual national charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, now in its 63rd year.

The foundation’s website states that “according to a recent report from the United States Census Beureau, the poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent in 2009…rise was steepest for children, with one in five residents under 18 living below the poverty line.” There are over 14.1 million children who do not have access to toys, fundamental tools for creative play that give children “recognition, confidence, and a positive memory of a lifetime.”

There are many ways to support Toys for Tots. Drop off locations include nationwide Toys“R”Us retail locations, or visit the website for local partners. Besides donating “new, unwrapped” toys, many options for monetary donations – through mail, Ebay, PayPal, and more – are possible.

If you are in the North Jersey area, stop by our Holdcom office, located at 955 Lincoln Avenue in Glen Rock, to donate toys or learn more about the Toys for Tots program.

Holiday eCards Coming Your Way

This holiday season, rest assured that you don’t have to trudge through a blizzard to check your mailbox for holiday greetings; electronic greeting cards, or eCards, are the way to go. With hundreds of eCard startups, robust social media platforms, and eco-friendly initiatives, more people are turning to eCards for their annual dose of holiday cheer.

eGreeting collage

But what about tradition! Don’t worry: printed greeting cards still generate $7.5 billion in annual revenue, with the average household buying 30 cards. But greeting card giants such as Hallmark and American have made a solid transition to digital greeting cards, while many novelty websites such as JibJab offer multi-media options that traditional printing cards cannot replicate: such as customizable “sendables®,” where you can crop a picture of yourself or a friend to be placed on a character’s body in a humorous dance video.

Though traditional printed cards may have sentimental value, eCards have endless customization features. Incorporating video or audio will reflect a unique greeting card – one that doesn’t rely on stock photos of snowy pastures or a jolly Santa Claus. Hearing, a warm, soothing voice will provide your loved ones with a more meaningful experience.
Paired with the knowledge that you are contributing to a cleaner environment can only add to holiday goodwill, or getting started on a new years resolution.

More and more younger families are turning to eCards as a cheaper and faster alternative to printing, collating, and mailing. Holdcom specializes in providing voice talent, sound effects, and audio fine-tuning for eGreeting cards of all types – whether for holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries. Our versatile scriptwriters can create hilarious holiday greetings or heart-warming gems at the drop of a hat.

While you are browsing the Internet for the perfect eCard to send, check out these top ten free eCard websites; and don’t forget about these five great eCard applications for your smartphone!