Holdcom Year in Review

AUDIO

We welcome in the New Year with boisterous cheer and joyful celebration, and as is American tradition, bound fearlessly forward. Many individuals will look back on 2010 as “old” and distant, another layer peeled off the calendar floating gently to the floor. But the cusp of the New Year is a crucial time for self-reflection, an exercise just as important as making projections.

Holdcom has gone through major developments this year, embracing new marketing strategies and welcoming many new members to all areas of product fulfillment. Our expanded staff has included dedicated content providers, who enrich our blog and website with valuable information to help you make the most of your audio marketing.

We have completely reshaped our web presence by expanding our Online Audio Production Store and remodeling our blog. We have adjusted to the paradigm shift of brick and mortar to social business by reaching out to our clients and industry leaders through social media platforms. We have sent delegates to SOCAP conferences, attended online webinars on topics ranging from social media to mobile applications of IVR, and are increasing involvement with charitable organizations. We have adapted our professional audio services to accommodate the rapidly growing social web, creating innovative online audio solutions for virtual tours, audio tweets, avatars, and eGreetings.

Holdcom has ended the year on an exciting note: in November, we had a record number of words written and projects produced. With weekly staff meetings, bi-weekly blog meetings, and other internal events such as our Holiday Party, Mexican Luncheon, and True Blood Drive, our community is stronger than ever. Just some of our new clients this year include: Church Pension Group, Merchants Insurance, Columbia Bank, and hundreds of others.

What are our goals for the coming year?

Holdcom is constantly striving to spread the power of message on hold and IVR technologies. We pride ourselves on our customer service; our Client Relations department continues to incorporate Live Chat functionality and Twitter into their routine.  Beta tests are planned for incorporating video into our Client relations Department to help our clients form a stronger bond with their representatives.

The 2.0 version of our online store is on the drawing board that will allow customers more ease of use and flexibility when creating their projects. A comprehensive Mobile Application is under development, which will expand professional greetings to a wider audience.  We also will continue to power more stores for more hosted partners, including our recent relationship with RealTourVision, as well as continue to add more video to our website, such as: helpful tutorials, webinars, and product tours and reviews.

Another longer-term project is establishing an online “gathering place” for professional, and aspiring, voice talent to exchange ideas, samples, and conversation. This forum would cross over with our website and blog, establishing a virtual, but very real, voice talent community.

And so as we look back at the past year, we wish to thank our clients for their past support, and look forward to a mutually beneficial future and Happy New Year.

Executive Feature

Executive Team

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

 

After examining how the Client Relations, Scripts, and Production departments comprise the “Holdcom Story,” we are presented with a finished product: a professionally produced audio recording, message on hold, IVR announcement, etc.: our “novel.” But how do we distribute this “novel”? Better yet, who is responsible for streamlining the process? This month, Holdcom proudly features the Executive Team, which is responsible for overseeing, directing, and “telling” the “Holdcom Story” from start to finish.

The Executive Team can be compared to the editors in chief, senior copy editors, and marketing departments of a publishing company. The team plans the long-term goal of the product, segments the market demographic, then distributes – all the while interacting with each department to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Neil Fishman, co-founder and President of Holdcom, graduated from Yale University with a concentration in music theory and composition. Within the Executive Team, Neil specializes as head of production, often fulfilling difficult projects while taking an active role in developing new business, e.g. audio for virtual tours. Whenever there are customer complaints, or situations have escalated, “the buck stops” with Neil, who makes a personal goal of maintaining Holdcom’s reputation of unsurpassed customer fulfillment, while expanding Holdcom’s industry reach. “What is most important is discovering new channels, establishing new partnerships, so we have access to a larger customer base,” Neil says.

Harvey Edelman, co-founder and C.E.O of Holdcom, graduated from Georgia University with a concentration in Journalism. Harvey specializes in Holdcom’s long term growth and stability, overseeing system development, financing, and human resources. In constant contact with Client Relations, Sales, and Order Fullfillment, Harvey manages the integration of Holdcom people and the systems they utilize.

Harvey and Neil formed the business to specialize on Message On Hold in 1987 – officially incorporated in 1988 – and stand by the slogan of “Answer the Call of Enterprise.”

Andrew Begnoche, Director of Operations, has been an integral part of Holdcom for over twenty years.  After graduation from William Paterson University, Andrew focused on communications, but soon branched out as a freelance marketer and radio personnel.  Upon arriving at Holdcom, Andrew used a wide and varied skill set to help get the company off the ground.  “We stir the pot to keep everyone motivated and to accomplish our mission,” Andrew says, “so audio will enhance [the client’s] product.”   With “a hand in every pot,” Andrew focuses on client relations, social media marketing, the technical side of the business, including overseeing network security and customer interaction.

Neil, Harvey, and Andy are the editorial, marketing, and business team behind “The Holdcom Story.” Check in next week for the final installment where we conclude with the one-man teams, or subplots [subsidiary departments], that round out our “novel”: Social Media, Tech, and Order Fulfillment.

Holiday Party

This year’s Holdcom Holiday Party was a great success. Many of our voice talents, clients, friends, and family members attended to celebrate the holiday season and the coming new year.

In previous years, Holdcom held the function off-site; but in an effort to include valued customers and vendors, we invited our guests to celebrate at our more spacious office. The holidays are our busiest time of year, and we greatly appreciate all of the hard work and contributions from our business partners and loved ones.

Glen Rock Live (small montage)

The majority of the party was held in the Production department’s space, which we converted into a “nightclub.” There were plenty of drinks to be had and delicious dishes to enjoy, the latter supplied by Five Course Catering.

We would like to thank those who donated coats for Jersey Cares Annual Coat Drive and toys for Toys for Tots – and for being a part of our Holdcom Holiday Greeting!

We also want to thank everyone for attending, and for those who couldn’t make it, we hope to see you next year!

The Making of the Holdcom Holiday Greeting

In December, Holdcom President Neil Fishman and CEO Harvey Edelman moonlighted as composer and lyricist, respectively. They dusted off their talents from a time before Holdcom – when the artistic duo wrote catchy jingles for commercials and radio spots – and created the Holdcom Holiday Greeting: an infectious tune replete with wind chimes, synth, vocal chorus, and a horn section – all performed by our Holdcom Staff and featured Voice Talent.

“Starting last year, we noticed a growing trend of eGreetings,” said Fishman, “whether it was the poor economy or ecological reasons, people began using less and less traditional cards.” When asked about the inspiration behind the song, Fishman explained “We wanted a way to spread holiday cheer through audio and video, especially with the popularity of Youtube and Social Media.”

With the song composed and the lyrics set to print, Neil and Harvey needed a means of showcasing Holdcom’s hidden talents. As each department recorded the song in our studio, we realized that singing might not necessarily be one of those talents: but with the addition of Kera, a voice talent as well as a professional country singer, and Susan, a cello player and music teacher, we sounded positively angelic. As for the instruments, Sam Fishman, Neil’s son, played drums, Client Relations member Brett Lubanksy contributed on trumpet, and Jeremy Fishman on the saxophone.

Though we recorded an original song, the Holdcom Holiday Greeting was only half complete. Harvey formed the Video Committee, which consisted of Andrew Begnoche, Director of Operations, and Joe Blakely, a member of the Production department. The shooting sessions captured the song recording process, the regalia-decked Holdcom Staff gathered around a crackling YouTube fireplace, and impromptu footage featuring our guests at our holiday party.

“I’ve been trying to do this for five years,” said Begnoche, “this is a perfect vehicle to drive morale and brand. It’s a win-win all the way around.”

The song and video are below. Happy Holidays… continued!

 

Holdcom’s Annual Food Drive

Statistics show that millions of Americans went hungry in 2010. Many more will do the same in this New Year.

HOLDCOM is a proud supporter of Eva’s Village, a comprehensive, anti-poverty organization in Paterson, NJ. With a seating capacity of 240, last year the kitchen at Eva’s Village served an average of 370 hot lunches each day. All who come are fed. According to their website,  “guests are not made to stand in a ‘chow line,’ but are seated at tables and served with dignity and respect by volunteers.”

food driveDuring the month of February, we open our doors and welcome donations for our Food Drive. Non perishable food items, as well as paper products are greatly appreciated. HOLDCOM recognizes the need to reach out to the community, and we look towards our network of clients and partners for their support.

For more information, contact joep@holdcom.com or andyb@holdcom.com

To learn more about this organization, check out their website or click here to view a video.

HOLDCOM Strip Calendar

You asked for it, you got it.  The 2011 HOLDCOM calendar strips are here.

calendar strips (2010)

Back by popular demand, the HOLDCOM calendar strip is the perfect accessory for any computer monitor, cubical, or workstation.  This 12 month calendar strip provides quick and easy reference to the year at a glance.  The white lettering on black background makes for a subtle addition to your monitor.  It also features a double sided sticky tape which allows you to easily attach it to any surface while using it to post notes for other reminders.

With all the electronic gadgets and digital calendars, it’s refreshing to have this analog reference for quick and instant viewing.   And best of all it’s FREE – compliments of your friends at HOLDCOM.  If you would like to receive a calendar strip for you computer or workstation, please email us at newsletter@holdcom.com.  Limit 2 per email.  Hurry while supplies last.

 

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pencil on white paper with eraser

Happy New Year Holdcom Voice readers!

While it may not be completely uncommon to hear a phrase such as “For Sales, dial 1” in an IVR menu, the word “dial” is steadily becoming an undesirable term for such an application.  Although many dictionaries state “dial” is an acceptable word when referring to the act of pushing buttons on a phone, the word fundamentally connotes the usage of rotary telephones, which we know are all but extinct.  So instead of using “dial,” use either “press” or “enter.”  For example:

“For Sales, press 1.”

“For John Smith, enter 3-3-3.”

Do you look forward to reading our Script Tips every month? Click here to download our “Script Tips ‘Greatest Hits’ Compilation”