• It’s Not WHAT You Say, But HOW You Say It

    Muzak Voice for on hold messaging and in-store musicIf you dare, dive in to the pool of research surrounding accent. Google will spit out thousands of studies on the influence and interpretation of language variation dating as far back as it took someone to notice, “Hey, y’all talk funny.”

    So, what does this mean for your business?

    It means the door just opened a little wider in regards to the myriad ways you can, literally, speak your business! Need to throw a little sophistication in the mix? How about French? What about sex appeal? Italian. Perhaps you want your brand to be seen as distinguished? British.

    Muzak Voice has unlimited access to the best voice talents in the business. So, if you want someone who sounds like they grew up in East Somalia, we’ve got you covered.

    Of course, there are plenty of viable options for attitude and influence right here in the good ol’ US of A. Want to be seen as fact-driven and fast moving? Look to the New Englanders! Do you want to be seen as kind, easy-going, friendly and approachable? Let the Southerners speak a spell! Want something that’s accepted across the board? Call in the Mid-Westerners.

    And while we count the positives, there are also plenty of negatives, as well. Ultimately, though, the decision is yours. So, log on to voice.muzak.com to listen in on some of our talents. Then consider how you want to present your business. After all, it’s not just what you say, but HOW you say it. How can Muzak Voice help you speak your business?

    Contributed by Brandy Hammond, Voice Architect

  • Pride Matters

    independence checkWith the economic challenges that face every company every day, it’s very difficult to commit the resources necessary to do anything that doesn’t impact the bottom line.   Unfortunately we’re all forced to make tough decisions about overhead and expenses.  Falling off most priority lists are sometimes the most important things, like building a company culture that promotes pride.

    Muzak is no different.  After several years of trimming and cutting whenever and wherever possible, it was clear that we had begun to lose some of the cultural make-up of the company we loved.

    In February of this year we made the decision to reignite our commitment to our Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation, the cornerstone of our company culture.  Since its inception in 1998, the foundation has supported music education for thousands of kids across America and beyond.  However, Heart & Soul took a major hit over the past few years because of the economy and other critical company needs.

    Muzak’s re-commitment to the Heart & Soul Foundation has been a testament to the resolve of our people.  Within a few weeks over 50 volunteers jumped in to help and the numbers continue to build.  The rewards have clearly outweighed the sacrifices.  To know that a simple check for $2000 might have saved a high school music program, to realize that an employee’s gift of an unused piano would mean so much to a needy new music foundation, and to see the absolute ecstasy on the faces of 16 gifted teenagers as they experienced 10 packed days of music education and passion at a Heart & Soul camp called NOISE! These real events helped to remind us that pride comes when a company makes a difference… not just in business, but in the community.

    Sure, these times remain challenging for every business, including Muzak.  All of us will continue to be forced to make extremely tough decisions.  But as you do, be sure to recognize, embrace and protect the true heart and soul of your company, whatever that might be.

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Company Communications

  • Best of the Best

    Mood Media HiresMood Media Corporation is in the midst of rallying all executives from its newly acquired entities, looking to leverage the best practices from each in strengthening and growing its international presence.  All divisions of the Mood Media family, including newly acquired Muzak, Mood Media North America (formerly Trusonic), Mood Entertainment (formerly Somerset) and Mood Media Europe have already begun to combine forces.   Executive teams have been appointed, assigned and are now head long into the process of evaluating, identifying, combining and delivering the best of the best.

    Teams are focused on several facets of the in-store business:  music programming and content licensing, customer and field service, content delivery, platform development and operational efficiencies.  Muzak execs, including President Steve Richards, COO Tom Gantert and EVP Chris Williams, are leading project teams that will drive these best practices throughout our combined Mood Media North American operations and, in many cases, across the entire international organization.

    Mood Media Corporation, the world’s largest in-store media specialist, reaching 150 million people every day in 470,000 locations across 40 countries, has set the stage.

    The challenge doesn’t faze Mood Media CEO Lorne Abony, who boldly intends to “grow the living daylights out of it.”

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Company Communications

  • Featuring the 1940s on 75.muzak.com

    History of Muzak in the 1940s

    History of Muzak in the 1940s

    Here is just one of many stories you’ll find when visiting our Muzak history website:

    From 1939 to 1945 most of the world was embroiled in WWII and the country united in a period of mass solidarity.  As the men went off to war, women flock to fill vacancies in factories, shipyards and arsenals, where they produced essential supplies for the boys “Over There”.   Everyone rolled up their sleeves to get the job done – and Muzak was no exception.

    Muzak got behind the war effort in many important ways, most publicly by providing music programming for 1,400 nationwide factories with upbeat hits like “G.I. Joe” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, along with cool-down mood music by artists likes Buddy Weed and Arthur Fiedler.  The intended role of “Music by Muzak” was to increase production and productivity – and Muzak delivered on their promise.  Researchers, military leaders and industry tycoons alike took notice when war effort assembly line output increased by 11% when Muzak motivated this all female workforce.

    Industrial psychologists began to study the influence of music on productivity levels in work environments, and an increase in production output was just the tip of the iceberg.  Muzak’s music increased worker’s morale, with 83% reporting they found their jobs more enjoyable.  The verdict was in: Muzak made work better.  Soon, corporate America would get in on the action.

    For music, pictures, stories and factoids that will keep you riveted, visit http://75.muzak.com

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Muzak Archives Director

  • Shocker: Your Messaging Campaign Isn’t About You!

    voice mic smThink about your best cocktail party conversation ever.  I’m willing to bet it wasn’t the one where the object of your chatter dominated the air and talked all about how great they were!

    When it comes to your messaging program, the cocktail convo concept is a first cousin.  So, the caller, the object of your airtime, doesn’t want to hear all about you!

    So, if you’re a doctor, go ahead and tell us where you went to school, but make it relevant TO a patient.  Your caller wants to know that XYZ University specializes in training internists . . . unless, of course, you’re an orthopedist!

    You could just skip the “me” talk altogether and use your expertise to give clients, patients and customers information they can use. Hand out tips like Halloween candies.  Play trivia games.  Give fashion advice.  Direct traffic to your website for money-saving coupons.  Make your callers’ time on hold of value by passing out useful information.

    Whatever course you take, keep it customer-centric.  Tell the world how your business can make THEIR lives better, how your services can enhance THEIR lifestyle, how you have something to offer THEM.

    After all, as disheartening as the news is, it’s NOT all about you.  Sadly, it’s not all about me, either!  It’s about the client.  Now what else can we do to make the “their-ness” of it all more enjoyable?

    If you would like more information about on-hold messaging visit our Voice page or tell us what we can help you with.

    Contributed by Brandy Hammond, Voice Architect

  • The First Week of NOISE! 2011

    NOISE! 2011

    NOISE! 2011

    The first week of NOISE! proved to be a wonderful and enriching experience for this year’s students and for all who have had the opportunity to be involved in camp. As such, I’d like to share with you an excerpt from one of our camper’s blogs.  Brendan Carchidi writes about his visit to Muzak’s Home Office:

    “Once we arrived at Muzak, we were greeted by all of the great employees and a different office-building layout. The Muzak office is hard to describe, because it has such a modern interior to it. There are bright colored walls, odd towers that are conference rooms, and even a Muzak jumbotron. Easy to say it was really cool.”  He continues, “Out of the whole day, the nicest part was being able to see all of the Muzak employees, the people who really made NOISE! happen. Seeing the smiles, and the true hospitality, we felt more and more blessed to be a part of such an exclusive program. So thank you to all of the volunteers and employees who give their time to make our dreams come true – y’all are the true stars of the week, not us.”

    And there is so much more to come!

    Our gifted NOISE! musicians and singers will showcase their talents live from the Home Office for NOISE! Live on Tuesday, July 19th, beginning at 7PM EST.  The event will also be streamed at www.livestream.com/muzakheartsoul and open to anyone who wants to view it during or after the event.

    For more info on what’s happening during NOISE! including daily camper blogs and photos, please visit our Facebook page or follow the action on Twitter @muzakheartsoul using #noise11.

     

    Contributed by JK Dameron, Communications Director | Muzak Heart & Soul

  • Lorne Abony Nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year

    Lorne Abony

    Lorne Abony

    Ernst & Young  is one of the largest professional services firms in the world and one of the “Big Four” accountancy firms, along with Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.  A global organization, in more than 140 countries, Forbes magazine ranked EY as the 9th largest private company in the United States in 2010.

    So when a company with the magnitude and pedigree of Ernst & Young nominated our own CEO, Lorne Abony, as Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year, it was a huge honor to say the least.  The E&Y awards program is in its 18th year.  Winners are chosen based on their vision, leadership, financial success and social responsibility.

    “Businesses – and countries – don’t grow by standing still,” said Colleen McMorrow, National and Ontario Director of Entrepreneur of the Year. “Entrepreneurial thinking empowers companies to generate new jobs, open new doors and seize new opportunities.”

    “I am proud to be recognized for entrepreneurial achievement,” comments Lorne. “I am confident that more opportunities lie ahead for me, for our company, and for businesses across Canada.”

    Because of Mood Media’s growing global presence, strengthened by the recent purchase of Muzak, we’d say the opportunities look to now go well beyond the borders of our neighbors from the north.

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Company Communications

  • Did Rap Music Start Here?

    Deep River Boys

    Deep River Boys

    The wonderful thing about music is that nobody really knows who hummed the first melody, who uttered the first lyric or who beat on the first skin. The debates about where the origins of almost every genre of music will continue through our lifetimes and beyond. Did Rock start with Elvis, Carl Perkins or Fats Waller? Did Jazz start in the streets of Chicago, New Orleans or in New York? What about Country music? Was the Carter family where it all began, or was it in the back hills of the Carolinas decades before that?

    When combing through our Muzak master library, we came across a session from 1954 that caught my ear. The Deep River Boys, a popular 4 piece vocal group from Virginia, came into Muzak’s Manhattan studio on June 7th to record a dozen songs accompanied by a single piano. One of the compositions they sang that afternoon was “What Did He Say,” written by Cy Coben. Could this have been the first rap song ever recorded? Listen and decide for yourself.

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Muzak Archives Director

  • Time to Make Some NOISE!

    Noise_Poster_genericOn Sunday, July 10th, sixteen musically gifted high school students from across the US pull into Charlotte for 10 days of music related experiences they will never, ever forget. NOISE! is a summer camp that takes music education to the next level by giving talented teens an innovative and unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience inside the music industry. Students will rub elbows and work directly with songwriters, arrangers, producers, sound engineers, studio musicians, audio architects, label execs, radio programmers, music celebs and educators. NOISE! is life altering for these teens, not to mention mind-bending and dream-inspiring!

    NOISE! has been on tour the last 10 years, previously held in NY, LA, Atlanta and Nashville. This year Muzak brings it home to the Charlotte area so their 500 Home Office employees can see and hear first hand the impact NOISE! camp has on the kids.

    On the last night of NOISE! camp, July 19, these musically gifted students will perform the annual talent show to hundreds, live in Muzak’s City Center. This highly anticipated showcase of talent, called NOISE! Live, will also be streamed live for all who won’t be able to attend the show in person.

    Check to see if one of this year’s NOISE! students might be from your town:

    Hannah Cook (Belleville, IL)
    Sierra Gant (Spring, TX)
    Maggie Thorn (Bloomingfield, MO)
    Jordy Searcy (Fairhope, AL)
    Joneka Percentie (Charlotte, NC)
    Drew McDaniel (Phoenix, AZ)
    Willie Griswold (Orlando, FL)
    John Hargett (Charlotte, NC)
    Sarah Kelli Fleming (Wilmington, NC)
    Andrew Stevenson (Doswell, VA)
    Filip Skrzesinski (Carpenterville, IL)
    Madison Early (Charlotte, NC)
    Julia Pettiecord (Yardley, PA)
    Brendan Carchidi (Holliston, MA)
    Leigh Vargo (Mentor, OH)
    Lee Landess (Charlotte, NC)

    All sixteen students have been granted scholarships to NOISE! 2011 by the Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to supporting music education.

    This year we are working hard to allow friends, family and supporters to be part of the action:

    Read daily blog posts and regular updates on the Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation Facebook page, follow us on Twitter using #NOISE11 and watch NOISE! Live on the Foundation’s Livestream site: http://www.livestream.com/muzakheartsoul

  • The Galli Sisters Get My Vote

    The Galli Sisters

    The Galli Sisters

    OK, it’s time to stir the pot.  I think we can all agree that the most popular sister act during the 1940s was the Andrew Sisters, right?   A string of huge hits like “Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar”, “Beer Barrel Polka” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” didn’t hurt their popularity one bit.  But were they the best sister act?

    After listening to scores of tracks recorded by the Galli Sisters at the Muzak studio in Manhattan in the mid through late ‘40s, I began to question who should own that top spot.  As a matter of fact, the more I listened, the more I fell in love with the Galli Sisters.  Their harmonies, personality and dynamics were unmatched in my book.  Move over Andrew Sisters.  After close examination and debate (with myself), the Galli Sisters get my vote.  How about you?

    Give a listen and judge for yourself.

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Muzak Archives Director