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The RNC called today…. I hung up!

RNC (and/or any other form/arm of Party), technology, technique, out-reach, fund-raising, information dissemination, etc…

First off, Welcome to my musing… This will certainly not be any Award winner writing, not that I think any of my other writing is, but earnest, honest, sharing… Ponder with me… Share your thoughts/concerns in return, if you wish….

You, like me, are probably “frustrated” as well as some other “choice” words with where we (as one who has supported the “Republican” Party, though I’m a “Conservative” first and foremost) are and how things have gotten to this point…

The RNC called today and while I wasn’t unhappy to hear from them, I hung up… Robo-Call? No…. no… there was a real, live, breathing, thinking (presumably, and there-in is part of the problem, IMO), etc, “person” on the other end of the telephone-line. I “assume” it was just a fund-raiser plea, but I didn’t get that far in to find out….

The male voice said “Hello,” twice in fact, surprised no doubt that he actually found a person that answered the phone. He also thanked me on behalf of Chairman Steele. That was nice. I like Mr. Steele. Of those that sought the Office, he was at the top of my list for the position (though there were near countless folks media and technology savvy, with what I consider the “right” philosophy for the job, but… [not to sound like Carolyn Kennedy] you know…. anyway…) so it had nothing to do with “him,” nor the caller per se, that i hung up.

I didn’t hang up right away… He got part way into the “script” … Ah… yes…. that was it…. Nice to know you can read…. Click….

Now, obviously I don’t have all the answers… I have my opinions on things and have, and will continue, to offer suggestions… Other times I just raise more questions… This may be more along those lines for us to ponder together, but I digress….

I have been on that side of the phone having volunteered to make calls and having been provided “approved” material to cover. He seemed capable of “reading,” and that was the rub… no Passion… little concern… May as well have been a Robo-Call!

Can’t we have a Conversation? Can’t we (read: shouldn’t we) be offering something more than platitudes and a request for money?

I know… I know… we have to be happy for any warm body that will volunteer and/or (in some cases) having someone to hire that seems to have the lights on behind their eyeballs to attempt the out-reach.

What am I really getting at here? Obviously, there is a goal/reason for these calls that we are attempting, but I contend that these have to be something more if we want people to be engaged! The goal/reason for the contact has to be there, but an actual “conversation” that can “flex” and flow to fit and something to “offer” the person being called. No, I’m not talking about prizes!

If someone does interrupt “the script” the chances that the person reciting the script has access to any information of area events (specific to the location of the person called, or any location for that matter) or even a name and number that could be offered so if a someone that is called is actually interested in something more than being solicited for money can get value from the call and the Party more value from the call also.

When I started writing this I hadn’t planned on putting forth the notion of a National Republican Events/Contacts Database, but…. Such a thing at the fingertips of those placing calls would be helpful. Local Party Officials/volunteers could/should keep it updated with Contacts from the local Party Chair on up to the National Office’s phone number. Events being held by Republicans should be put in to be promoted. I’m not going to go into this into great detail, because I think you all understand and will be able to offer additional thoughts on this if you wish…

The point… Personable… Personalizing… Contacts need to be much more engaging and dynamic… Not just a “beg call.” A “Hello” and a “Thank you” are important of course… but imagine a call where the “caller” actually thinks about the calls being made and actually offers something first…. ‘Our new Chairman, Michael Steele, would like you to know that some events are upcoming in your area which we can provide you information on if you’d like to know more…’ or something along those lines…. A person that is called is more likely to be engaged in/by the call, might be interested and can then be given more information on a specific event and/or contact information for an area Club/Organization holding that or other activities as we attempt (have a dire need) to get more folks involved, or at least more receptive to whatever the goal/purpose of the call is/was. The call can still, of course, conclude then with the request for donation.

[The fact that I was awakened from my slumber may have also had some bearing on my hang-up decision... and the grumpy mood I've been in all day ;-) and therefore tone.]

Unless an actual “conversation” takes place with people capable of making such calls, IMO, they may as well all be Robo-calls.

[update, following some "discussions" with others: an apology: Sorry if you may not appreciate or understand the "tone" and why it is this way - most things are not taken into consideration of someones entire body of works for overall context of where someone comes from when they write. Looking for something "light-hearted" try Obama ______ instead]

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As for “Call Centers….” more specific discussion on that…

No-one, certainly, wants to turn away anyone willing to volunteer for a cause… any cause… I’ve been in some call centers. I’ve been next to some very mono-tone “readers” of the script. Not everyone can pick up a piece of material, scan it, and deliver it as if it were their own words – easy to understand that! Not everyone is “comfortable” and at ease with picking up a conversation with a total stranger, also easily understandable.

The question becomes, does someone that just seems to be robot-like presenting a script damage the message? Saying “damage,” of course, may be a bit harsh – will it garner the attention of the person being called? Depends on who they are getting through to, I suppose. Many of the faithful (of any kind) being called from a list of those said faithful are, more or less, open to getting the message – even if from someone reading a script. Cold, get out the vote calls that we are expecting/hoping to motivate people to go vote Republican, IMO, are a different story (but, this is about a call about Republicans and Republican business within those who had in the past demonstrated interest in the cause) so we’ll leave that for a different discussion.

Again, we don’t want to turn people away and/or discourage any help. Hopefully you’ve been to better organized call-centers, but with some of the ones I’ve been involved with I’ll say we have to put the “trouble” with those organizing/running the center (again, probably volunteers themselves that may not have gotten any substantive instruction/help themselves – so please understand I sympathize, I’m just trying to address). When someone is just sat down, handed a phone, a list of numbers (or nowadays I hope more-so automated hand-off call systems, no numbers need be handled by volunteer – again, another technology issue for a whole other diary i suppose), the script, and “thanks” and “have at it,” these types of calls (like the one that didn’t enthuse me) are what result.

It is OK to be yourself. Look at what they want you to convey and know that it is acceptable to use your own words as long as you then still touch on the points the call-center wants you/us to impart upon those we call.

I hope that I have conveyed enough to make the point and open this up as additional discussion material in this thread.

As was demonstrated by this writing (and its first responses – lol, got what I deserved)… The tone we set is often the tone we’ll get back in return.

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