Thursday, July 30, 2015

Possibly An Overstatement

A variety of emails arrive in a variety of inboxes every day.  One caught my eye in particular.  It highlighted a campaign volunteer and included this statement:

She's here almost as much as the staff, and she always meets her weekly contact goals -- just last week she made 1,881 calls to supporters encouraging them to volunteer in their communities, too.
I'll not name the campaign, other than to say it wasn't Joe Sestak.

Let's do the math.  1,881 calls in a week.  If the volunteer is working 7 days a week that is 268.7 calls per day.  To be kind let's limit the work day to 8 hours, that's 33.5 calls per hour, that's two per minute.  Granted the email didn't say how many of those calls were answered, but if voicemail messages were left that might take 30 seconds.

I think the campaign worker who sent this out was exaggerating.  Otherwise it's considered the norm ("weekly contact goals") to work 7 days a week and even then I'm not sure there would be time for meal and bathroom breaks.  Unless the norm is 10 hours a day 7 days a week.  I'm not sure how many people would be inspired to join a campaign that expects this kind of obsessive dedication, which must be to the exclusion of all else.

On the Larry Wilmore Show I think this email would have gotten weak tea.


Dan Loeb said...

I'd say it is more a question of methodology than of exaggeration. Most campaigns refer to each number dialed as a "call made" (as opposed to a "call completed"). At this stage of the game campaigns probably do not leave messages on answering machines so if no one picks up after 3 rings you move on - saving time. Moreover, many campaigns will actually count voters rather than numbers dialed, so if you call a house with a married couple and 2 children in college and a high school senior, then you get "credit" for 5 calls in a few seconds.

AboveAvgJane said...


You have good points. They could be using an automatic dialer and counting all calls, even those not answered or where the line is busy. I still question using that number in an email encouraging others to volunteer. It's a bit daunting to think that is goal.

I also question giving up after three rings. In a house of any size it can take that long to get to a phone, and if the person is doing something it can take them three rings to disengage and get to the phone.