the future of political phone calls?Posted by Garren Shipley on March 12, 2008 2:47 PM - nvdaily.com
This article was written regarding ccAdvertising's work with the Gilmore for Senate campaign.
Cheap Seats HQ gets a lot of robo-calls for some reason. Maybe I just wound up on the wrong mailing list, but not an election goes by without someone calling and in their best recorded voice asking for my support in the upcoming election.
Notable callers in the past few months include former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., former Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a solicitor from the National Rifle Association and some guy who just can't understand that you can't put vinyl siding on an apartment.
But Wednesday morning's call from U.S. Senate candidate and former Republican Gov. Jim Gilmore takes the cake -- an interactive, polling-type call done in the candidate's own voice using voice recognition technology. Gilmore is running against Del. Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, for the Republican nod to succeed the retiring Republican U.S. Sen. John Warner.
I didn't have a notebook handy at the time, so these quotes are rough at best and paraphrases at worst, but the call went something like this:
Gov. Gilmore introduced himself, said he was running for the U.S. Senate and listed some accomplishments. He then asked:
"Can I count on your support going forward?"
Realizing this was a recording, I was kind of surprised that RoboGilmore asked a question. So I decided to keep the ball rolling.
RoboGilmore was pleased. "Thank you for your support," he said, telling me how much my backing meant to him. But he had more to ask.
"Would you be willing to serve as a delegate to the nominating convention" in Richmond on May 31st?
As much as I hated to disappoint RoboGilmore, it probably wouldn't be a good thing for a reporter to volunteer for delegate duty. So I declined.
RoboGilmore took it in stride. "I understand," he said. But if I can't serve as a delegate, would I be willing to donate some money or volunteer?
I was so intrigued I just had to keep the ball rolling. "Sure, why not."
RoboGilmore was confused. "Please say either yes, no, or repeat question."
"Yes," I said. "That's great," RoboGilmore replied. "Would it be OK if someone from my campaign gave you a call at this number..."
As much as I wanted to keep chatting with RoboGilmore, I had a meeting in Winchester that couldn't be put off, so I had to cut it off there and hit the showers.
All kidding aside, Gilmore's campaign has stumbled onto a what looks like a cost effective way to reach a lot of voters with an almost unnerving personal touch. The voice recognition was flawless, the transitions seamless.
Who knows? If Gilmore can parlay RoboGilmore into success in May, it might be just what he needs to help him in an uphill fight against former Democratic Gov. Mark R. Warner in November.