I live in North Carolina. Today is election day, and Clay Aiken is running for Congress. This is a big deal in my home state.
Even though I don’t live in the district, I am lucky enough to see commercials for Clay Aiken and his Democratic primary opponents. I also see political ads for the Republican incumbent, Renee Ellmers. And I’m lucky enough to be on a VIP robocall list vis-à-vis another local politician who is pro-family and pro-children. She is just like me:
- She was born in a small town.
- And she lives in a small town.
- Prob’ly die in a small town.
- Oh, those small communities need me to vote!
Honestly, I don’t mind these crazy political commercials or phone calls. It’s 2014, and I have a brain and caller ID. And I know that mobile messaging and reminder calls are effective ways to engage the voter, connect with constituents, and increase attendance rates at civic events.
When I worked at a marketing agency, the phone was our ultimate weapon. I organized webinars, and it is no coincidence that every webinar I’ve ever hosted had a significantly higher attendance rate when I used both manual telephone reminders and mobile phone messaging reminders.
The phone is democracy and authenticity in action, baby.
But many HR professionals eschew the phone because they hate to ask for commitment and make a sale. And it is very easy to rely on passive and anonymous social platforms to reach your workforce.
But if you want better engagement and higher attendance rates at your next company function, you might want to pick up the phone 24 hours before the event and ask your people to attend.
In the war for talent and retention, you don’t need an enterprise software solution to break the code of cynicism and disengagement. You need a human and a compelling story. From hospitals to political action committees, great community organizers know that the phone is the ultimate cipher.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I think HR is slightly more sophisticated than a community organizer. But maybe I am wrong.
Laurie Ruettimann is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur based in Raleigh, NC. She’s working on her next book about fixing work due out in 2020.