Pole Workers Wanted

Posted by on Apr 3, 2012 | 0 comments

Yesterday I received an email from Nevada’s Clark County Republican Party seeking volunteers to work the polls <insert purposeful pause to allow you to connect “polls” to the title of this blog post>.

Now, I’m as guilty as anyone of making mistakes in content AND subject lines, but this was simply one too many mistakes for me to handle. It followed too closely on the heels of the disorganized caucus I attended.

The subject line of said email was Pole Workers Wanted. Honestly, I’m not kidding.

This error (terrible and hysterical at the same time) also made me think of donor relationships and how delicate they really are.

How often do we quickly craft an email and hit SEND before editing, re-editing, and maybe even asking someone else to edit? It’s a tedious task to draft, edit, and then re-edit, but I think the CCRP’s misspelled subject line should inspire us all to add one more edit to our typical review of collateral, emails, direct mail, etc. And when editing emails, don’t forget to check your subject line! Our donors, members and partners deserve the best we can offer.

And what do our donors think when they attend our events? Do they leave inspired and impressed, or do they leave (as I did from the CCRP Caucus) totally dumbfounded at the apparent lack of preparation and clear lack of organization?

These brief connections with people leave lasting impressions. They are important to building successful relationships and we should focus our undivided attention to the details during the planning and implementation stages of anything we do.

There is truth in the phrase the devil’s in the details. And the old adage those who fail to plan, plan to fail has proven true over and over again.

Donors appreciate quality. The level of quality in our efforts is often interpreted as a mirror to our level of respect for the recipient/participant. Don’t ever underestimate the ROI on quality effort.

Honest mistakes happen, we’ve all experienced them. But sloppy work is different. We need to always put our best foot forward in communications with donors and members, otherwise we appear to be sending the message that they really don’t matter.

And now, back to the CCRP, as if the subject line wasn’t bad enough, there were errors within the email text, even in the very first line. This was simply sloppy work.

And, as if the first SEND wasn’t enough, they resent the email with a new and improved subject line, but they resent the exact same content complete with typos and errors.

All of this was sent over the Chairman’s signature. I’m thinking he is putting his trust where it probably shouldn’t be. He needs to take a look before anything goes out over his signature.

Yes, he’s working with a volunteer staff, and I’m sure the person who made the error feels terrible, but….really?

So, kudos to the volunteers for their willingness to serve, their dedication can’t be ignored, but for the sake of the greater good I’m thinking that before the next email is sent (and before the next caucus) someone needs to bone up on spelling, find a second set of eyes for their creations, hand the task to someone else, take advantage of some training, or find a new day job.

I hear the CCRP is looking for pole workers.

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