Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Strings Or No Strings?

Last week The Democratic National Convention CEO, Leah Daughtry, held a press conference to announce the ticketing process for Obama's acceptance speech at Mile High/Invesco Field. The press conference itself didn't go so well near the end, but everyone was pretty glad to hear that there was a process to get tickets to the event.

There's an FAQ page about the tickets which seems straightforward, including this:

Q: Do I need to volunteer with the Obama For America campaign
to receive a Community Credential?

A: As part of the application process, individuals applying for credentials will have the opportunity to request more information from the Colorado Campaign for Change regarding volunteering and outreach opportunities both before and after the Convention. While volunteering is not a prerequisite for recipients, Coloradans who volunteer with the Campaign for Change will have the opportunity
to receive all-star seating for Barack Obama’s speech. [emphasis mine]

So far so good.

But wait; you get a confirmation call about your ticket standing. Listen here to the call that Jess got, and she did not check the "volunteer" option to get better seats:

Six volunteer hours per ticket - whether you checked that option or not.

But then later today, Westword got a clarification from Matt Chandler at Obama headquarters.

Westword just got a clarification call from Matt Chandler at Obama headquarters. No matter the contents of the message left for Jessica Centers's friend (and if you listen, my guess is that you'll agree the caller implied that anyone who wanted a seat at Obama's speech would need to volunteer six hours), here's the deal: Only people who indicated they wanted to volunteer got the notification regarding these "all-star volunteer" credentials, which involve preferred seating. For everyone else, "there's absolutely no volunteering tied to it," Chandler says. These people are eligible for "community" credentials, and they should hear if they've made the cut -- on strictly a first-come, first-served basis -- by 9 p.m. Friday. If they're on a wait list, they'll be notified later.

And what's the ratio of "all-star" to "community" credentials? Although
the numbers have yet to be determined, "the vast, vast majority" will be
community, Chandler says. No volunteering strings attached.

OK, so which way is it? The campaign needs to clear up any confusion and get the outbound calls under control with a better script with the real info in it, the right script if you're volunteering to get better seats, or a plain confirmation if you're just getting tickets. Otherwise they're going to piss off a lot of locals. And why not just call them tickets instead of community credentials?