On my way to the airport on Friday, I got a telephone call from Friends of Kerry. It had been some time since I had received a telephone call from the campaign - and I was surprised to get a request - not for money, but for having my name included in Kerry's Citizen's Roll Call for saving the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve.
Interestingly enough, this did not start out as a call for money, but for my name to become part of the petition - very similar to the petition handlers I often see on the streets of New York or London. Granted, I was then asked for a donation - which somewhat disappointed me (but then again, how else are they to generate funds) - but this could be the first step in terms of building a true integrated marketing campaign - leveraging what occurs on the web, on the phone, in direct mail and events in the news - to bring the concept of participatory democracy to the next level.
One thing that any of the Democratic organizations could be doing - is integrating the actions of what occurs on the web, direct mail, phone and email. This requires a substantial effort in managing process information (e.g. did the person sign the petition, did they donate, did they mail in a donation) but the potential benefit of being able to comment to me on the phone ("Mr. Dickert, thank you for signing our Roll Call - your involvement helps Senator Kerry make a difference in this Senate...") makes that little difference that can help both in donations as well as future involvement when volunter action is called upon.
To date, I have not seen this effort in the DNC - my understanding is that the web site and the fundraising systems are separate at present (or share a slight interface), but the integration of these systems and databases - and the timely management of the data within them - would help identify the valued Influentials that are incredibly cruical to the Democrat's cause. By building this relationship, and using a little integrated marketing techniques - we can foster more participation - and help every Democratic campaign to win.
Minor anecdote - I was recently visiting a friend's home in London and picked up a call for him. The telemarketing script was incredibly enagaging - and, while I knew the effort was telemarketing, the use of an engaging script and engagement words were spectacular. We in the US could learn a little from this effort - understated but engaging.