Thursday, January 29, 2015

Nobody Likes Robocalls. So Why Did Mike Riley Robocall Me?

You know the routine. You are eating dinner and the phone rings...or you go to check your phone messages, and you are greeted by yet another annoying robocall:
  • Hello. This is the Disabled Veterans and we will have a truck in your area...
  • This is your final notice. We have been trying to contact you to help refinance your credit card debt...
  • Hey Husker fans, this Nebraska football coach Mike Riley...
  • Hello, this is Congressman Hal Daub inviting you...
Wait...what was that third one again?

Yep, somebody in the Nebraska athletic department thought it would be a good idea to have Mike Riley record a message and then call every football season ticket holder to interrupt dinner time.  (OK, mine arrived a little earlier than my meal time:  5:37 pm Wednesday evening.  But I know many people are eating dinner at that time.)

It started with a noble idea: send a message from the new coaching staff to the fans to introduce themselves. The problem wasn't the message, it was selecting the most annoying way to deliver the message.  There's no way that Mike Riley could make 30,000 phone calls - especially during recruiting season. But they could have sent a mass e-mail or post a YouTube video to Facebook and Twitter.

Instead, they chose the delivery method most despised by people: the robocall, joining the ranks of illegitimate charities, credit card scammers, and politicians desperately seeking reelection. Sometimes robocalls are simply a necessary evil; it's the most efficient way to deliver urgent messages to a large audience. (Think school closings.)  But this wasn't quite the same situation; it wasn't an urgent message.

So hey, Mike Riley is so appreciative of Husker fans that he spent a whole minute recording a message to ask us to renew our season tickets.

I don't think that was the message that the athletic department really intended to send.

No comments: