Everyone hates being stopped and asked if they have a minute for something they don’t care about. Everyone. Even when it’s something I do care about, like Planned Parenthood, I don’t stop because I hate the idea of someone intruding on my day. This is not what marketing is supposed to be, this is not how we are supposed to go about getting funding for causes.
Rather than alienate the targets you hope to get a signature or money from by ruining their experience on Pearl St. why not find a way to give them an awesome experience and then give them the a short speech and allow them to decide if they are interested in your cause?
There are dozens of amazing street performers on Pearl St, and they can captivate a audience of 100, easily. Rather than interrupt people one-by-one with a canvassers, why not sponsor a street performer? Pay the performer for every performance and then work with them on a speech to give just when they are finishing. They can tell the crowd how they don’t want their money for a change and instead want a signature or for the crowd to give their money to a cause. I think the performer will welcome the steady income (make it worth their while, I bet it is still cheaper than hiring 10 canvassers) and I think the results could be better as well. Help make Boulder a better place and get rid of canvassers, it’s shitty marketing and it makes Pearl St. less accessible.
PS – Does anyone know how to get a measure put on a ballot so in 2012 we can vote to get rid of canvassing, I would be down to put some legwork into that.