If you're an Executive Personal Assistant who works for a high-profile boss that does a lot of business with other people who are also high-profile (especially in the entertainment industry), then you no doubt have heard of rolling calls. But for some segments of our industry, they may not have necessarily had to do it or they might have read the phrase in a job description while they where job hunting.
I occasionally get emails from EAs and PAs asking about it, so lets settle this once and for all...
"Rolling calls" is the practice of an assistant getting on the phone and speed dialing people to try to get them in touch with your boss. While asynchronous communication with apps and email does allow us to communicate with people and wait to hear back, some very important issues need to be dealt with in a real-time conversation.
The biggest problem is that when two really important people need to talk with each other, they are rarely available at the same time.
So, it might play out like this... Say you're a movie studio executive and you need to talk to a dozen different people about projects that are in preproduction or development. This includes actors, writers, producers, agents, etc. Suddenly, your 3:00 appointment cancels and now you have an open 30 minutes that you weren't expecting; so you tell your assistant to get on the phone and contact "your list," which will have already been determined earlier that week.
Your PA will frantically start dialing number after number trying to get people on the phone -- usually they will just get to talk to the other VIP's assistant. But, if the planets line up and the other important person just happens to be available at the same time you call, then your boss and the other boss can talk some business. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what rolling calls are.
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Written by assistants working for celebrities, billionaires and royalty