Community engagement is a vital aspect of any successful organization. Whether it’s a non-profit, a union, or a political group, connecting with the community is essential to building trust, establishing credibility, and achieving long-term success. In today’s digital age, there are more communication channels than ever before, but one method that shouldn’t be overlooked is telephone town halls.
Revolutionizing community engagement, this powerful tool allows organizations to connect with large groups in real-time, allowing for interactive discussions, Q&A sessions, and feedback. With the ability to engage thousands of people at once, telephone town halls offer a cost-effective and convenient way for organizations to reach out to their communities. Not to mention their equalizing effect, as virtually everyone has a phone, bringing greater equity to your engagement efforts.
In this article, we’ll explore the power of telephone town halls and how they can help organizations to build stronger relationships with their communities, drive meaningful engagement, and achieve their goals.
What is a Telephone Town Hall?
Telephone town halls (TTHs) are a cross between an extremely large conference call and a private talk radio show. For less than the cost of a direct mail campaign, you can achieve the reach of a TV ad, the energy of a radio show and the intimacy of speaking directly with a supporter. As a tool in larger campaigns, or as a stand-alone event, telephone town halls provide a valuable way to connect with anyone who has a phone.
How Telephone Town Halls Work
Telephone town halls are a form of teleconferencing that allow organizations to connect with large groups in real-time. Stratcom’s approach to telephone town halls involves the following steps to ensure success before, during, and after the event:
- The day before your telephone town hall, we will send your participants a recorded call advising them of your upcoming town hall event.
- On the day of your event, participants will receive a recorded call asking them to hold the line to be transferred into the live event. Once your event begins, participants will be transferred into the call seamlessly!
- During your telephone town hall, you can poll your callers. These polls can be pre-planned or executed on the fly. You also have the opportunity to answer your members’ questions live, via a moderated Q&A.
- After your live event, you will receive all of the data. This includes: who joined, how long they stayed on, how they answered your poll questions, their screened questions, and any voicemail messages they left. We will also provide you with a full audio recording of the event.
long they stayed on, how they answered your poll questions, their screened questions, and any voicemail messages they left. We will also provide you with a full audio recording of the event.
Telephone town halls typically run for an hour, though the timing will depend on the needs of the organization and the engagement of the community.
Best Practices for Hosting a Successful Telephone Town Hall
Telephone town halls offer many benefits, and as with anything, the more you put into them, the more you’ll get out. Here are some best practices for hosting a successful TTH:
- Choose the right provider: Selecting the right telephone town hall provider is critical to the success of the event. Look for providers with experience hosting similar events and a track record of success.
- Promote the event: Promoting the event to your community is essential to ensuring a strong turnout. Use social media, email, and other channels to get the word out and encourage people to register.
- Plan the agenda: Plan the agenda carefully, including time for introductions, questions, and feedback. Consider using polls or surveys to gather feedback and engage participants.
- Train your presenters: Make sure that your presenters are comfortable with the technology, and know how to engage with participants. Consider conducting a rehearsal to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
- Follow up: Following up with participants after the event is critical to maintaining engagement. Consider sending a thank-you message or a summary of the key takeaways.
By following these best practices, you can ensure that your telephone town halls are engaging, informative, and successful.
Choosing Stratcom as your Telephone Town Hall Provider
Stratcom pioneered the use of TTHs in Canada. Having brought them here in 2010, we deployed them on a large scale in Jack Layton’s “Orange Wave” national campaign in 2011. To this day, Stratcom is still a leader in the Canadian telephone town hall space – we deliver hundreds of events per year and have delivered more than 1500 since we first started offering them. Our team of experienced TTH strategists and technicians are on-hand before, during, and after the event to ensure you have the best approach and the best event.
Paired with other telephone and digital engagement tools, Stratcom’s telephone town hall service can provide you with the opportunity to not only reach out to people, but also to gather audience commentary and insight. TTHs also capture participant data on an individual level, allowing for precise follow-up communications and targeting. Our post-event reports package includes various metrics to identify your most engaged supporters and inform future communications, engagement and fundraising strategies.
Telephone town halls offer a powerful tool for organizations to connect with their communities and achieve their goals. By providing a cost-effective and convenient way to engage with large groups of people in real-time, telephone town halls can drive meaningful engagement, gather valuable feedback, and build stronger relationships between organizations and their communities. By following best practices for hosting successful events and choosing the right provider, organizations can ensure that their telephone town halls are engaging, informative, and successful.