Telephone Town Hall Technology Dramatically Improving Outreach for Organizations

Town hall teleconferences, also known as telephone town halls, are one of our core services here at Monarch Broadcast Messaging.  Give us a call at 888-387-8636 or for more information, visit our product page here: http://www.monarchbroadcast.com/town_hall_teleconference.html

Why are more and more organizations using this amazing technology and why are telephone town halls becoming the go-to communication tool for a variety of enterprises.  Traditionally used for political outreach, town hall teleconferences are increasingly being conducted by associations and businesses who are looking to connect with their members and employees, especially when they are dispersed throughout the country.

The major benefit of a town hall teleconference is that it allows everyone to participate without physically being present in the same location, and there is no restriction on the number of people that can participate due to space constraints.  Whether you are looking to engage hundreds or hundreds of thousands, a telephone town hall can accommodate any size call list.  Since people can participate from the comfort of their own home or office, rather than traveling, participation rates are much higher and the data you collect will better represent the mindset of your constituents, members or employees.  In addition, a telephone town hall can easily be set up within a couple of days, with little effort.  The equipment requirements to hold a telephone town hall are minimal - a computer connected to the internet and a landline phone (for sound quality).

The Dial Out
A town hall teleconference event begins with a dial out to your list of phone numbers.  Recipients will hear an introductory recorded message inviting them to participate in the call.  If they want to join, they only need to remain on the line and they will be automatically connected to the event.  If an answering machine or voicemail is reached, a different message will be left letting the recipient know the nature of the call.  If you wish, you can choose to leave a number that they can dial in to participate. When supplying your phone list, you should consider what additional information you want to provide, such as name, location or other demographic data.  This information can be important when analyzing your reports and is especially helpful during question and answer sessions so that you can address your callers by name.

Question and Answer Session
Every participant is automatically muted so that the person that is holding the event can make introductory remarks or make a presentation.  When taking questions from your participants, you will unmute and mute them individually, so there will never be an issue of many people interrupting or talking over each other.  Participants indicate that they have a question to ask by pressing “0” on their keypad. If you prefer to have questions screened, prior to being asked live, a screener can prequalify the questions. In this instance, pressing “0”, will initially connect them to a screener, who will temporarily pull them out of the event to ask their question and verify their name, and then return them to the event to listen, until you unmute them to ask their question live.

Surveys and Polling
One of the most powerful functions of a telephone town hall is the ability to take surveys or polls, with your participants
using their keypad to make their answer choice.  The data is collected in real time and available to you on your control screen, so you have the ability to provide that feedback to your participants if you choose.  There is no limit on the number of survey questions you can ask, and the survey questions can be interspersed between your question and answer sessions - you have complete control over the pace of your event.

Event Ending and Reports
At the conclusion of your event, if there are participants that were unable to ask their question or you want additional feedback, you can choose to have participants leave a voicemail, which will be recorded and available to you in your account.  You can then follow up with them individually at a later time, if you choose.  You will also receive two reports - an overview report of the event, including the questions asked, and a detailed report which shows who participated, who did not, what key presses were made by each individual, whether they asked a question and the length of time they participated.  The later is in an excel spreadsheet with various tabs, which you can sort.  In addition, you will also receive a full recording of your event, which you can then post on a website or otherwise make available so that those who were not able to participate can listen at a later time.

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How Tele-Town Hall Meetings Work: Outreach Technology to Engage Voters and Members

Have you've received a recent call asking you to join a Tele-Town Hall conference?  If so, you are one of millions of people who have been invited to participate in a new town hall format in last few months.  These town hall teleconferences, that take place in real-time and on the phone, are being used by elected officials, political action groups, non-profit organizations and associations, and corporations, to interact with constituencies and members.

Providing Tele-Town Hall services is one of our core offerings here at Monarch Broadcast and we would welcome the opportunity to show you how you can use this amazing technology to widen your outreach and dramatically improve communications with your important contacts.

Please call us at 888-387-8636 or click here to be taken immediately to our product page:  http://www.monarchbroadcast.com/town_hall_teleconference.html

Without question, this technology is rising dramatically in popularity because it is the fastest, easiest and most effective way to interact with hundreds, or thousands, of people at once.

There are several large advantages this technology offers you:

1)  You don't need any special equipment or software -- everything is already online.
2)  You don't need to depend on people to remember when to call into the town hall conference.  The system dials them directly and invites them to join.
3)  Participants can join while in the comfort of their homes or offices.  No need to fight traffic, worry about the weather and other delays, and go to the expense of renting our halls or conference rooms.
4)  It's interactive, so you can take instant polls and surveys.
5)  You can host live question and answer sessions (questions can be pre-screened) and let participants hear what others are thinking or doing.

So how does this all work?  Here are the general step-by-step actions you need to take to host your own town hall teleconference:

1)  Contact us for a rate sheet and service agreement. The cost is based on the number of connects, but we can estimate based on the number of people on your list.
2)  Fill out and send back the service agreement, including the date and time you want to hold your event.
3)  Email your list to us in an xls or csv file.
4)  Call in to create your introductory recordings for live answers and answering machines
5)  Set up a time for a training session so you can see first-hand how to work the online controls and ask any questions you may have about hosting the event
6)  (Optional) Send out an automated call in advance to let people know that you are holding a town hall event

Chances are, after your first experience in hosting a town hall telconference event, your mind will be racing with all sorts of possibilities.  That's because you can target specific audiences for focused topics.  For example, you may want to discuss senior citizen issues and have your invitation go only to those who are 65 or older (if you have the ability to sort your list.)  Maybe you want to talk to your managers, rather than all of your distributors.  Maybe you want to isolate your discussion to a certain geographic area.  There are unlimited opportunities to leverage this amazing technology to meet your specific needs.

There is virtually no limit to the number of people you can invite on a conference call.  The system works for 50 to 500,000 -- you can even have over a million people.  So whether your Tele-Town Hall meeting is small or big, you'll soon come to appreciate how effective it is as an integral part of your communications and outreach program.  It's revolutionizing the way groups connect without the usual expenses that are associated with large physical gatherings.

Town Hall Teleconference Connects Thousands of Constituents

Providing town-hall teleconference service, also known as Tele-Town Hall, is one of our core services here at Monarch Broadcast, and we are committed to helping you set up your virtual meeting quickly and easily.  You can give us a call at 888-387-8636 and we'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about how it works.

You are also welcomed to visit our town hall teleconference page here for more details:  http://www.monarchbroadcast.com/town_hall_teleconference.html

Using the service is an ideal way to host a large scale conference that can engage the public, take instant surveys and give everyone an opportunity to provide input on major issues from the convenience of their homes or offices.

This technology is growing rapidly in popularity, particularly among elected officials on the state and county levels.  It has been used succesfully for years by federal representatives, both in the House and Senate.  Bur even more so, the service is being embraced and used by non-profit and political action organizations to keep in touch with their members and constituencies, and direct marketing companies that are interested in communicating with their distributors.

Quite simply, it's the most convenient and cost effective way to keep people in the loop.  You don't have to worry about finding or renting space at a physical facility.  You don't have to consider weather or traffic conditions, and you can launch your teleconference in less than 24 hours, with a mimimum of lead-time, to respond quickly to important issues that crop up.

With the outreach capabilities of town hall teleconferencing, you can deliver a direct and unfiltered message that people need to hear, without having it misinterpreted by third parties or the press.  That's why political, non-profit and corporate leaders are turning to this technology more and more.

What do you need to get started?

First, give us a call to set up an account.  We can email you the rate sheet so you can see what your cost will be ahead of time.  And then we'll work with you closely to help you organize your conference.

Conduting a teleconference begins by compiling a list of phone numbers of your contacts. This list can have as little as a few hundred numbers to over 100,000. Second, we'll give you hands-on training so you can see for yourself how our web interface works, and how you can control your town hall conference. Third, let us know when you want to start, and our robust telecommunications infrastructure will begin churning out the calls that will invite your contacts to participate in the conference. If a contact is interested in joining you, he or she can remain on the line and they will be instantly tied into the conference. If they aren't interested, they just hang up.

Generally speaking, most town hall conferences include a question and answer session that provides for an interactive exchange between you and your participants. Based on your preference, your particpants can either ask or comment directly, or you can screen your calls to keep everyone on topic. While the questions are being answered, all the participants can listen in. Participants can stay in the conference as long as they desire and hang up whenever they want.

Throughout the conference, the you can see in real time how many people are participating.

All in all, town hall mass teleconferences are coming on strong as officials adopt new ways to use advancing technology to keep in touch with geographically diverse voter bases. To be able to speak with thousands of members and constituents at the same time is a major advantage, not only for the official who wants to reach out to a large group over a short time, but for the voters as well who may have the best opportunity to hear and speak with their official in the comfort of their own home.

So if you are in charge of a networking group, an educational institution, or an association or union, you can use this technology for a wide variety of applications that are designed for improving political outreach, polling, marketing and sales communications, or any other reason you may need that requires a powerful, convenient way to connect.

Virtual Town Hall Meeting: Citizen and Voter Outreach Service

Conducting a virtual town hall meeting over the phone is probably one of the best ways to reach out to citizens, voters or organizational constituents.  It is highly effective, extremely convenient for everyone involved, and has much lower per person cost than hosting a physical event at a facility.  In fact, rather than scheduling a town hall meeting that may attract less than a few dozen people and which is very dependent on time and weather, a virtual town hall meeting -- or town hall teleconference -- can pull in thousands of citizens at once.

You can get more details about virtual town hall meetings by clicking on this link:

Here are just a few of the benefits you'll see when you integrate virtual town hall meetings into your outreach or marketing programs:

-- No hardware or software is necessary.  Everything is online and ready to go.
-- Quick set up. You can have your virtual town hall meeting tomorrow.
-- No limit to the number of people you can invite to your meeting.
-- Citizens have the option of joining or just hanging up.
-- Citizens don't have to fight the traffic or the weather to participate.
-- Optional question and answer sessions.
-- More control over topics and the discussion.  No ambushes from meeting hijackers.
-- Full report available after the conference.

Monarch Broadcast Messaging has been in business for years providing the highest level of customer service, along with unparalleled SaaS (software as a service) support.  Town Hall Teleconferencing is one of the core services that are provided to our hundreds of clients across the United States and Canada.  We're here, ready to assist you in taking advantage of the latest communications technology that will help you and your constituents interact with each other.  Bottom line:  They will get a clearer understanding of what you are doing for them, while you get an opportunity to hear what is on their minds first-hand.

Call us today and let us help you reach out.

Vancouver Sun Story Highlights Benefits of Town Hall Teleconferencing

Yes, it's always nice when a big newspaper calls and asks for comments about our many services.  Just last week one the big Canadian newspapers, the respected Vancouver Sun called and inquired about our Tele-Town Hall, or Town Hall Teleconference, services.  We were happy to help them out with their story and thrilled when we saw it in print.  (We say "thrilled" because many times you never see a story published.)

Meanwhile, check out the latest news from the respected Sun and see how elected officials and non-profits are using the Town Hall conferencing service to their advantage. You can see it here.  (The article references "OrangePoint" which was our former name before we changed it to Monarch Broadcast Messaging.)

Telephone Town Hall: Best Practices for Teleconferences

The Congressional Institute, which is dedicated to helping Members of Congress better serve the nation and to helping the public better understand public policy debates and the operations of the national legislature, has conducted an extensive survey and has compiled a number of "best practices" for those who use Town Hall Teleconference services.  Here is the list of their findings and suggestions to maximize the effectiveness of the call.


For more information on our Town Hall Phone Conferences click this link:  http://www.orangepoint.net/town_hall_teleconference.html


NOTE:  TTH stands for Tele-Town Hall


1) Limit the geography of outbound calls to particular cities or towns near one another, as opposed to taking a smattering from all over the district. When you spread the outbound calls far and wide, and then on the TTH announce where each caller is from, you undermine the intimacy that a TTH call offers. Geographic diversity within the district leads listeners to think there's a huge number of people on the call--an impression you don't want to leave if you don't have to. You want people to think you are calling only people who live near them, and that you're focused on that localized community's concerns.


2) Expand your selection criteria for phone numbers to call. Most of the people in our focus groups who had not participated in a tele-town hall would very much like to attend one.


3) Give constituents advance notice that the calls are taking place. The ideal amount of lead time is one week. You can leave a brief, automated voice message with the approximate time they can expect to receive a call on a given evening.


4) Limit calls to weekday evenings. Sixty-four percent of respondents in our survey who had participated in TTHs said that weekday evenings were preferable either to weekends or daytime during the week. The best time on a weekday night varies from person to person, but with older people you generally want to start a bit earlier (7:00 p.m. or so), and for parents with children you want to start later (8:30 or so, after young kids go to bed). Do not start a call any later than 8:30 p.m.


5) For those districts with pockets of "challenging constituents," be sure to conduct TTHs with those constituents, too. There is considerable goodwill built up by merely doing TTHs and showing that you're listening, even among those who oppose your point of view.


At the beginning of the call


6) During the automated message inviting people onto the call, indicate at what time the call will end. This will give people a sense of whether they want to make the time commitment, and know they're not signing on for hours of conversation.


7) Announce you plan to limit the scope of issues in the first half hour to three or four hot-button issues that you specify. This gives you more control over the agenda and ensures that issues that are on most constituents' minds are addressed in full. It also signals to listeners that people with narrow agendas won't dominate the call. But also be sure to announce that at an appointed time during the call (at 20 minutes past the hour, for example) you will welcome calls on any subject.


8) Take a few minutes at the beginning of the call, before taking questions, to talk about what you've been doing recently in Washington and what you're going to be working on in the next month.


During the call


9) Get callers with personal concerns off the call immediately by referring them to staff. Show all appropriate sensitivity, but tell the caller that they should call a specific person at the office the next day, and give that staffer's first name and phone number. Listeners get very impatient will calls that have no perceived bearing on their lives, or that go on too long.


10) Remind participants the call is live and not recorded. The easiest way to do this is to periodically say what time it is, or announce how much time is left for people to call in.


11) Conduct an instant survey with call participants (by instructing them to push the keypad on their phones) to get immediate feedback on pending issues before Congress. The more interactive you can make the call, the longer people are willing to listen. Remember: The top reason people say the TTHs enhance their view of their Congressman is that they show that someone in Washington is paying attention to their concerns. Building upon that sentiment is crucial to strengthening your TTH outreach.


12) Indicate that the calls are not screened. About half the people in our focus groups thought that the calls were screened. You build considerable goodwill by signaling that you do not screen your calls and you welcome all comers. Our most skeptical people said that merely saying you don't screen the calls is still not enough. The best way to get this point across: Use a bit of humor. Wait until a hostile caller gets on the phone, and when he or she is done with the question, say something like this: "Well, as you can probably tell, we obviously don't screen our calls..."


13) If you know a caller personally, don't make it sound like you're old buddies when he/she gets on the line. When that happens more than once on a call, it leads some listeners to conclude that the call is staged and not spontaneous. Keep in mind: Most of the folks on the call don't know you personally, and it sounds surprising to them that you might know multiple people who are randomly calling in. You might say something warm but innocuous to a familiar caller, such as: "I'm delighted to have you on the conference call tonight."


14) Use the TTH as an opportunity to drive people to your website. Most have not visited it, but they intuit there's useful information there. Also encourage them to sign up for your e-newsletter while on the home page. What you should absolutely not do is use the website as a crutch during the TTH; in other words, do not tell a caller that the answer to a question can be found on the website. Answer the question in full on the call, and then say that if they want even more detailed information, they can find it at your site. And be sure to give out the URL (website address).


15) Remind participants that they can put you on their speaker phone if they have one. We heard some people say it was annoying to have to hold a phone to their ear for an hour, so you can do them a favor if you gently remind people that they may have that speaker option on their phone. You can also turn it into a family event, where you can encourage parents to bring their kids in to listen in the same room.


16) Mention the fact that you're one of the first people in Congress to use this new technology, and that you've been leading others in Congress to adopt it as well. Constituents like to hear evidence that you're able to persuade other Member of Congress to do something; it shows you have some clout to get things done, even if not issue-specific.


17) Cite how previous TTHs have influenced your thinking on specific issues--even if they didn't necessarily change your overall position. We heard from some TTH participants that being on the call sounded "more like the Congressman was giving out information as opposed to answering questions." You want to convey that you are truly listening, and that you are empowering them merely by asking questions of you on a call.


At the end of the call


18) Remind callers they can push a particular key on their phone and leave a message at the end of the TTH, and a staff member will call back soon with an answer (and actually follow up). When offering this, it would be very useful to have your TTH provider dial an automated, immediate reply call to each person leaving a message, indicating that the constituent's message was indeed received, that you look forward to reviewing it, and that a live person from your office will be calling back within 48 or 72 hours. We heard concerns that people had left messages and were uncertain for days whether they were received.  ALSO: In a couple of instances people left messages and never received a follow-up from staff. This left a very bad impression in the minds of constituents.


19) Announce that you will be uploading the audio of the tele-town hall onto your website, so those who missed part of it can download it. (You can easily convert it into a podcast that's downloadable.)


Other recommendations


20) Aim to reach each household once per quarter. More often is too often; less often is not enough. At the end of each call, announce in what month you will be calling them again.


21) Limit each TTH to one hour, maximum.


22) When you dial phone numbers where no one is home, and leave a message indicating you were inviting them to a TTH, give them a way to learn about what you're doing in Congress. The best way is to send them to your website and let them download the audio of the TTH or possibly a transcript. Merely leaving a message saying that the constituent missed the TTH is not viewed as having any intrinsic value.


23) Do not invite guest experts to join you on the call. Constituents want to hear you and you only.


24) Do not indicate how many people are on the call. They assume there are far fewer than there actually, and you don't want to dilute the intensity of "touch" that comes with TTHs.


25) Take these calls seriously, and study how to get them right. At least half the people we spoke with who have participated in TTHs said the main way they determine whether they're satisfied with your job performance is based upon the TTHs.

Political Robo Calls Help Candidates Deliver Important Messages in Minutes

If you are searching for information on Political Robo Calls, please visit our Robo Call page.  You'll find what you're looking for there.  We are one of the nation's leading providers, and pride ourselves on superior customer service.

Meanwhile, here are some of our recent Monarch Broadcast press releases which we send to the world via the PRLog service.  The releases help provide information for those looking up specific services and keywords on the Internet.





If you are interested in any of these topics, please give us a call at 888-387-8636 and we'll fill you on the details.

Telephone Town Hall Lets You Speak to Thousands

Telephone town hall has become a remarkable technological advancement that has enabled political and organizational leaders to get more than 20,000 people on a conference call at the same time.  Previously, getting several hundred people on a call and maintaining quality was a challenge -- but the new telephone town hall technology has leapfrogged that and can accommodate tens of thousands.

Give us a call at 888-387-8636 and we'll show you how it all works and how you can conduct your own from the comfort of your office or home,

The reason this is a breakthrough is because now political and organizations like non-profits can reach out to more people in less time.  Moreover, the system doesn't require any hardware or software and can be activated quickly and easily.  Let's say a topic is sweeping your constituency, or if you are business, a product issue as arisen that needs immediate attention.  Very simply, you the telephone town hall service enables you to upload your phone lists online and the system calls out to each number.  Tens of thousands of invitation calls can be processed within minutes.  People who answer the phone and hear your invitation can opt-in and join your teleconference.  You can see online the number of people who are logging into your teleconference.  You can start talking about the issues of the day and begin inviting your participants to press a number on their keypad to ask a live question.  Questions come into an operator who can talk to the questioners and screen calls, making sure you can stay on the topics you want to focus on.

Bottom line:  Rather than speak to 50 or 100 or 200 people at a regular town hall meeting, you can now allow people to participate from the comfort of their homes and talk to 10,000, 20,000 or even 30,000 or more people at time.  You cover more ground, make it more convenient for folks to join in and with the polling and survey features you get to know what people are thinking instantly.  Why pay a pollster thousands of dollars when you can spend the same amount and get the advantage of speaking to thousands at the same while receiving your polling results in a fraction of the time?

Telephone town hall service will become more and more popular as elected officials, non profit organizations and corporate leaders discover the many advantages that the service offers.  It will be a godsend to those who are interested in reaching out to those who are important to them.

Click the Town Hall Teleconferencing link here or at the top of the page to get more useful information about the service.

Telephone Town Hall Service Provides Instant Surveys

Our Telephone Town Hall service is one of our core offerings at at Monarch Broadcast Messaging and we look forward to setting one up for you.  Just give us a call at 888-387-8636 or visit our Town Hall Teleconference page for more info.

The service provides many options, but one of the most amazing features is the instant survey.  It's a lot more than just numbers!  Let's say you are speaking to 20,000 members or constituents and you are interested in knowing how they feel about a particular subject.  And let's say you ask them to participate by saying, "I want to know how you feel about apple pie.  Let's take a live survey now and those of you who like apple pie, press #1 on your phone keypad.  If you don't like apple pie, please press #2 on your keypad.  Please vote now."  All of a sudden thousands of people are voting on the question and you can begin seeing the live results as they are compiled in real time.

But here's the amazing part...  After the telephone town hall meeting, you can receive a detailed report.  Depending on the completeness of the phone list you used to place the calls, your report could include the names, phone numbers and addresses of those who voted one way or the other.  In other words, in this example, you can get a complete list of names and addresses of those who like apple pie.  This is an extremely valuable resource for following up and sending information you know these particular people would be interested in receiving.  You can send them all apple pie recipes!

You can imagine the value and usefulness of such data.  Now you can get both a general survey result on the important topics of the day, but on top of that, you can get data that tells you specifically which people voted and how.  This takes polling into "warp drive" by enabling you to target voters with laser precision.  Until now, you might have know how sections of a city, or even a neighborhood, felt about a certain topic.  But now you can narrow it down to households.

This important and critical advancement in polling technology will pave the way for elected officials and organizational and corporate leaders to keep a more exacting ear to the ground and better understand the attitudes and feelings of those they represent.  It's a huge and positive step forward in a representative democracy that prides itself on the knowing the "will of the people."

 

Telephone Town Hall Teleconference for State and County Officials

Until now, members of Congress seem to have had a monopoly on using the popular telephone town hall service.  But that's all changing now and the technology is finding a home with state and local officials as well, and even non-profit organizations interesting in reaching out to their members.  County supervisors, county executives, state legislators, and city mayors and other elected officials such as city county members, are finding that this service is the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to speak directly to their constituencies.

The concept is stunningly simple and brilliant -- a local official can start a town hall meeting from his or her office or home.  The system automatically dials hundreds, or thousands, of phone numbers, inviting people to opt-into the teleconference.  (If they aren't interested in joining, they can just hang up.)  Once an invited person opts-in, they are placed into the conference call and can listen to the official or leader from the comfort of their home.  No scheduling, no event planning, no trying to get people out of their homes to attend a physical town hall setting.  The beauty if that everyone can stay right where they are, and enjoy all the benefits of hearing directly from their elected officials or organizational leaders.  No one has to spend time, energy, gas, or even fight the weather to listen in and/or participate in the virtual town hall meeting by asking questions or taking surveys.

State and county officials have large districts and telephone town hall services can have a significant impact on improving name recognition, and more importantly, voter approval ratings.  Since the service allows you to conduct Question and Answer sessions (in a controlled environment) and conduct surveys at the same time, elected officials have a new way to conduct voter outreach and keep closer tabs on what their constituents are thinking.

Give us a call today at 888-387-8636 to learn more.  Or you can get  more detailed information by clicking here:  http://www.monarchbroadcast.com/town_hall_teleconference.html