A Look at How Town Hall Teleconferencing Works
Mass communication can take on several forms, but town hall teleconferencing (aka Tele-Town Hall®) technology is unquestionably the most effective way to virtually engage an audience of thousands over the phone. It is, quite literally, a town hall style meeting on a telephone conference call that can accommodate any number of people, from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands.
This technology is being embraced not only for political outreach, but for association and corporate purposes as well. It is an ideal way for non-profit groups and businesses to provide important updates and to enable stakeholders to engage their leadership and express their thoughts and opinions.
Best of all, your constituents, members, or interested parties, don’t have to remember when to dial into the conference. Rather, the system dials-out to them. Everyone just picks up the phone and is asked if they want to join your call. If they want to participate, they just need to stay on the line. They can also simply hang up if they are unable to participate at that time. (Some of our clients have found it useful to send a phone message a day beforehand, to let people know a conference is scheduled. This allows them time to expect to receive an invite. Many look forward to the call and joining the conference.)
How Town Hall Teleconferencing Works and What You Can Expect
Here is a quick review of the process:
1) There is no equipment or software to purchase. The service can be accessed online so you only need a regular phone and an Internet connection. We can set up your account within a couple of minutes and there are no start-up costs. We also schedule your event on the date and time that you want. Call us at 888-387-8636.
2) Once you have your account, we give you one-on-one training so you know exactly what to do when your Tele-Town Hall™ starts. At this time, we will review exactly has the process works. You can also ask any questions you may have but didn’t think of until we started training.
3) Next, prepare your phone list in a regular spreadsheet. Many additional fields can also be accommodated such as name, address, city, zip, state, company etc. Phone numbers, including area code, should be in one column. If you want to reach a specific demographic, you can target your list to reach that group. Your list can then be emailed to us. We will take it from there and upload all of the information into your account.
4) Finally, your prompts need to be recorded. Your prompts are the messages that we will deliver to live answers and answering machines when we dial out to your list and invite them to participate. The live answers will be invited to join the conference. Answering machine answers will receive a message that essentially says, “Sorry we missed you” and identifies who was calling and the purpose of the call. Either way, your audience will know that you reached out to engage them and that you care about their opinions.
Why Town Hall Teleconferencing is Becoming More Popular
One of the strongest benefits of this technology is that it’s interactive! Yes, you can open your conference up and allow participants to ask questions and share thoughts individually. You have complete control of the muting and unmuting of everyone during the call. In addition, there is a “screening” feature that will enable you to screen each person who wants to ask a question. This allows you to verify their name as well as identifying the topic they want to address. Those callers are put into a queue and you can choose who you are interested in speaking to in front of your audience.
This technology is playing an important role in enabling non-profits, corporations and government officials to communicate directly with their constituencies. 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 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.” Suddenly thousands of people are voting on the question and you can begin seeing the live results as they are compiled in real time.
You can report the results in less than a minute to all your listeners. The survey feature can provide valuable data about your audiences’ mindset without waiting for information to be compiled and put into a graph.
The Amazing Aspect of This Polling Technology
After your virtual 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 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 known how sections of a city, or even a neighborhood, felt about a certain topic. But now you can narrow it down to households. This allows you to analyze trends in more specific areas than ever before.
This important and critical advancement in polling technology will pave the way for elected officials, 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.”
This tool not only helps you understand your people but it will help your people to believe that their voice matters. For an elected official or business leader, you cannot put a value on your people trusting that you are working towards understanding their feelings.
How Town Hall Teleconferencing Helps You Stay in Touch
1. It provides an efficient way to reach thousands of voters in minutes, giving them the opportunity to hear you speak live about the issues at hand. It allows you to get ahead of issues before they become full out problems.
2. Comments aren’t revised by media organizations to fit into brief sound bites. You may discuss any issue and explain your stance without interruption or distortion. This eliminates “quotes” that only tell part of the story.
3. Your constituents will appreciate your efforts to engage them and show that their views and opinions are important to you.
4. You will know immediately how your constituents feel about hot button topics, through live surveys and from the questions they ask.
5. Your constituents don’t even need to leave their homes to take part (and neither do you!) This increases the participation rate over traditional in-person style town halls. More people will ask questions and participate in polling questions because they will feel less self-conscious. People generally speak more freely when they don’t feel that they are being stared at. Everyone can participate from the comfort of their own home, and they will appreciate the convenience.
Proud to be a Leading Provider of Town Hall Teleconferencing
Town hall phone conferences provide an easy and highly effective way to contact and communicate with your target audience and we stand ready to help you leverage this technology in your efforts to improve your outreach program. As these teleconferences have become more and more popular, offering a fast and efficient way for elected officials and corporate and non-profit leaders to reach out to a large audience, we are proud to be a leading provider of these valuable services.
Here at Monarch Broadcast, our clients have the benefit of personal hands-on customer support including full training. We look forward to serving you and promise that you’ll have the benefit of the most robust technology, combined with superior customer service.
Give us a call at 888-387-8636 and let us help you expand your outreach and improve your communications program by explaining simply how town hall teleconferencing works, or click here for more information.