Telephone Town Halls and Emotional Connection

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COVID-19 is on the agenda for many right now, Telephone Town Halls are a great way for leaders to inform and really connect. From non-profits to unions to government leaders or candidates, Telephone Town Halls afford everyday citizens the opportunity be heard and to be reassured.

Here are two recent examples:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi has been hosting Telephone Town Halls to all of her constituents regarding COVID-19 and the Government’s response.

Along with a panel of experts, she cultivated calmness as they spoke about how to combat the virus, find available testing, and provide resources on what workers can do to be safe. The Q & A portion was scattered throughout the event, ensuring that Rep. Pelosi could answer as many questions as she could from live callers. Direct interaction with the Congresswoman made constituents feel heard and that their concerns would be taken seriously.

Hosting a Telephone Town Hall to over 200,000 of her constituents proved that the Congresswoman not only desired to provide a space to have an open conversation, but that she wanted to hear from people directly to make sure that they knew she was on their side.

UFCW 21 is a labor union in Seattle which represents those in retail, manufacturing, and hospitality, among other industries. They decided to host weekly Telephone Town Halls to give continual updates to their union members about how they were fighting to keep their jobs and benefits during the uncertainty around the virus.  They also wanted to hear about how their union members were adjusting to the health crisis. With over 5,000 members participating in the Telephone Town Hall and almost 300 members raising their hands to ask questions, the union recognized that there was no way to hear or address the concerns from every member unless they hosted the event weekly. UFCW 21 even used poll questions to inform what the next Telephone Town Hall would be about. For example, they asked members what kind of speakers (e.g. government leaders, healthcare experts, national union leaders) they wanted to hear from to address COVID-19. Turns out the top concern right now is economic.

Citizens who are sheltering in place, can listen in on the Telephone Town Hall from the comfort of their own home and still feel that they have a valued part in their leader’s decision-making process.

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