What are recommended best practices for iTownHalls?

  • Use polling to interact with your constituents and get real-time reporting.
  • Enable webstreaming for constituents to participate via their computers or smart phones.
  • Do a seniors iTownHall meeting mid-morning or in the middle of the day.
  • Geo-target areas in your District through a series of smaller calls and speak about issues directly relevant to that area.
  • Hold at least one call per month.
  • Ensure your average sized call is at least 50k.
  • Hold a call featuring a special guest such as another Member or a Mayor from your District.
  • Hold a call on a Tuesday or Thursday evening.
  • Send out an announcement call letting constituents know about the upcoming iTownHall meeting. These have been proven to boost participation by 15%+ and increase your live answer rates, as well as increase attendee duration an average of 7%.
  • Send an invitation out to your e-newsletter subscribers with a link to the webstreaming page or a sign-up option if they wish to receive a call.
  • Publicize your call on Facebook and/or Twitter to gain more traction before the call.
  • Always put the audio file from the call on your website, and post video follow-ups to the unanswered questions on a dedicated iTownHall page on your website.
  • Create a generic Live Answer, Answering Machine, and PostCall Voicemail file that you can use frequently so you don't have to record sound files each time you have an event.
  • Utilize the Facebook connect function and make timely status updates during the townhall letting your constituents know what is being discussed and even providing dial in information so that they can become part of the discussion.
  • Include email/mailing address information with your dial list; this makes for easy creation of "thank you" notes for participants and "sorry we missed you" notes for others.
  • Build your subscriber base by enabling the contributor queue.
  • Present the "meat" of your material about 15 minutes into the call.
  • Have fun, and make the calls entertaining!
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