Telephone town halls are organized to showcase a particular political candidate. They can't be pulled off by just one person, though. If you're running for office and plan on using telephone town halls to boost your campaign, here are three essential helpers you'll need to assist during your town hall.
Telephone town halls give local residents an opportunity to ask you questions. The quality of these questions will largely determine how successful your town hall is.
To ensure you have quality questions to discuss, you'll need screeners who can weed out the good and bad questions. The more screeners you have, the more questions they'll be able to feed you -- and the greater variety of topics you'll have available to discuss.
When selecting screeners, you should only use people who are residents of the area that the telephone town hall covers. Non-local screeners won't know what issues are important to area residents and which ones aren't as significant, and they might not have enough local knowledge to fully understand certain questions. For instance, only a local screener would be able to assess the importance of a question about a closed-down business on Second Street.
Although you may be the candidate that the telephone town hall is showcasing, you shouldn't be the only speaker. When you're the only person talking on the phone, you'll become tired and listeners may tune out your voice. Having other speakers join in can give you a break and add variety to the conversation. You might want to ask the following people to join you as speakers:
- one or two respected local residents
- any political figure who has endorsed you
- other members of your party running for office
If possible, all speakers (including yourself) should be in the same room. This makes it easier to communicate who will talk and when they'll begin speaking.
A Local Expert
In a telephone town hall, you never know when a particular detail might come up that you're unsure of. Having someone who is an expert on the local area and issues might be helpful when you must address a specific detail on the spot. A local expert may help with everything from telling you where Birch Street is to giving you a brief rundown of a historic town figure.
As you plan your telephone town halls, make sure to source the local area for people who can help with the event. With the assistance of local screeners, other speakers and a local expert, you'll be well prepared to have a successful telephone town hall in each area you canvas.