The quarantine has changed everything about how we interact with other people. For those of us who rely on in-person meetings for our governance and accountability structures, finding new ways to connect with one another might be your organization’s biggest challenge right now.
CALM has prepared a list of teleconferencing tools that you might find will fulfill your needs. But sometimes videoconferencing wont work: the tech might be too daunting for your members, you might live in a region of Canada where the Internet is spotty at best, or your experience shows that your members are more likely to call a phone line than to download an app (though not all videoconferencing options require an app!)
On April 2, UFCW Local 401 in Alberta held a telephone town hall to hear from their members about how they were being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the success of this meeting, and the conversation that it generated here.
A telephone townhall might be what your union needs to help your membership remain engaged in the affairs of your union. To set one up, you will need help from a company that coordinates telephone town halls, or a firm that can do the work for you. Here are some options:
Tele-Town Hall with Nationbuilder
If your union uses Nationbuilder, you might want to consider using Tele-Town Hall, a Nationbuilder service that can interface with your Nationbuilder database. Pricing starts at $375 USD (it doesn’t specify if this is per year or per month, though knowing Nationbuilder, I would guess that it’s per month) for 1-500 connects. With this add-on, you also have access to: “robo calls, IVR surveys, predictive dialer, inbound conferencing, live calls.”
Find out more information here: https://nationbuilder.com/teletownhall
Stratcom is a go-to for many progressive organizations in Canada. They can help manage a telephone town hall with as many as 100,000 connects. Stratcom will also help you to script your town hall to help you maximize your effectiveness. Stratcom also does polling, text messaging and other services that you might find useful during the pandemic.
For pricing information and to learn more, you can consult Stratcom’s telephone town hall brochure: https://www.stratcom.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/08a_TTH-Overview_eng.pdf
Many progressive organizations are also using Converso, another Canadian company that offers telephone town hall support. It’s hard to find their services on their website – it took a Google search to navigate their site (a good reminder that your information needs to be findable from your homepage!) Their clients suggest that they are worth looking into if you’re considering a provider. The event mentioned above, held by UFCW Local 401, was organized with Converso.
To learn more, or to get a quote, visit: https://www.converso.co/members-virtual-town-hall-lander
This is another Canadian company that can manage telephone townhalls. You can find more information by contacting them directly: https://2call.ca/townhall.php (and if you have any reviews, please be in touch with editor @ calm.ca!)
Have comments on your experience with these services? Let us know and we’ll add them to this list! Email Nora at editor @calm .ca