Digital town hall draft - DMAW luncheon


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Drawing upon his fifteen years of experience, Barry Jackson, Communications Advisor, Public Outreach for AARP discusses the emergence of Digital Town Hall meetings in today’s marketplace. He will discuss how the concept of the townhall is evolving, some of the tools that people are using, and innovative and creative ways that people are using those tools in combination to listen to constituents, engage in new ways and build deeper relationships with members-constituents-customers. He will highlight an array of tools that are in the digital space or can be used in conjunction with the digital space and then talk about the principles to apply to the use of the technologies; how AARP promotes them and then he will discuss best practices. He will share what he thinks is the best example of integrating all aspects of a digital townhall – it’s when President Obama came to AARP during the health care debate for a digital townhall with their members.

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  • [twitter]Just getting underway at the #dmaw luncheon – talking about digital townhalls…[/twitter]
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  • There were a lot of moving pieces to this event. My responsibility was to set up and manage the teletownhall aspect of this event with the president. I found myself managing the vendor, working with the screeners, and choosing which questions submitted online and via phone to put in front of the moderator and president. troubleshooting. So many people inside the AARP building were going to tune in that we had to send out a special NEWS NOW telling people not to watch from their desks. It would have overwhelmed the system and perhaps crashed the whole event.Things still go wrong. When we cut live to our first caller there was nothing but dead air. Fortunately, the moderator could see the question she was supposed to ask and asked it for the caller. We were panicking in the control booth – was the technology working? Was the audio out? Was something the matter with our connection? Then the moderator plunged ahead and we tried to go live to the next caller and we all breathed a huge sigh of relief when we heard a voice. I went back and watched the tape the other day – from start to finish the whole thing took about a minute. But it was one of the longest minutes I’ve ever experienced.There’s another note here. When you are using these tools sometimes there is no safety net. Make sure people understand that. With teletownhall technology for instance there is no 3 second delay, there is no bleeping words. So even with the best screeners and most filtered audience there is the potential for things to go off-script. The risk is low, but I can assure you that I made sure everyone above me knew that risk and that the White House staffers knew that risk. Sometimes you have to take risks but make sure that people know what they are and sign off on them. What worked and what didn’t? Well, I show you this example because I feel like this multi-channel effort worked just about as well as we could have hoped. The earned media, the audience participation and the technology all performed as hoped. And we knew who had participated by asking questions or being on the phone – so we were able to do some follow-up in terms of outreach to those participants.But I think we could have used more attention to the social networking aspect of this event. This was prior to us really having a dedicated team involved with social media strategy and I’m not sure we maximized our exposure in that medium. I also don’t think we asked our followers and influencers to pass-along word of the event or links to the event. I’m sure we could have boosted our reach and gained new followers if we had been able to do that. The one other thing that I think we struggled with, mostly because of sheer volume, is listening to or reading all the voicemails and emailed questions we received as a result of the teletownhall piece and the questions submitted to the president.
  • Digital town hall draft - DMAW luncheon

    1. 1. The Digital Town Hall: Tools, Principles and Best Practices<br />Barry Jackson, AARP<br />June 16, 2011<br />
    2. 2. 2<br />
    3. 3. Agenda<br />Digital Town Hall: Tools, Principles & Practices<br /><ul><li>Introduction to AARP – What We Do
    4. 4. The Town Hall – Traditional and Emerging Views
    5. 5. Planning An Event
    6. 6. Picking Your Tools
    7. 7. Promoting Your Event
    8. 8. After Your Event – Metrics, Short-Term & Long-Term
    9. 9. Case Study: AARP Town Hall With President Obama
    10. 10. Questions & Feedback</li></ul>3<br />
    11. 11. About AARP<br /><ul><li> Established in 1958 by Ethel Percy Andrus
    12. 12. Offices in 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
    13. 13. AARP, AARP Foundation, AARP Services, Inc.
    14. 14. What We Do – Advocacy, Community Service, Publications, Products and Services</li></ul>4<br />
    15. 15. Publications and Programs<br />Join the Conversation:Website:<br />Facebook:<br />Twitter: @aarp<br />5<br />
    16. 16. Traditional Presentation<br />6<br />
    17. 17. The New Dynamic<br />7<br />
    18. 18. The New Dynamic<br />8<br />
    19. 19. Planning An Event<br />
    20. 20. Key Elements of Planning<br /><ul><li> Decide on Your Goal
    21. 21. Audience
    22. 22. Budget
    23. 23. Additional Resources
    24. 24. Promotional Plan
    25. 25. Metrics and Follow-up Planning</li></ul>10<br />
    26. 26. Town Hall Tools<br />
    27. 27. Potential Pieces<br />12<br />
    28. 28. “Remember, the tools you use are only effective if they are used properly. Before your next virtual presentation, consider the following:<br />What tools are available for my virtual presentation?<br />Can I manage the tools alone, or do I need assistance?<br />What tools can be prepared in advance?<br />What tools can I use in the moment?<br />What tools will create the greatest impact?”<br />“The Exceptional Presenter GOES VIRTUAL” by Timothy J. Koegel<br />13<br />
    29. 29. Your Event:Promotion and Execution<br />
    30. 30. Promotion and Execution<br />Prior to the Event<br /><ul><li> Practice, practice, practice
    31. 31. Promote via email, website, social media
    32. 32. Decide on your hashtag(s)
    33. 33. What’s Your Back-up plan?
    34. 34. RSVP method or other audience collection point
    35. 35. Maximize Immediacy. Send an email or other reminder as the event starts or during the event</li></ul>During the Event<br /><ul><li> DON’T Go Solo
    36. 36. Identify Speakers
    37. 37. Manage Your Handoffs
    38. 38. Be Prepared to Improvise
    39. 39. Have links or other deeper info ready
    40. 40. Tech support. Got any?
    41. 41. Repeatedly point out how people can ask questions
    42. 42. Let people know what happens if their question isn’t addressed</li></ul>15<br />
    43. 43. After Your Event<br />
    44. 44. After Your Event<br /><ul><li> Follow-up with your participants if necessary
    45. 45. Via phone
    46. 46. Via email
    47. 47. Survey in relation to event, topic and future presentations
    48. 48. Analyze the data – decide what is most important
    49. 49. If you’ve recorded the event – re-promote it via email, website, etc.
    50. 50. Check social networks trends using names, hashtags or services like Tweetreach
    51. 51. Did things go wrong? Acknowledge and implement your back-up plan</li></ul>17<br />
    52. 52. Case Study:Putting It All Together<br />
    53. 53. July 2009: Health Reform Town Hall<br />19<br />
    54. 54. July 2009 AARP Town Hall With The President<br /><ul><li> Pre-event promotion resulted in over 20,000 questions submitted to AARP and the president in regard to the health reform legislation
    55. 55. Team effort – moderator, screeners, producer, in-house broadcast team, outside vendor support
    56. 56. Reminder sent to email list immediately before Town Hall
    57. 57. Promotion on
    58. 58. Teletownhall – over 300,000 members received calls inviting them to join
    59. 59. Live audience
    60. 60. Video streamed live onto an page
    61. 61. Broadcast feed also available – the Town Hall was picked up live by multiple networks including CNN
    62. 62. Covered on AARP’s twitter feed and on AARP’s Facebook page
    63. 63. Recorded event made available on Youtube and other outlets as well as transcript</li></ul>20<br />
    64. 64. Discussion/Questions?<br />
    65. 65. 22<br />AARP<br />Barry JacksonCommunications Advisor, Public OutreachAARP<br />Office: (202) 434-3749Cell: (202) 631-8952Email: bjjackson@aarp.orgTwitter: @barryjackson1<br />LinkedIn: <br />Additional Resources:<br /><ul><li>Today’s Presentation can be viewed at:
    66. 66. Powerpoint Twitter plug-ins at:
    67. 67. Youtube instructional video on how to install those tools:
    68. 68. Useful list of tools: “17 Online Meeting Tools That Facilitate Collaboration” -
    69. 69. Book: “The Exceptional Presenter Goes Virtual” by Timothy J. Koegel</li>