Labor Union Communication
Outreach for Organized Labor
Labor Unions are at their best when members feel connected to leadership and informed on the issues that affect them. Telephone Town Hall Meeting (TTHM) uses its flagship Teletownhall events in conjunction with a host of support services to create those connections.
TTHM has become a specialist in facilitating regular organized labor communications and amplifying critical messaging. Over the last 15 years, we have used Teletownhalls to create Virtual Union Halls that unite labor across physical distance and disparate schedules.
Each live event is moderated and managed by an exceptionally experienced production team to ensure focused, productive, educational forums. We also use support technologies like our powerful Alternate Language Simulcasts, HTML5 Web Simulcasts, Participant Patchthroughs and Zoom Webinar Integrations to allow members to join union events regardless of their technological proficiency or preferred language.
The key to our success with organized labor clients has been our willingness to customize every event to the unique outreach needs of the unions we work with. Let us know what you need to accomplish, and we will leverage our superb team of moderators and operators – along with any tool in our TTHM Toolbox – to reach your goals.
Check out some of our case studies below. Then reach out to TTHM for a complimentary demo of our technology over the phone/web. Wondering what a telephone town hall is? Curious how our virtual forums work? Looking to activate union membership that is difficult to engage? Telephone Town Hall Meeting would love to learn how we can empower your union.
Regular Union Meetings
Regular union meetings at the local, state, national and international level can be a challenge to organize. TTHM uses Teletownhalls to bridge those gaps and bring labor leadership closer to membership.
The Allied Pilots Association has membership scattered across the country and the world at any given time. Getting even a single Domicile into the same physical location would be extremely expensive and would take substantial coordination of busy schedules.
Since 2012, APA has used Telephone Town Halls to give members the opportunity to join union meetings from wherever they are. TTHM does a typical outbound dial inviting members to join the live forum by staying on the line. Participating members listen to updates from APA leaders to begin each Teletownhall.
Beyond phone participation, we also provide APA with an HTML5 Web Simulcast accessible through a simple Web URL. This way, members only need an internet connection to listen to the live forum through their computer or a browser on a smartphone. Web Simulcast participants can still vote in polls and submit questions using their HTML5 webcast interface.
Pilots listening on the phone or web have the opportunity to submit questions for the live Q&A with leadership following their company updates. A TTHM Moderator manages the entire event including facilitating Q&A. Members can vote in polls using their phone, and poll results are included in reporting. Individual poll responses are included in reporting, so this feature can also be used to have members self-select for opportunities or followup from their union.
Our Telephone Town Halls can be used to connect international leadership with local leaders for similar moderated meetings with smaller groups. Some union events are held live and then replayed to accommodate members who need to coordinate around their work schedule. Each Teletownhall event is recorded and delivered in reporting as a high bitrate MP3.
TTHM can produce focused events with a few dozen Business Agents all the way up to massive forums targeting 500,000+ participating union members. For smaller events, labor clients often include a Zoom Webinar Integration to provide yet another participation option to those who prefer to participate in your forum on their computer or smart device.
TTHM has steadily built up its Alternate Language Simulcast capabilities over the last decade. This service empowers labor leaders to deliver a single message that is then delivered through live interpretation to union members in their preferred language. Simulcast participants can still submit questions, vote in polls, leave voicemail messages and patch to a targeted phone.
SEIU has Language Preference data for many of its members, allowing TTHM to split the dialout. The largest dialout (300k+) provides information on joining in English (“just stay on the line to join!”) and in Spanish (“Press 1 to listen to this forum in Spanish”). Smaller dialouts target members based on their language preference beyond English and Spanish.
Members who prefer a language other than English join a live Alternate Language Simulcast of the main English-language forum. Each Simulcast features two interpreters and at least one question screener to facilitate Q&A. TTHM can also create Primary Spanish Teletownhalls with an English Language Simulcast depending on the breakdown of your membership and language capabilities of your leadership.
The main broadcast and each simulcast have their own dedicated Inbound Participant Lines so that members can also join the event manually. We leave those inbound lines on recipient voicemails during dialout so that members who miss our call can still join during the live event.
TTHM can also offer Zoom Webinar Integration with one or more of these broadcasts, allowing members to participate via Zoom in the language of their choice. Then the union can choose to broadcast audio-only to the Zoom audience, appear simultaneously on video through the webinar, or provide additional visual materials for the Webinar audience.
SEIU International calls over 300,000 active members for their largest events, but TTHM can provide the same services for smaller/larger forums with unions of any size. Translating live events into multiple languages has become an increasingly common service selected by our labor clients, and we have increased our language offerings dramatically as a result.
Webinar Integration has become a powerful tool in the TTHM Toolbox.
Labor clients can hold a typical Teletownhall phone forum, then offer additional virtual participation options. The Web Simulcast is the simplest, most cost-effective method of offering online participation in your Teletownhall event. However, we can also integrate with a Zoom Meeting or Zoom Webinar – connecting our broadcast line to either a TTHM Zoom event or a Zoom Meeting/Webinar created by our client.
The Arizona Education Association (AEA) used our Zoom Integration to offer members an advanced participation option. Those members who were not comfortable joining via Zoom joined from our outbound dial to their phone, or dialed into the audio broadcast manually on a dedicated toll-free inbound participant line provided by TTHM. Adding a webcast for your more motivated members while engaging a push-dialout to all member phones ensures broad participation in your Telephone Town Hall.
Zoom fatigue has set in for many people, but for those who love Zoom we can provide an audio-only Zoom experience, live video of your featured presenters, or additional visual presentation materials. Just remember that you will always get more members to join your forum with the outbound dial of a Teletownhall than the inbound option of webinars. So be sure to tailor your presentation primarily to those members who are listening on the phone while offering supplemental material to those participating online.
Remember that TTHM also offers an HTML5 Web Simulcast option that can be easier for members to access. This webcast allows participants to stream audio of the live event through their computer or phone while voting in polls and submitting questions using their HTML5 web participant control panel. Voice Broadcasts and Text Alerts can be used to promote one or more participation options in advance of the virtual forum.
Teletownhalls can replace in-person/on-location annual meetings at a fraction of the cost.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has held annual meetings for individual Councils using Teletownhalls. This method can increase attendance at important meetings that were once held entirely on-site at expensive hotels and event spaces, saving unions on travel costs as well as setup costs.
- TTHM Operators can interface virtually with participating local leaders and members for roll call where necessary to satisfy union bylaws and procedural rules.
- The polling feature can be used to allow for real-time voting on proposed motions, amendments, and actions on your agenda.
- Reporting data can be used to confirm that only verified members/leaders have voted.
- Reports will also show how long each member participated in the live meeting.
- TTHM can create virtual breakout rooms for focus groups within the larger event.
Reach out to Telephone Town Hall Meeting for a custom price quote regarding longer virtual forums like annual meetings. Most Teletownhalls last about an hour, but TTHM can produce day-long virtual events that accomplish all the same goals of in-person annual conferences.
Contract Negotiations/Strike Organization
Keep your members updated on contract negotiations, strike organization, and government shutdowns. TTHM provides rapid information delivery in the form of targeted P2P/A2P text messages, robocalls, and Telephone Town Halls. Those Text Alerts and Voice Broadcasts can be leveraged quickly and efficiently to make sure your members get important updates.
Our team came up in political mass-communications, so we understand the need for speed. TTHM can help you be the accurate information source for members during negotiations and strikes, even when the other side is trying to muddy the waters. Tell the truth and address member concerns with clarity and conviction by inviting them to a live interactive forum with union leaders.
Moderated Q&A taps screened questions to ensure the conversation stays on-topic. Most members will just listen and vote in polls, so adding polling questions can be a good form of engagement for those not submitting questions. Providing a brief education on relevant issues sets the table for your more active and engaged members to ask important questions that continue the conversation and develop a depth of understanding that is impossible with one-way outreach.
TTHM has the expertise to help your leadership and membership get on the same page. We also offer a live transfer service – a Patchthrough to a targeted phone number – that can turn your educated members into instant activists.
Many of our labor clients have used our P2P Text Alerts, Voice Broadcasts, Teletownhalls and Alternate Language Simulcasts to create unity despite strife and strikes. We are extremely proud of that work because we believe that strong communication builds stronger unions.
Our Patchthrough feature has a ton of uses. Probably some we haven’t even thought of yet.
Labor union clients have used the patch option to send Voice Broadcast recipients and Teletownhall participants to targeted legislative or corporate offices. Get members informed then put them immediately to work as their own advocates. Once a patched conversation is terminated by the receiving party, the member will return to your live Teletownhall forum.
TTHM can also patch members to an action/advocacy hotline to get them more involved. Give Teletownhall participants the option to patch to a training center for ongoing education. Reporting shows which members used the Patchthrough option so that you can follow up if necessary. Reach out to TTHM with your ideas for utilizing this powerful feature in conjunction with Voice Broadcasts or Teletownhall forums.
In a recent example of successful labor union patching, Carewell (SEIU 503) needed to get members signed up for state-mandated training. We patched Teletownhall participants to their Member Assistance Center where members had additional questions answered and signed up for the required training.
AFSCME holds elected officials accountable by using the Patchthrough feature to send informed members to targeted legislative phones. Targeted Teletownhall dialouts can focus on a single state or federal district, making the patch easy and direct. However, AFSCME has also patched event participants to its own action hotline where an interactive system allows union members to enter their Zip Code/Postal Code to be redirected to their specific legislator.
This feature was never more important than during the COVID pandemic when public-facing unions were asking Congress to Fund the Front Lines. Many public-sector unions found themselves lacking basic protection despite being asked to take risks prior to the availability of vaccines. The Patchthrough feature helped union members amplify their demands.
In a novel use of the tool, WFSE-AFSCME 28 patched Teletownhall event participants to the union’s main office line so everyone who was not already a member could sign up to become a member. Participants were told that the union needed their help securing good contracts in a negotiation year, and that joining existing union members would create a unified front that benefited all employees.
SEIU 1199 used patching to have Home Healthcare workers redirect to a US Senator, asking them to support the Build Back Better Act for their specific benefit. Home Healthcare workers do incredible, invaluable work but often get left out of public funding in favor of budget items backed by more money and more lobbying power. Empowering members by educating them on important issues then patching them into action can apply direct pressure outside of the typical lobby game.
Contrary to popular misinformation, labor unions do not usually use general funds to support political candidates. What they can do is use our teletownhall service to convince interested members – or even members of the public – of the need to support pro-labor candidates. Then the Patchthrough feature can be leveraged to direct event participants to a donation hotline for the union’s political action fund.
Making this option part of a larger informational outreach campaign can lead to two additional positive outcomes; community members becoming advocates for labor, and donations that help pay for outreach.
Telephone Town Hall Meetings can target hundreds of thousands of phones, or they can target only the most invested members of your union and your community. Smaller focused groups of active members or local leaders will cost less because our pricing structure is based on the number of successful connections during dialout.
No matter the size of the forum, TTHM will always provide the same experienced level of event management including Setup Assistance, Question Screeners, Data Collectors and a Moderator. Adding a Web Simulcast, Zoom Integration or Alternate Language Simulcast to smaller events can bring a broader audience to the show. UFCW, AFSCME and ATU are among the labor clients who have used smaller forums to focus local leadership and active members within a structured virtual environment.
For forums involving the public, you can use our complimentary Web Registration Page or P2P Text Alerts to generate opt-ins and interest in the content of your Teletownhall event. Consider featured guest speakers from outside of the union to further legitimize your perspective on critical issues. Hearing a non-union voice criticize corporate actions that harm unions and consumers can also help the public understand the challenges labor faces every day.
Our Teletownhall platform can also be a training environment, especially when used in conjunction with a Zoom Webinar or Web Simulcast. We can even produce a managed stand-alone Zoom Webinar where our Super Staff creates and manages the Zoom event while your team focuses on providing quality training.
If your members are tech-savvy, then a Zoom-only training is a great option. If you have members at different tech levels, offering the phone-only and/or simple HTML5 Web Simulcast options can help ensure that all members attend training and get value from their time. Video conferencing is possible with Zoom Meetings, Zoom Webinars and HTML5 Web Simulcasts.
As is the case with any of our forums, we can produce Alternate Language Simulcasts in over a dozen different languages to provide a comfortable participation option for members who may struggle to fully absorb forum content or training material in English. TTHM is always up for a challenge; see if you can stump us on a language that a preponderance of your members prefer. Depending on the size and frequency of your events, we will consider assembling an Alternate Language Simulcast production unit to accommodate a language we do not yet offer.
Feature endorsed candidates that are forwarding the interests of labor. Then have them stick around to answer vetted questions from members. If a candidate gets your union’s endorsement, make sure you hold them accountable by putting them in front of your members virtually. Reporting for each event includes a high bitrate recording of the entire forum so that accountability goes beyond the live event.
Feature federal, state and local legislators, leadership from advocacy organizations, or key members of government agencies. Our labor union clients across the country have featured politicians both as candidates and as active legislators who are advocating for pro-labor legislation. Congressional Telephone Town Halls sometimes feature labor union leadership, so consider reaching out to Congressional allies to see if they use Teletownhalls.
P2P Text Alerts and Voice Broadcasts can also be used to deliver endorsed messaging featuring allies and advocates of your union. As always, Telephone Town Hall Meeting is happy to break down your outreach goals and find the right tools to fit your unique situation. Contact Us for a complimentary virtual demo of our technology over the phone and web.
TELETOWNHALL EVENT FEATURES
Every Telephone Town Hall Meeting is a full-service production managed by an experienced team of setup specialists, live event operators and moderators. Below you can learn about how we leverage our in-event features to engage and activate the live forum audience.
Feel out your membership on key issues, identify strong advocates, and gather opt-ins for ongoing outreach during a live Teletownhall.
Polling questions can ask members which issues are most important to them, which problems they face most often in the workplace, or which solutions they favor. TTHM can also use the polling feature to tag members who want to take specific action after the virtual forum. Use a poll to ask members to opt-in for advocacy opportunities, upcoming training opportunities, or events with the union. The polling feature has even been used to ask telephone town hall participants if they require support for an un-filed or ongoing grievance with their employer.
ie. “Press 1 if you’re ready to show solidarity by wearing a specific color on Fridays, Press 2 if you’re ready to join a rally, Press 3 if you want to become a vocal advocate and share your story, Press 4 for All of the Above.”
Another dynamic use of this polling feature most often used by labor clients asks if participating members want to opt-in for future updates. Our Data Collection operators are also available to gather personal email addresses and text update opt-ins from tele-townhall participants.
With careful planning and an in-event verification process, Telephone Town Hall Meetings can even be used to ratify agreements and to authorize strikes. Our live event operators and detailed reporting combine to help confirm the validity of each vote.
Reach out to TTHM to discuss how to accomplish your specific goals, or to learn more about how our virtual union halls can accomplish the same tasks as an in-person union meeting
TTHM provides Question Screening, Data Collection and Event Moderation services for each live Telephone Town Hall Meeting. We believe that our experienced event production team is key to maintaining focused forums and achieving specific client goals. For more detail on how TTHM manages Teletownhall broadcasts and which services come complimentary in our basic package, visit our “How Does a Teletownhall Work” page
Learn about how Teletownhalls can be used to educate then activate your live forum audience with a real-time patch to a target phone number. Or check out our case study above on using pathchthroughs for organized labor.
Get additional feedback from members who are not comfortable with going live in the forum, or who need additional support from their union. The inbound voicemail feature connects you with members who may be reluctant to provide you with information during the live event.
For some labor events we do not take any questions at all during the Telephone Town Hall. Instead, our moderator works with union leaders to drive participating members to leave a Voicemail with their comments, questions or testimonials. Members leave voicemails by Pressing 9 during the forum or by staying on the line at the end of the teletownhall.
TTHM delivers each message in reporting as an mp3 whose filename is the phone number of the participating member. We can also transcribe voicemails for an additional fee to help your union with processing and followup. And we offer a host of outreach technologies to support followup post-event like Voice Broadcasting, Text Alerts and Print & Mail Services.
We process your data and can scrub out mobile phones when required for legal purposes. In some cases, we use Text Alerts to deliver compliant messaging or ask for Teletownhall event opt-ins. Most labor unions are able to legally reach out to active and retired members on their mobile phones for the purpose of discussing union business.
TTHM can also source targeted landline and/or mobile phone data to help you deliver messaging to engaged members of the public. We source our dialing/texting data from improved voter files to ensure that the households you reach are active on Election Day.
Compliance & Data Privacy
The TTHM event setup and production team is next-level. We have helped multiple unions combine their efforts into a single Teletownhall while keeping their dialing data and event reporting separate. Separate dialouts, separate reporting, same forum. A united front.
TTHM is also able to scrub dialing and reporting data from its systems after an event to further protect your data on request. Let us know how we can comply with your internal protocols while still producing dynamic outreach.
Rapid Reporting with Recording and Actionable Data!
Telephone Town Hall Meeting typically completes reporting within hours of your live forum. We can even keep dialing data sets separate to provide unique reports by list or by local.
Our standard reporting package includes a high-bitrate mp3 of the entire forum, executive-level overview reports in a pdf, and extremely detailed participation statistics in a series of spreadsheets. Statistical reporting will include any email/text opt-ins and the results of any Patchthrough efforts. You will also receive any Voicemails left during/after the forum in a zipped folder with each VM included as an individual mp3 whose filename is the participant’s phone number.
TTHM provides separate reporting for each Alternate Language Simulcast attached to your event, and any Integrated Webinars combined with the live Teletownhall broadcast.
We can also provide reports for Voice Broadcasts and Text Alerts upon request.
Schedule a Free TTHM Demo/Consultation
Visit our Contact Page to schedule a tech demo.
We are always happy to provide a complimentary consultation with a TTHM virtual outreach specialist to determine which services best fit your union’s goals.
Learn more about Teletownhalls. Learn more about P2P Text Alerts.
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