The call caught me by surprise.
It turned out to be a live "virtual town hall" hosted by one of the local candidates and callers were invited to "press 3" to ask a question.
The call pool managed to get 6,100 participants on the line all at once and keep their attention for nearly an hour (during prime time). In Kingston, that's a big number!
I came across this blog post today from GoodWorksCo. on what fundraisers can learn from election campaigns.
I wonder, what could fundraisers learn from the virtual town hall approach?
What if the Director of your international aid non-profit set up something similar to talk to supporters and community members about a natural disaster - think Japan?
What if the President of your hospital or university could answer questions about the upcoming capital campaign or the desperate funding needs of the institution?
How about when things go wrong at your organization? Would there be more public forgiveness in bringing the leader out from behind the press releases and into a conversation with concerned supporters?
No surprises. I would have loved to know the call was coming and to be somewhat prepared with a good question.
Controlling the medium means you get a say in controlling the messages. Harness the power of social media. Send out a hashtag and post live tweets from the speaker's account. This didn't happen and people were online looking for that conversation.
I created my own hashtag and sent out live tweets on request for those who didn't pick up the phone on time - that means I got to filter the information.
Do you think we can use this in fundraising / have you ever given it a try or does it only apply to an election scenario?