Telephone Town Hall Cost Benefit Analysis

telephone town halls

Congress may be in total gridlock, but there's a lot happening this spring at the state legislative level.

And we are finding a lot of interest among progressives in telephone town halls as a tool for advancing their agenda at the State Capitol. Now that our telephone town hall platform allows the client to reach their target audience through cell phones, tablets, and laptops, the interest is mounting even faster.

Today we offer some useful stats to help you with a cost/benefit analysis of this advocacy tool.

But first, the reminder: Telephone town halls are interactive conversations with thousands of targeted invitees--either self-selected activists, coalition members, donors, or likely supporters. They generally last about an hour and allow for an orderly flow of Q and A with the featured speaker. The client controls the flow—screening questions and muting participants as is necessary to stay on message.

During 2015, we averaged these metrics in the 34 telephone town halls we hosted:  

  • 75% of the target audience gets a message from the organization or candidate.
  • 15% of those on the invitation list actually attended the telephone town hall
  • The average participant spent 18.3 minutes on the telephone town hall—this averages the four and five minute curiosity seekers with a large percentage who stay on the call for the entire program.  
  • 2% of those attending chose to ask questions
  • The average cost per attendee is about $1.56
  • The average cost per attendee per minute is about 12.3 cents

Our firm provides the turnkey service which includes help with scripting, drafting of polling questions for the audience, all the IT and logistical arrangements, a moderator, screeners, and the technicians to make sure the event goes smoothly.

The telephone town halls have proven to be a great way to ramp up the pressure on wavering lawmakers on key issues. Our public affairs clients energize their champions with legislative updates and other timely information. And in some cases, we conduct ‘direct connect” calls to the statehouse or Capitol Hill during the telephone town hall.  We get the best results with state legislative issues when we time our events in conjunction with legislative action calendar deadlines.  

For more information on our telephone town halls for legislative advocacy, just click here. And as always, we invite you to join our voter research conversation with #chismstrat.


  1. Nathan Johnson's avatar
    Nathan Johnson
    | Permalink
    These town hall telephone calls are a new thing that I am just starting to learn about. I can see how this service could be really cool to reach a specific group of people without making everyone show up in person. The statistics you posted are pretty impressive considering the situation. Thanks for sharing!
  2. Amy Broadhurst's avatar
    Amy Broadhurst
    | Permalink
    I have been asked to provide pricing on (among other things) a series of tele town hall meetings. Do you have a pricing structure that I can use to provide a range based on time and attendance? This is a project that is likely to start after the first of the year. I need to submit pricing by noon today so I apologize for the late notice.
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