7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2013 12:35 PM by jemjanik

    Tips on hosting an executive Town Hall online?


      One common use for a private social network is to serve as a place to hold an executive Town Hall or Q&A of some type. I'm looking to put together a tip sheet on how to do this right as an online extra for my Social Collaboration for Dummies book. Any best practices / lessons learned on how to get the best interaction.


      At UBM, we set up a document to contain the video player for streaming video and send out the link by email as well as social communications. People are encouraged to submit questions in advance. I'm not sure how involved Ted Hopton and Tracy Maurer are in this process on a routine basis, but I'd be interested in their thoughts as well as approaches other organizations have taken. Any tips on getting the community involved prior, during, or after the event?

        • Re: Tips on hosting an executive Town Hall online?

          Hi David,


          We really aren’t generally involved at all. The purpose of housing the Town Hall inside our Jive instance is for it to be easily restricted to employees. Since we have already vetted the people who have access to our internal Jive instance, there is no need to create another login or user list, etc. Though we do have Jive video, it doesn’t currently support live streaming, so we typically use BrightCove as the player, and embed that. Then, once the Town Hall is over, the same document can be used to house the recorded version of the event so that those who couldn’t attend can view it later. Thus, any links that were forwarded to promote the event are still able to be used afterward.

          • Re: Tips on hosting an executive Town Hall online?

            One thing I've encouraged, and I think could be done better in our case, is questions that they aren't able to get to during the session. I'd really love to see those posted as actual questions into Jive, and then have the speaker answer them there. That makes it very open, and it is obvious that it was a real question that the actual speaker answered. It encourages questions, because people feel like there wasn't censorship involved. And it helps employees feel more comfortable asking questions at other times as well.

            • Re: Tips on hosting an executive Town Hall online?

              We've engaged senior management in a few ways very successfully inhouse.

              1)  AMA: Since I first kicked off an AMA discussion thread (Ask Me Anything - inspired by reddit.com's IamA) for a senior leader (MD) last October, we've had more than 25 MD's (and many other Ds and VPs) doing AMAs globally.  The senior leaders answer those questions directly, "unscripted".  This opened up direct interaction and engagement between senior management and our 63,000+ online employees...globally - cutting acoss all business and functional silos; enabling us to tap into the minds of these leaders, to learn about corporate strategies and direction.  The transparency and open transparent communication helped to engage and motivate people, which is so very important during this period of great change within the organisation.


              Here are some basic rules which you may want to tweak for your environment.  I've replaced the person's name with ABC

              Rules of the game -

              • Please post questions direct to this discussion thread by [date] (we generally leave the AMA open for a couple of weeks)ABC will answer all your questions by [date2], this will be visible to all.
              • Mark your question with a number following the sequential order of the last question asked for easy tracking and reference ie Q5, Q6, Q7
              • Please tag your question with tags xxx ama
              • If someone has already asked a question that you wanted to ask then you should click "LIKE' to the question.
              • Don't be shy, be direct, but do be aware of the questions that might be more appropriate for your line manager. If in doubt simply ask your line manager.

              2) Live-blogging at senior management offsite: A few live-bloggers were invited to attend a management offsite - to liveblog about the event on our Jive platform.  All employees, regardless of business unit or corporate level, were able to "participate" in the offsite at their desks, providing realtime feedback and input to the offsite discussions, which then helped shape the direction and goals of that division.


              3) Townhalls - announcements, registration and submission of questions prior to the townhalls can be done through Jive events. Post townhall follow-ups can include blogs or AMAs from senior leaders as well as discussion threads initiated by attendees


              These are just 3 of the many use-cases.

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