Reaching Spanish-Speaking Voters Using Telephone Town Halls

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When Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez needs to reach the large Spanish-speaking population in her district, where does she turn?

Telephone Town Halls!

Since October 2009, Congresswoman Sanchez has conducted eleven Telephone Town Halls in Spanish with her constituents.

In addition to Congresswoman Sanchez, Stones’ Phones has hosted Spanish-language Telephone Town Halls for the Alliance for Citizenship, Planned Parenthood, and the Service Employees International Union, among others.

How do we know Spanish-speakers love Telephone Town Halls?

Statistics from these Spanish-language Telephone Town Halls show that there is both a higher level of participation and interaction, as compared to Telephone Town Halls conducted in English.

Congresswoman Sanchez hosted a series of Telephone Town Halls during the peak of the healthcare debate, including “Hola, les Habla.” This Telephone Town Hall connected Sanchez with 9,690 of her Spanish-speaking constituents.

The Spanish-speaking participants on the “Hola, les Habla” call stayed on the line for almost double the length that English-speaking participants stay on the line during a Telephone Town Hall.

In addition, past Telephone Town Halls for the Alliance for Citizenship and the SEIU produced a Spanish-speaking participation rate of over 85 percent and 55 percent respectively.

A Second Way of Conducting Spanish-speaking Telephone Town Halls

Stones’ Phones actually provides an additional option for clients who wish to conduct Telephone Town Halls in Spanish. Bilingual Telephone Town Halls allow Spanish-speaking participants to press “1” in order to choose the Spanish version, while an English-speaking broadcast is occurring simultaneously.

In a 2012 bilingual Telephone Town Hall for Planned Parenthood, more than 500 targets chose to participate in the Spanish- speaking version of the call and 57 percent answered poll questions. In that same Telephone Town Hall, only 10 percent of those who participated in the English-speaking version of the call answered poll questions.

Why are Telephone Town Halls such an effective tool in reaching Spanish-speaking constituents?

The language barrier between politicians, organizations and the Spanish-speaking voters hampers communication levels. When Spanish-speaking voters are able to speak as well as listen in their preferred language, they become more engaged in the content.

With the growing level of Hispanic influence throughout the United States, Telephone Town Halls provide the perfect avenue to connect Spanish-speaking voters with the politicians and organizations that wish to speak with them.

Listen to highlights from one of these events below.

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