A Great Response to a Natural Disaster

March 31, 2015

We were honored to win a Pollie Award in 2015. We won the award for the Best Use of Telephone Town Hall Call/Forum Call Congressional/Legislative/Local. Control Point Group is proud to be honored with this award. Below is a case study describing the program that won us our award!


Super Storm Sandy devastated Suffolk County New York, a county already struggling with water quality issues. A water quality study had not been conducted for decades in the area, and finally in the wake of Sandy, the County ordered one to be conducted. The results were more than alarming – nitrogen issues were devastating the local water supply. County Executive Steve Bellone wanted to the public to know the results and needed their input on how to work together to solve the water crisis and protect the area’s most precious natural resource.


The most cost-effective, transparent way to communicate with as many residents as possible was a telephone town hall. We worked with the County Executive’s office and planned every facet of the event down to the minute – from pre-telephone town hall press releases to the event itself to post-event follow up with constituents and reporters. To ensure transparency and accuracy, David Calone, Chairman of the Suffolk County Planning Commission, and Dave Kapep of the Rauch Foundation joined the County Executive. The team gave details of the report – the first update since 1987 – and answered in depth eight questions during the 60-minute forum. 


Our telephone town hall had an overwhelming participation rate of approximately 10,000 residents, 406 constituents asked questions, and left an additional 150 voicemails. Throughout the entire forum, pertinent and insightful questions were asked by a concerned, yet composed public. Many of the constituents participating were experts in water treatment, public planning, and other areas of importance when discussing infrastructure. During the call and on voicemails, constituents applauded the County Executive’s office for being transparent and asking the community to help them rectify this dire situation. The citizens were encouraged by what they heard from their leaders, and were hopeful that the situation would be rectified in a reasonable amount of time. The County Executive and his staff considered the forum a great success by helping provide a solid foundation to build his water quality campaign.


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