Sharing your #GreenRecovery Town Hall with media

A good first step is to become familiar with all the media sources in your area and how they report on and publish news: 

  • in print only, online, or both?
  • through local reporters or national news services?
  • how much advance notice do they need to cover events?
  • do they have reporters dedicated to political or environmental issues?

There are a few standard ways you can let media in your area know about your town hall event.

Send a brief media release, not more than one page, highlighting who the speakers will be and that they will be part of a town hall on the topic of #GreenRecovery. Include a general explanation of #GreenRecovery from the For Our Kids website. Give the date and time of the event and a link to the event page. Include a contact name and phone number. Media releases can be sent up to a week before the event; if your local media are primarily community newspapers, they may need up to two weeks’ notice. Send a reminder the day prior to the event.

Op-eds are typically written by well-known or authoritative members of the community, but not always. The intent is to start a discussion, rather than to promote a particular event, so it could be useful to submit an op-ed about #GreenRecovery to generate some interest and participation prior to the town hall. Here are some good tips on writing an op-ed. Not all newspapers invite op-eds, so check with the paper in your area before preparing one.

Letters to the editor are another form of communication used to generate discussion rather than promote a specific event. Papers will tend to publish letters that relate to an article that appeared in the media within the past few days, or an issue that is top of the news that day. You could send a letter to the editor prior to or after your town hall event to keep the discussion going. 

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Sample Email to Elected Officials

Here's a guideline for you to compose an email of your own to the elected officials you're inviting to your town hall. It's a good idea to look up the correct salutation (for example, is your federal MP a Minister? If so, use Minister in the salutation). 

Remember to follow up with a phone call - it's always best to make a connection with a real person.


Dear [insert name]

Thank you for your ongoing work during the COVID-19 crisis that is impacting our community, Canada, and the world.

These are uncertain and anxious days, and at the same time, we are learning so much about what makes our communities strong, caring, and creative. How we recover from the economic and social impact of the pandemic is on the minds of many of us who recognize now more than ever that the direction in which we were headed prior to COVID-19 was unsustainable and critically dangerous.

I’m contacting you on behalf of [your group name] to invite you to participate in a virtual town hall meeting to look at what #GreenRecovery from this pandemic would look like in our community and across Canada. #GreenRecovery would focus the billions of dollars of investments being made by the federal and provincial governments into renewable energy projects, training and transition for those who work in high-carbon industries, and health, education, and food support systems that recognize the fundamental value of those systems and the dignity of those who work in them. You can see more about For Our Kids’ #GreenRecovery campaign here.

The virtual town hall would include elected representatives from the federal, provincial, and municipal level. I can provide more details regarding the proposed format as they are finalized. Realizing there are many demands on your time and that your schedule may be difficult to predict over the coming weeks, we have not yet set a date for this event. At this point, we’re reaching out to ask if you would be willing to commit to participating, and if so, we can begin to look at your availability and logistics of the online meeting.

I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. You can reach me at [insert your contact information].

Town Hall Key Roles and Responsibilities

Here's a list of some of the key roles to get your planning started - you will want a more extensive team to plan and carry out your town hall event. 

Keep in mind that you can look outside your team for individuals who are willing to help, and this is a good opportunity to draw new members into your group. 

For Our Kids is available to support you with coaching at any stage of your event planning process. Contact hello[at]forourkids[dot]ca


This role is crucial for the success of the event. The moderator should be experienced and comfortable with speaking and hosting an event online, as well as with the moderator role, which will require them to keep speakers on topic and on time, maintain a respectful and productive context for discussion, and be familiar with the issues being discussed. Identify a back-up who can take over as moderator if necessary.

Online host

To manage the agenda, welcome participants as they join, provide housekeeping details and general context for the town hall, introduce and thank guests, and bring forward questions from the audience.

Technical host

Needs to be able to set up and run the meeting on the platform chosen, troubleshoot any issues prior to and during the town hall, make sure the event is recorded and a link is available afterward.


To keep track of issues discussed and ideas presented during the town hall so that follow-up can be planned.

Key contact

Able and available prior to and after the town hall, to provide information for speakers, media, and members of the public with questions.

Sample Agenda for #GreenRecovery Town Hall

The host, moderator, speakers, and anyone assisting with the logistics of the meeting should sign on prior to the meeting to have time to test connections, review roles and responsibilities, and set up a welcome screen to greet participants as they join

  • Start recording the meeting

  • On schedule, host welcomes participants and makes general announcements:

  • Introduce musical guest, if that has been arranged

  • Musical interlude

  • Host sets out guidelines for respectful participation and questions:

    • Explain procedure for asking questions

    • Briefly introduce each speaker and the moderator

  • Moderator explains basic rules of order and calls on each speaker to give brief opening remarks

    • Pre-planned question period: 30 minutes

    • Q&A from participants: 30 minutes

  • Host thanks speakers, guests and participants

    • Invites participants to contact your team or organization; provide contact information

  • Musical interlude

  • Adjournment