When I joined the online community and social media eight months ago, I had one goal in mind: to better engage and connect with Delawareans across the state. As President and CEO for one of Delaware’s largest chain of supermarkets and an advocate for civic engagement, it is very important to me that the voices of our community are heard. Especially now in times of national turmoil and crisis, providing platforms for our community members to share their voices is needed more than ever.
That is why I founded the Delaware Pigeon Hotline, a new platform for citizens in our state to voice their opinions, thoughts and concerns on any and all topics related to life in Delaware.
Hotlines aren’t a new thing; some may consider them retro. Over the last 15 years, our methods of communication have expanded considerably beyond mere land lines and dial tones: email, texting, direct messaging, social media posting and so on. We utilize these various methods of communication in our daily lives and I couldn’t help but wonder: what if there was a way to correlate these communications into a central database to better capture and appreciate public sentiment? I began looking into ways to take all of these methods of communication and combine them into one system to gauge the needs and desires of our community. Could we create a system to achieve this? What would that system look like?
Enter the Delaware Pigeon Hotline: a free message platform for all Delaware citizens to share their thoughts and opinions by way of voicemail, text message or email.
I did not know if this idea was going to work, so last month I tested out the Delaware Pigeon hotline with a soft launch, and the response was incredible. You may have read about the launch in my most recent blog article here. I received messages from people across our great state, from all walks of life about various topics including public health and safety, the ongoing pandemic, the economy and general calls for unity. I was honestly blown away at the response. Here is a real call the hotline received:
Wow. What a powerful message. This voicemail calling for unity is an inspiring message from one of our community members in a time when we need positivity the most. But the hotline is not just for sharing one-off feel-good messages either: through collecting and analyzing the messages submitted to the hotline, our team has created a powerful, artificial intelligence-driven data system to identify in real-time the issues Delaware citizens are currently concerned with most. This word cloud generated by our proprietary system’s comprehensive analysis of submitted messages visually illustrates what Delawareans are talking about:
The word cloud works like this: the hotline collects and catalogs all words spoken and texted to the hotline number and voicemail. Then, it puts the top words and phrases into a visual graphic whereby the words that appear the biggest in the graphic are the most mentioned to the hotline (My name is Chris, so those greeting me on their hotline call made “Chris” the biggest word in the word cloud). The hotline’s word cloud showcases the topics and subjects that are of most interest to the Delaware callers and community engaging with the hotline.
I do not quite know where this hotline experiment will take us, but I look forward to capturing the sentiments of citizens across Delaware and routinely sharing them with you on my personal blog The Sword in the Stone at ChrisLKenny.com.
So Delaware, I want to hear from you. This is your state, your voice. Contact the Delaware Pigeon Hotline now by visiting ChrisLKenny.com or calling or texting directly at 223-9982.
Chris L Kenny, Esq. is a Delaware business leader and philanthropist with a mission to provide the Delaware community with engaging, action-oriented thought leadership on the greatest issues affecting the state. As president and CEO of one of Delaware’s largest chain of supermarkets and current and former board member for over a dozen non-profits in the state, Chris Kenny offers unique insights into the Delaware business climate, economy, food industry, its people and community. Chris Kenny is a firm believer that active community engagement is an equalizer, improving the quality of life for all citizens of Delaware.