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Creating an Open Forum

Open Forums are a new type of always-on polly that can be “attached” to a Slack channel to allow for continuous, async feedback.

An Open Forum polly helps you with collecting employee-submitted questions or feedback in any Slack channel. Once the question/feedback is received, a moderator, or team of moderators, can then respond to it privately or publicly.

When should I be using Open Forum?

Open Forum can be super effective to promote team alignment, encourage bottom-up feedback, and more. You use it to:

  • Gather topic suggestions for large recurring meetings like an all-hands or town hall.
  • Maintain an always-on suggestion box for general company feedback.
  • Create a direct line of feedback from employees to senior leadership.
  • Facilitate safe feedback on sensitive topics such as DEI and social impact.
  • Enable asynchronous Q&A submission and response.
  • Collect feedback on a large cross-team process or project like a rebrand or tool migration.

How do I create an Open Forum?

Here's a quick video to get you started:

HubSpot Video

  1. Check that you have access
    In Slack, navigate to the Polly Home tab, if you see an option to ✋Create an Open Forum then it means you have access to this feature. The ⚙️Manage Open Forums next to it will appear after you have created at least one Open Forum.
    Open Forum Button
    ✏️Note: Currently the access is only enabled for Slack Enterprise plan. Click here to request access. 
  2. Set up your channels (if required)
    Before creating an Open Forum make sure you have:

    a. An audience channel: This channel is where users can submit their feedback and questions. e.g. if you want to collect anonymous questions for the All-Hands you may want to have a dedicated #allhands-questions channel.

    b. A moderation channel: This channel is where you and your moderation team can view and respond to the feedback and questions submitted. You can have a public or private channel based on the scenario and how transparent you want to be.

    ✏️Note: Make sure you invite polly to any private channel first with the command invite @polly.
  3. Creating an Open Forum
    Now, click on “Create an Open Forum” from app home and fill out the fields.
    Creating an Open Forum

  4. Best practices for discoverability
    Once your Open Forum is created, it’ll get posted in the channel, e.g. #allhands-questions. Make sure you pin it📌 so that it’s easy for channel members to find it even at a later date.


  5. Adding a response
    Response can be added by clicking the “Add a Response” button. This let’s channel members submit a response anonymously or in an identifiable way.

  6. Moderating a response
    The response will show up immediately in the moderation channel you selected earlier.

  7. Replying to a submission
    Any member of the moderation channel can reply to the submission in either of the below 2 ways: 

    a. Public response: Clicking the “Send to #allhands-questions” button will send this response back to that channel and you can respond in that channel using Slack’s threads. You will still retain the ability to respond privately from the moderation channel.

    💡Tip: This is useful if you want to share the responses with a wider audience and get their reactions. 

    b. Private Response: You can also respond 1-1 after which the thread in the moderation channel gets updated and the person who submitted the response gets a DM from polly. Now the response can’t be shared publicly. You can either respond anonymously or using your real identity.
    If you had picked an alias and respond anonymously then the reply will go out with your alias. For now, you can only reply once to each response received. There is no limit on the number of responses that can be submitted in an Open Forum.


  8. Viewing all responses
    You can view all the responses by either clicking on the overflow menu (...) from the moderation channel or just navigate back to Polly App Home and selecting "Manage Open Forum". 

  9. Managing Open Forums
    With Open Forum, you can pause/unpause the forum and restart collecting the responses later on as you desire. You can do this by clicking on the overflow menu (...) on a response received in the moderation channel (to manage that Open Forum) or by navigating to the the "Manage Open Forum" button in app home (to manage all Open Forums). From here you can filter Open Forums by status (Enabled/Disabled).


Interested in enabling Open Forum in your Slack workspace?

Get a demo for Open Forum