3 Ways to Better Serve Your Local Community with Text Alerts

3 minute read

Upland Admin

Today, 77% of adult Americans have smartphones, according to data from the PEW Research Center. While some criticize these mobile devices for driving people apart, many organizations are revolutionizing the ways text alerts are used to keep their communities more informed and bring them closer together. Schools can communicate with parents and students. Local governments can keep citizens informed about weather issues and local emergencies. Medical professionals can offer broad access to vital health resources. Charities can keep supporters informed about events. Check out a few of these stories about ways communities are being impacted – for the better – by the use of mobile messaging.

Health & Medicine: Immediate Access to Resources

Sparked by an unfortunate shooting within their community, the Tulalip Tribe – a small Native American tribe of 4,500 people – launched a text messaging hotline, where people could be connected with health and emergency services they needed. Tribe members could text in their questions and ask for help. They would then receive personal responses from medical personnel, who would often refer people to the community’s existing health resources. It was so successful, the Tribe now uses text alerts for everything from weather alerts, school events, updates for upcoming community events (like canoe races), managing their community toy drive and more! You can read more about their story here.

Growing the Economy: Available Job Opportunities

The New York City Human Resources Administration used text messaging to reach over 32,000 low-income residents about job opportunities and resources. The HRA launched TXT-2-Work, a program that uses text messaging to deliver job resources directly to the phones of low-income New Yorkers. People can opt-in to the program online or with a text to receive messages on job opportunities, job-seeking tips, and other alerts on a regular basis. Rather than waiting for available job listings in the mail, New Yorkers would be able to apply for a position or go for an interview the day after they receive a text message. The HRA was also able to track every text message and use the data to better understand the needs of job seekers and respond to their preferences. Read this case study to learn more about their successful results.

Public Safety: Emergency & Weather Notifications

It’s no question there have been many technological advances in recent decades when it comes to predicting storms, giving more specific information on when and where storms are likely to hit and gauging the severity of storms. While these advances are wonderful, they’re not always fool-proof and Mother Nature sometimes still does what she wills. When a weather emergency occurs, cell phones are often the most reliable and effective means of communication. “Often, the first thing that happens in a storm is the power goes out. When that happens, it’s the cell phone that becomes the best, sometimes the only, means of communication,” says Cindy Lawrence, Lowndes County Emergency Services Director in Mississippi. In these situations, text alerts to the community can literally save lives. The Tulalip Tribe (mentioned above) uses text messages to provide emergency updates, weather and storm warnings, traffic issues, downed trees, road closings and any other vital civic news to their community of opted-in subscribers.


Interested in learning more ways mobile messaging can help your community? Talk with an Upland Mobile Messaging expert today.

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