We’ve seen state governments like California and New Jersey and make powerful use of mobile messaging to keep citizens engaged. Mobile messaging can be a powerful tool for smaller cities too.
The City of Chattanooga wanted a way to keep in touch with its citizens. When issues like severe weather or transit problems threatened, Chattanooga wanted to keep people informed and safe. They realized that a mobile list could help them reach out to people with emergency information, and also keep citizens engaged around local issues.
Chattanooga saw a chance to build their mobile list during a recent January storm. They used the local TV channel to promote their “weather alerts” keyword and opt-in path, so any Chattanoogans checking local TV for storm updates could sign up for more direct contact.
The city grew its list over 150% in just four days. Since that time, Chattanooga has kept people informed about road closures, heavy rain, and flooding. They also send out web links, so people can easily get access to more in-depth information.
Chattanooga also uses their mobile list to engage their constituents on light rail proposals, meetings, and town halls. And they have light-hearted communication, too. When the mayor was engaged in a “Get Fit challenge” to promote an active lifestyle, the city asked people to text in how many steps they had taken that day. If they’d met certain goals, they were sent a photo badge of success.
What You Can Learn From Chattanooga
Small cities face different challenges and opportunities from big cities. They may not have access to all the big budget resources, but they often have a more personal connection with their citizens.
A mobile campaign is a great way to build that connection and keep people informed and engaged. You can use your list to keep citizens safe in a storm, or to connect with people around city issues.