The average U.S. consumer spends hours per day, every day, on their smartphones and mobile devices — with the majority of that time spent on apps. Mobile notifications in case of emergencies or day-to-day communications have moved into the terrain of a “must have” for governments and emergency workers needing to reach as many people as possible at the right moment.
Regroup and our partners at CivicPlus recently co-hosted an informative webinar on the importance of mobile notifications for municipalities. As life-threatening cold weather roils the Midwest and other sections of the country this winter, the insights come an an important time for government entities that want to keep their communities informed and safe.
Scenarios where local or state governments would need to reach a large swath of the population in include: Dangerously cold weather, tornadoes, wildfires, and toxic spills that would necessitate sheltering in place or an evacuation. In addition, day-to-day notifications such as power outages, road closures or local campus closures can be made with ease through a mass notification solution like Regroup, and our clients know they can use mobile alerts to reach the most people at the right time.
But the days of reverse-911 going to landlines, or mass emails sent to desktops, can seem antiquated for our times. Reaching people with SMS or push notifications where they are — increasingly, on their phones and mobile devices — is critical to public safety and effective communication. You can learn more about our mobile apps here.
Four Key Takeaways:
- Message managers such as emergency personnel and IT experts need to separate the day-to-day informational lists from lists of people who need to be informed in case of emergencies. This reduces the unsubscribe rates, and means members of the public who may not desire regular information will still be kept safe in the case of an emergency.
- Municipalities and emergency services can implement Regroup’s “text to join” feature, making it easy for their constituents to self-serve the information they are most interested in. A sailor may be interested in tide conditions, while a trucker may want to know about icy conditions on the roads, and both of them may need information about evacuations or extreme weather events. Clients using Regroup can make it easy for disparate groups of to self-select. Geofencing technology can reach the right group of people when seconds count.
- Brevity is a gift! When sending out push notifications or SMS texts, it’s important to keep the messages short, sweet and to the point. Important actionable information — such as “head to higher ground” or “shelter in place” — should be included and easy-to-find. We find that 320 characters are a good limit, and 160 is even better. Templates can be used in advance, so admins can send out critical information to tens of thousands of people in just two taps.
- Two-way communication is an incredible tool. With Regroup, recipients can reply to notifications, sending potentially critical and even life-saving information in real time to account administrators. If further action or emergency services are needed, the admins will know about it in a timely manner.
Are you ready to learn how Regroup can help your organization communicate via mobile more effectively? Sign up for a demo below