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Text Messaging to Serve our Communities and Build Our Organizations

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Sam McKelvie, Head of Mobile Strategy, Mobile Commons

Twitter Handle: @SamMcKelvie


Whether your organization’s mission is to educate, empower, or encourage positive behavior, text messaging is a proven effective medium to reach people regardless of preferred social media, access to smart phones, or the digital divide. In this session, we’ll discuss how you can use text messaging to best communicate with the populations that your non-profit serves.

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Text Messaging to Serve our Communities and Build Our Organizations

  1. 1. TEXT MESSAGING TO SERVE OUR COMMUNITIES AND BUILD OUR ORGANIZATIONS Sam McKelvie | Head of Mobile Strategy Mobile Commons @sam_mckelvie
  2. 2. Text Messaging • 97% of mobile phones are text enabled • 99% of text messages are read
  3. 3. Incorporating SMS in to your Programs • Text messaging can help your organization engage the populations you serve by: • Giving people educational information and tips • Helping people find resources close to them • Getting people the right message at the right time • Helping people get the right answers
  4. 4. Education & Tips University of Maryland Food Supplement Nutrition Education • Communicating nutrition information and increasing access to healthy food to lower income parents. • “We decided to implement a texting program to reach parents in their own time and in their own space” - Laryessa Worthington, EatSmart Coordinator • 73% of parents take the action from the text all of or most of the time.
  5. 5. Education & Tips AARP ACA Enrollment • Educating the public about the ACA, deadlines, and how to enroll. • Available in both Spanish and English
  6. 6. Education & Tips NYC HRA Text-2-Work • A 2011 HRA survey of 2,000 cash assistance and food stamp clients reported: • 88% said they use a mobile phone daily vs 61% internet • 73% prefer text to get updates on available job opportunities
  7. 7. Education & Tips NYC HRA Text-2-Work  “It's very hard for me to get to the Internet, texting is great for me to learn what jobs are out there”  “It's convenient because job leads come straight to my phone and save me time”  “It lets me know about what's happening in the job market instead of me having to call a number and hearing recorded messages”  “It gives you hiring contacts/address, no need to call anyone to find out”
  8. 8. Education & Tips Citizenship Works Path to Citizenship • Sends immigrants information about US citizenship & helps them access low cost legal help • New program will walk them through the entire naturalization application process on their mobile phone.
  9. 9. Finding Resources CA Department of Public Health Flu Shot Locator • Linked people in low income communities to H1N1 vaccinations. • The CDPH sent out a survey one week after people used the flu shot locator: • 33% of respondents got vaccinated that week. • 30% said they were planning on getting the flu shot soon.
  10. 10. Finding Resources Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry, Summer Meals • Connecting parents to free summer lunches for their children. • More than 24,000 messages received in the summer of 2013 • Over 3,400 calls generated to the National Hunger Hotline as a result of texting efforts.
  11. 11. Right Info, Right Time National Cancer Institute SmokeFreeTXT • Messages are sent relative the users quit date • The typical quit rate for teens that do not receive text messages is only 2-3%. • After six months of messaging, teens using SmokefreeTXT had a quit rate of 6%.
  12. 12. Right Info, Right Time NYC Department of Health Mobile Milk • Women get a slate of support, tips, and resources leading up to their due date • Once their baby is born they get another schedule of messages relative to the age of their baby.
  13. 13. Right Answers Planned Parenthood PPINFO • Health educators “chat” real-time with teens via text. • The ability to deliver sexual health information immediately and without judgment has made the program wildly popular: over 250,000 teens have used it in the past three years. • Users report lower levels of anxiety in post chat surveys
  14. 14. Right Answers Crisis Text Line • Gives teens emotional support & info they need via a medium they trust. • Live specialists respond to texts with counseling and referrals to crisis centers and youth-serving organizations • CTL has exchanged nearly 1 million texts with over 19,000 teens.
  15. 15. GETTING PEOPLE TO ENGAGE Use All Available Forms of Media
  16. 16. Getting People To Engage Social
  17. 17. Getting People To Engage Print
  18. 18. Getting People To Engage Print
  19. 19. Getting People To Engage TV | Video | PSA
  20. 20. Getting People To Engage Web
  21. 21. ENGAGING SUPPORTERS Action comes from regular, varied conversations that move supporters up the ladder of engagement.
  22. 22. Engaging Supporters • Event Invitations & RSVPs • Updates & Awareness • Donation Asks • Polls, Quizzes & Contests • Share Experiences • Ask to make Phone Calls • Collect Petition Signatures • Share Content with Friends • “Chat” with experts • MMS – Picture & Video messages
  23. 23. THANK YOU! Sam McKelvie sam@mobilecommons.com @sam_mckelvie

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