Text Messaging Alerts

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Ressler 6 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #140773

    How many federal agencies have an option for employees to receive text message alerts on federal happenings, such as emergency closures, operating status, early dismissals, etc…? How many agencies only allow text messaging for government issued blackberries? What about personal cell phones? I envision downloading this option on my personal smart phone.

    thanks for any infomation!

  • #140795

    Steve Ressler
    Keymaster

    There’s a fair number of gov’t agencies that use them for citizen facing but I haven’t heard about communicating w/ employees

    Got a fair number of answers to this govloop thread before on leaders in text message in govt – https://www.govloop.com/group/mobilegov/forum/topics/who-are-the-early-leaders-in-mobile-text-based-campaigns

  • #140793

    Thanks!

  • #140791

    At the city of Orlando, we have an alert system for employees that allows them to get messages to email, blackberry, text to cell phones or their pager. This is primarily used for messages from our Emergency Manager to members of the various Emergency Support Functions, and includes tropical updates and activation notices. It is not used at this time to notify all employees. We current use a voice mail box to communicate messages to all employees that they can call for updates. That you ask the question makes me think that it would be a good tool to communicate to all employees.

  • #140789

    Lisa Jahn
    Participant

    We’re a state agency, but we’ve been using UnitedAlert.com for close to a year now for emergency notifications to our employees. Works pretty well notifying staff by cell phone (govt-issue or personal) or e-mail, although it doesn’t seem to work with pay-as-you-go cell phones.

  • #140787

    Jeff Brooke
    Participant

    Similar to Michael’s comment, GPO has an emergency communication system that sends e-mails, text and voicemails during emergency situations. Employeescan set it up for any device. “Alert Server” is the product. We have another system that will interrupt all computer screens with an emergency message–a minor feature of our NetPresenter system.

    We have been very deliberat to NOT use any of these systems for ongoing communication. Our employees needed predictable, bundled communications. Though I could see text messages serving a useful purpose for some people in some organizations, we determined that at GPO it would simply add to information overload. So…you can do it, but I recommend you conduct research to make sure it’s the best tool for the need at hand.

    Jeff

  • #140785

    thanks–very useful website. I didn’t know it existed.

  • #140783

    I agree with you about not using a system like this for everything. My agency is considering something like this just for emergency situations. Most employees have a cell phone/pager of some kind, and most participate in texting, so a text alert system would be ideal for communicating during a crisis situation. We discovered this during the earthquake in DC a couple of weeks ago. Cell phones were not allowing people to place calls (too busy), but texts were going through.

  • #140781

    Katelyn Keegan
    Participant

    At the Department of Navy (in DC Metro Area), I get a six point touch from our automatic alert system when there are weather incidents and changes in operating status.

    1) Text Message to my personal cell phone

    2) A phone call to my personal cell phone

    3) A phone call to my desk phone

    4) An email to my personal email account

    5) An email to my work account

    6) A notification pop up

  • #140779

    Charles A. Ray
    Participant

    Here at US Embassy Harare we use SMS and text messaging to send alerts to American citizens resident in the country. We also make extensive use of SMS to announce embassy activities to the population, in particular the youth.

  • #140777

    Thank you Katelyn. I work at DOT right next to the Navy Yard in DC.

  • #140775

    Thank you Charles. This is helpful.

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