How local news affiliates can leverage SMS alerts

Local news teams have their work cut out for them bringing breaking news stories to citizens. Over the last several years, viewership of local nightly newscasts has declined while revenues have rebounded from a dip. This is largely due to local affiliates' commitment to reaching their viewers on a variety of channels, from social media to SMS messaging.

The successful deployment of SMS alerts at hospitals, universities and other organizations in the public sector is a good analog to understand the benefit of text message alerts for local news stations. Institutions founded to provide a public service need ways to target their engaged viewers and listeners on the go. In competitive media markets, the "you heard it here first" mentality makes SMS even more attractive for breaking news alerts.

For local news, many viewers expect a high degree of customization to the alerts they receive. For example, high school football fans may opt to get notifications about game scores, while politically active citizens may expect election returns. A vertical with high popularity across demographics is the weather: Not as a replacement for day-to-day weather applications, but to receive updates about severe weather warnings and major meteorological events like hurricane landfall and tornadoes.

All of these channels involve the content news teams already produce to serve their communities. The cornerstones of a local newscast can easily be repackaged for SMS subscribers in brief, informative messages. Repackaging those cornerstones for the tech-savvy citizen gives news affiliates another way to connect with viewers.

A powerful SMS gateway can help you leverage the engagement power of your SMS subscribers. Whether it's sending them need-to-know breaking news updates or championship basketball scores, journalists can rely on text messaging to keep their viewers informed.