How Government Agencies Can Benefit From SMS

Government employees can conserve time and resources when information retrieval is made easy for them. Today, a lot of information runs on text messaging. Connecting SMS into the communication platforms of your agency makes sense. Consistent, reliable communication with constituents is a key factor in keeping the public engaged and informed, too.

Here’s how SMS can benefit government agencies:

Improving Government Interdepartmental Communications

Each department manager has priorities. Working together can stress time, resources and information between departments. Whose projects should be prioritized? Where will the biggest impact be felt?

Interdepartmental communication suffers when relying on old communication channels. Email and voicemail are slow and approaching obsolescence. Old mail can sit unread in inboxes, phone conversations can be difficult to organize and busy calendars are frustrating to sync. SMS messages, however, are quick to use and reliable. Even when personnel aren’t near a computer, they can still send and receive text messages, bypassing the bottleneck of overstuffed inboxes.

“There’s no better way to contact constituents than with SMS messaging, because texting has reach and speed.”

In many cases, it only takes a few seconds to receive, read and respond to a text message. Rather than waiting for days to schedule a meeting, your staff members can talk to one another remotely without special technology.

Engaging Local Constituents With Alerts

People are distracted. According to Pew Research Center, 4 out of 10 American adults get their news from online sources, but TV, radio and newspapers still make up a significant portion. Bombardment with advertising makes it difficult for people to get facts.

SMS alerts can cut through chatter and reach constituents directly. This is more effective than emailed notifications, because text messages have a much higher open and read rate than emails. According to Greg Murphy, mobile product manager for Salesforce, text messages have a 98 percent open rate, and 90 percent of texts are opened within three minutes. Not even social media marketing tactics can beat those numbers.

There’s no better way to contact constituents than with SMS messaging, because texting has reach and speed. The key is to avoid solicitation and be conscious of spam regulations. Use common sense by not placing private information in SMS messaging. Also, be diligent in organizing proper Opt-In/Opt-Out management controls regardless of content. Campaign donation broadcasts should be run on dedicated Short-Codes.

Streamlining Government Transparency and Oversight

Another benefit of using SMS is the increased transparency it provides. Rather than letting public employees use their personal accounts, an established SMS API run by an administrator allows for improved oversight and reduces compliance risks. Administrators can keep a detailed digital record of every message when proper API integration connects to management platforms.

Public sector IT research outlet GCN reported most agencies keep records of only email correspondence. Phone companies do not always keep records of text messages. If they do, those records are likely kept for only a few days before they disappear into the ether. Therefore, it falls on agencies to maintain text message records.

As your agency does when using a dedicated email server, you can centralize your text messages too. You do this by first choosing a reputable SMS Gateway and begin your SMS API integration. This can help in the goal of having a single, consistent communications policy that encompasses every contact channel.

An SMS API is simple to set up. Our experts provide 24/7 enterprise support at your request, with standard and professional support also available. Custom integration and consulting is available to meet your requirements. Swift SMS Gateway is facilities-based and operates in Canada.

To learn more about how to leverage SMS at your government agency, sign up for a free demo.