Text alerts don't always have to deliver grim news or warnings. When residents sign up to receive messaging from their local town or county officials, it's often to find out if there's a severe weather incident on the horizon or if an emergency requires immediate attention. Sure, those things are important, but can't text messages bring lighter news as well?

That's precisely what a new program implemented by Cecil County is doing.

According to the Cecil Daily, residents of the Maryland county will be able to receive news such as sports scores and local events on their phones via SMS services. The program is initiated by the Cecil Whig, a local publication, that will text headlines and links to articles that would normally show up in the paper.

"This is just one more way that we can keep our readers informed," said Jacob Owens, the Whig's executive editor. "Thousands of Cecil County residents already get their news from the paper, our website and through our social media accounts. This is yet another method for people to stay up-to-date while on the go."

It's an innovative approach to sharing the day's top news. In the era of social media sites such as Twitter and the 24-hour news cycle, it can be difficult for local publications to break news to their readers. This is a way to share that information, which can include anything from light and uplifting stories to major headlines making news around the world. Immediate threats such as an upcoming storm can also be shared, but finding a way to balance that with strong content that attracts the recipient's eye is a very effective strategy.

Swift SMS Gateway can help news organizations reach their readers via text message alerts by offering the tools needed to organize and effective program.