How a Community Text App & Two-Way SMS Work in the World of Recreation
Parks and recreation isn’t just fun and games. Often, it’s more of a balancing act. To successfully run a busy city’s recreation department requires that you juggle a lot of balls and know where each one is at all times. Kaysville City’s Recreation Coordinator, Bryan White, knows this on a visceral level – he’s a master juggler when it comes to organizing play. As the Recreation Coordinator for all of Kaysville City, he is in charge of both indoor and outdoor youth sports.
In his years of creating and stewarding successful youth programs, Bryan has learned that – as he puts it – the public is the lifeblood of recreation. In other words, community recreation is impossible without enthusiastic community engagement and active involvement. The trick to growing and maintaining such engagement is to encourage and support the community through effective communication. For Bryan, this means communicating the same way through technology as he would face-to-face with his community members.
Because efficient communication with the public is vital to maintain their engagement with Kaysville City’s recreation programs, Bryan turned to Pidj to reach people where they are – on their phones. Instead of sending out emails with time-sensitive information or important program updates, Bryan uses Pidj’s bulk SMS feature to reach his audience faster and more directly. Where an email may go unread or be drowned out in a sea of work, personal, and spam emails, text messages have a 98% open rate and the two-way SMS feature allows his community members to respond in real time.
Two-Way SMS in Action
Sometimes, even the best-laid plans are at the mercy of circumstances completely out of your control. One such circumstance? After a successful day of skiing with a bunch of kids, the ride down the canyon home became a challenge when the bus broke down. Instead of having a bunch of worried parents on his hands, Bryan quickly and efficiently sent out a single SMS to the entire parent list through the Pidj text app to let them know that there had been an issue with the bus. With two-way texting, parents were able to receive the message, respond in real time, and plan accordingly instead of having to wait – and fret unnecessarily – until Bryan made it back down the canyon with their kids.
Thanks to two-way SMS, Kaysville parents can rest assured that they’ll be kept in the loop about their children’s activities and Bryan can effectively stay on top of any issues that may arise.
Avoiding a Pickle with a Community Text App
Pidj’s community-focused text app does more than keep parents up-to-date on youth programming. Kaysville City employees have found community texting to be extremely helpful in all aspects of Parks and Recreation management. Tracy Murray, the Programs Specialist for Kaysville Parks and Recreation, regularly uses Pidj to both foster community engagement and streamline her workload.
Tracy has found Pidj’s community text app irreplaceable when it comes to planning tournaments and communicating with participants. One pickleball tournament, in particular, comes to mind…
As Tracy puts it, the weather had been “unsettled” for days leading up to the tournament and the outlook was all but certain. Instead of expending extra resources to individually inform participants of the changing winds (so to speak) in the days leading up to the tournament, she used Pidj’s two-way SMS and Keywords features to keep everyone up-to-date on the weather situation.
Thanks to both features working in tandem, participants could reply to any community text from Tracy with questions or concerns. They could also quickly text back a provided Keyword to get up-to-the-minute updates on the weather and tournament schedule. With that responsibility off her plate, Tracy could be effective with her time and focus solely on making the tournament a success.
Advocating for Better Community Engagement
Bryan and Tracy are more than happy to sing Pidj praises for one main reason: community texting helps them better serve the public. All in all, Pidj’s community text app streamlines communication to and from Parks and Recreation organizers and participants and provides a simple, effective platform on which everyone benefits from the perks of two-way SMS for communities.
In fact, Bryan has been so impressed with how well Pidj’s community text platform has improved communication and community engagement in Kaysville, he’s advocated its use to other cities’ managers. Just as Pidj has helped Bryan better serve his community, he wants other communities to succeed, as well.