How SMS Surveys and Campaigns Help Local Governments and Community Organizers Increase Community Engagement
Business texting is no longer just for businesses. While we’re all accustomed to receiving text messages from online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores, community text apps like Pidj can help local governments and community organizers better understand their community’s needs and assist in driving community focus and engagement.
Many municipalities are now turning to bulk texting features like SMS Surveys and SMS Campaigns to ask for and receive feedback on a whole host of community initiatives. From master plan updates and construction proposals to new city parks and community programming, local leaders are streamlining the feedback process and engaging new swaths of their communities with the power of community texting.
SMS Surveys Generate Honest Community Input
One of the best ways to seek community input is simply to ask for it. Between work, kids, pets, hobbies, social commitments, and other caretaking responsibilities, people are busy – often too busy to pay close attention to the local issues that affect them the most. That is where SMS Surveys can make a world of difference in terms of community engagement.
A common practice in business SMS and marketing, SMS Surveys can help community leaders and organizers reach people where they’re at – on their phones – and ask for feedback on the most pressing issues in their communities. The SMS Survey tool on Pidj’s community text app provides wide flexibility in question format, allowing for multiple choice answers, scale and rating mechanisms, general Q&A formats, and free-form responses all within the same survey.
SMS Surveys in Action
You’re the president of your local city council and you’ve been approached by a community organizer about the poor state of your local parks and green spaces and their lack of accommodations for both children and the disabled. Within the same week, the head of a local environmental nonprofit brings up the declining water quality of the creek that runs through your city’s largest park during an official city council meeting.
Before the next city council meeting, you take the time to investigate both concerns and discover that both the community organizer and nonprofit leader were correct – something needs to be done about the state of your city parks. But what, exactly, should be done? And what does the community think? It is their tax dollars, after all, that will pay for any improvements.
Using the community text app, you craft and send an SMS Survey to the community, asking for honest feedback on what they think of the parks as they currently exist, what improvements can be made, and a ranking of priorities in terms of amenities and environmental initiatives. The community organizer and environmental nonprofit send out their own SMS Surveys, hoping to maximize community engagement and feedback.
The community response is overwhelming and you now have solid guidance from the public on what improvements are a priority and feel as if there is enough community buy-in to propose a significant parks improvement bond in the upcoming local election.
Streamlining Organizational Efforts with SMS Campaigns
In the example above, three different organizations used Pidj’s SMS Surveys feature to quickly and easily receive community feedback on a pressing local issue. The unprecedented response from the community spurred the city council president into action – however, the upcoming election set to include the new parks improvement bond measure is still nine months away. That is a lifetime in the attention span of most voters. The problem now is how are stakeholders (the city council president, community organizer, and nonprofit leader) going to keep this issue on the front of the minds of community members.
Traditional community outreach – making phone calls, knocking on doors, mailing fliers – takes a lot of time, effort, and resources. SMS Campaigns, however, can achieve the same (or better) results through scheduled, recurring bulk community texts. In this scenario, all three of the major stakeholders can collaborate through SMS Campaigns to deliver bulk SMS messages about the upcoming parks improvement bond initiative at the right cadence so the community isn’t flooded with too many messages yet stays informed leading up to the vote.
Boost Community Engagement with SMS Surveys and Campaigns
While the above example revolves around a specific community issue, there is no limit to how local community leaders, organizers, and nonprofit organizations can use Pidj’s community text app to keep the public both informed and engaged in what’s happening in their communities. In fact, towns and cities across the country now rely on community text platforms like Pidj to communicate with their citizens and have seen community engagement levels soar as a result.