Streamlining Parks and Recreation Communication with Pidj’s Community Text App
Have you ever heard the term “herding cats” before? A funny turn of phrase that evokes quite the mental picture and is often used in playful exasperation, this description is the perfect metaphor for what it can be like running a city parks and recreation department. While the department’s programs might be all fun and games, keeping everything and everyone organized and on the same page can be quite a feat.
Once upon a time, recreation directors, coordinators, facilitators, and youth sports coaches relied on fliers, printed schedules, countless phone calls to parents, in-person meetings, phone trees, mass emails – you name it – to keep everyone in the loop, and up-to-date on sports leagues and other city programs. Thankfully, there’s now a better way to herd those cats (so to speak): Pidj’s community text app.
A Community Text App in Action
Nibley Recreation Coordinator Quinn Spackman is in charge of all youth sports in his northern Utah city. Already busy running youth soccer, baseball, softball, T-ball, flag football, and ultimate frisbee throughout the year, he’s also working on a youth pickleball league. Managing all of these leagues, as well as the coaches, players, parents, and officials is a full-time job – one Quinn has made a lot simpler with Pidj’s text messaging service.
Quinn used to rely on email communications to disseminate important information but he found that people just don’t check their email often and really don’t respond to mass emails. While he does still send out email communications, he’s come to depend on Pidj’s community text app on a weekly – if not daily – basis to effectively communicate important league information. Quinn regularly uses the text messaging service’s bulk SMS feature to announce when leagues are going to start, let the players know who’s on whose team, send out schedules and quickly alert teams and players about weather delays, field changes, make-up games, and other time-sensitive information throughout the season.
On the administrative side, Pidj’s community text app helps make Quinn’s coordination duties that much easier. He can quickly download an entire list of people to text – whether it’s a single team, a few teams, a whole league, just the coaches, or even only the officials – and easily add the list to Pidj, where he can then send out a mass text to everyone at once. Unlike when he sends an email, Quinn knows that his message will be received and actually read since most people have their phones on them at all times and check their text messages frequently. And while he really enjoys the efficiency of bulk SMS, Quinn really appreciates being able to send out links to the Parks and Recreation website and registration pages, making it easy for people to simply click the link to get more information or sign up online.
Improving Participation and Community Engagement through Bulk SMS
Chad Wright is the Recreation Director for Nibley, Utah, meaning he’s in charge of all youth sports, recreational programs, events, and fun runs – really anything that brings the community together under the umbrella of the Parks and Recreation Department. Like Quinn, Chad uses Pidj’s community text app to update the public on field closures, program due dates, sign-up deadlines, and other timely information. However, Chad has found the text messaging service most useful in getting the word out about what he and his department is trying to accomplish within the community through their programs.
As a communications tool, community texting has proven to be more effective in connecting with both the entire community at large and with targeted sectors of the Nibley, Utah, community. One type of event that has greatly benefited from increased community engagement thanks to Pidj’s community text app is the fun run. Chad has noticed a significant increase in participation – particularly in runners returning year after year – in all of the city’s fun runs after switching to community texting. He credits Pidj for creating a stronger connection between the participants and the organizers thanks to its efficient and reliable mass text and two-way SMS features.
One thing about switching to Pidj for community communication did take Chad by surprise: he now had a lot more time to do all the things he wanted to do, like building new programs and improving old ones. Thanks to the efficiency of Pidj’s community texting platform, he no longer had to waste time sending individual texts and emails or using less engaging and less responsive forms of communication to reach his community members.
“Pidj is a way to save time and effectively communicate to the people you want to communicate to.” ~ Chad Wright
What more could you ask for in a community text app?