How do you know that your call to action, warning, or important announcement will be seen by people that need to see it, when they need to see it? The simple answer is that you don’t. There’s no true way to know that someone will actually pick up your message and read it – but there is a way to increase the likelihood that they will. According to GSMA Intelligence, there are currently over 5.035 billion people in the world that use SMS messaging. A study at Baylor University found that included teenagers measuring in at a whopping 10 hours a day on average using their phones and 94.6 minutes of that texting. So what does this mean for crisis management and how can SMS messaging help?

We live in an attention-seeking world. With advertisements and notifications left right and centre, it’s rare to catch a moment where nothing is flashing or beeping at us. Look at the smartphone, it’s both the worst offender of this and the most successful show off around with 84% of the UK population owning one. In 2018, people in the UK checked their phones every twelve minutes on average. If you play your cards right and work with the strengths smartphones have given communications, that call to action, warning, or important announcement has a chance to be seen once every twelve minutes. In my opinion, the best way to do this is through the power of SMS.

Ofcom report that 40% of people look at their phones within five minutes of waking up. This climbs to 65% for people under the age of 35 and 60% of people in this age bracket also check their phones within five minutes before going to bed. This gives you opportunities at every waking hour to break through the notification wall and have your alert be seen. With SMS, there is also the option of fast responses if needed from recipients which could drastically improve how efficiently your crisis is dealt with. This could be as simple as a member of the IT team letting you know that they’re aware of an issue and are responding to it, so you can let students and staff know matters are being dealt with as quickly as possible and provide regular updates.

What happens if there’s a blackout or campus lockdown and lessons can’t go ahead as planned? How do you contact everyone reliably and quickly to let them know? With SMS messaging, you can use your provider to send messages out to everyone that needs to know or may be affected with the click of a button. Staff that need to attend to the issue, staff that can’t go through with lectures as planned and, students that can’t access servers or campus intranets. Not only will this keep everyone up to date but it will also allow for better business continuity for your students, less confusion for your staff, and a fast way to reassure everyone once the issue is resolved. SMS, put simply, provides peace of mind, efficiency, and effective communication.

While it may seem like SMS messaging is just throwing another notification into the ding-filled void, the reality is that a high percentage of people read a text message within 5 seconds of receiving it and 98% of text messages are opened. In contrast with an average open rate of 24.90% in education for emails, SMS messaging is clearly in a league of its own when it comes to the levels of engagement it fosters. In moments of crisis, this is a clear winner for the most effective method of communicating, as visibility is the key element needed for effective crisis communications. Couple this with services like Janet txt, provided by PageOne, that utilise emails and SMS on a singular platform, multiple outreach bases can be covered with the click of a button, given you a multi-pronged defense against unexpected crises.

When it comes to crisis management, I’d argue SMS is the ideal first responder for education. By keeping connected, you can strengthen your institution’s crisis management, provide better business continuity for your students and foster better outcomes. With SMS, connecting is effective, efficient, and can help facilitate recovery once the crisis is over.

What can Janet txt do for your communications? Text ‘Janet’ to 60081 or contact us here.