Online SMS text services have provided a vital communication tool for thousands of Schools and Businesses forced to close with little warning during the treacherous snow conditions this week. SMS services such as www.txtlocal.co.uk proved crucial in keeping parents and workers notified of closures in advance.
Morpeth Newminster School in Northumbria was forced to close due to the bad weather. Head Teacher Paul Lawrence, needed to contact over 600 parents to notify them that the School was closed and text proved vital in helping reach parents quickly.
‘Textlocal provide a vital service for sending emergency messages. I’m about to send another 600 texts to staff and parents to let them know that we are closed for the rest of the week!’
Jo Kavakeb, of Squirrel Day Nurseries, also found text useful in notifying parents and staff about nursery opening and closing times.
‘We have used Textlocal’s SMS service this week with great success. Text is the ideal way to quickly and efficiently inform parents and staff about opening and closing times during this period of adverse weather conditions.’
Recent findings from an independent survey conducted by Populus (2008) found that more than two thirds (68%) of parents wanted their Childs school to use SMS text communication more frequently to inform them about important issues relating to the School.
Textlocal provide a FREE inbound text system, which enables parents to opt-in to receive text alerts from their Child’s School about matters such as parent’s evening dates, dinner money reminders and even personal texts about good or bad behaviour. Parents can also use the inbound text service to inform the School about their Child’s absence.
The snowy conditions also lead to an influx of small businesses, clubs and community centres signing up to use their service to notify staff about closures and meeting cancellations.
Slimming World, Stockport, use text to contact members and tell them about class cancellations. Consultant Steve Mosby says ‘Sending a text is very personal and this is important. Most of our members have now opted in for text communication about news, events and class cancellations; it’s perfect for instant communication.’
SMS messaging has been used for many years by organisations to send instant SMS marketing promotions and alerts. However, recently it has been used more frequently in emergency situations, as businesses recognise its value in reaching large audiences quickly and efficiently.
Textlocal MD Darren Daws, describes SMS as the perfect tool for emergency alerts stating “We have had great feedback from customers who use our service for emergency alerts.”
Daws continues ‘We work with golf clubs notifying members that the course is closed due to rain, Schools notifying parents about snow and swine flu closures as well as travel companies notifying passengers about flight cancellations. Text is simply the ideal instant messaging tool, it’s so easy to reach thousands of people instantly with a quick text.’