Platform Blog

Old school text messages in times of crisis: “Reliable and for everyone”

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The increased number of people working from home due to the coronavirus led to an increase in popularity of modern communication tools. Many companies started to adopt tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom as soon as they had to work remotely, to stay in touch with their employees. In some organizations, however, those tools won’t be enough to reach everyone. Especially those employees that are temporarily furloughed and don’t have access to a work laptop are at risk of being left out. You’ll still want to keep those employees involved, in order for them to pick up the pace as soon as the crisis is over. The solution to keeping them engaged isn’t a shiny new tool, but an old acquaintance: the text message.

‘Text messages have been around for a very long time. Sending a text message is a reliable medium, that everyone can use,’ Netpresenter’s CEO Frank Hoen summarizes. It is because of this simplicity that text messages are extremely suitable as an extra communication channel in times of crisis. ‘Imagine you’ve got factory workers sitting at home. They might have no access to the intranet, they might not have a pc, or they may have trouble connecting to your network using a VPN’, Hoen illustrates. A corporate app can offer a solution in some cases but it isn’t a comprehensive solution either. ‘You can ask people to install an app, or if you supply managed devices, even roll the app out within your organization, but you can’t expect everyone to actually install the app.’ This means, unfortunately, you still won’t reach all of your employees.

text messages

Cross-media communication

Moreover, some target groups like certain types of media more than others, Hoen explains. That’s why you usually need a cross-media strategy if you want to reach everyone in your organization. In marketing, this is quite normal: an advertising campaign is usually broadcasted via different channels, like radio commercials and billboards. Although various channels will overlap, showing the same message multiple times to some people, , there will always be those you can only reach through one medium. ‘That’s where text messages become the ideal communication channel.’

Simple and easy to use

Its user-friendliness is, without doubt, one of the biggest advantages of text messaging. Employees don’t have to download or install anything, they don’t have to log in, and it doesn’t matter which mobile phone they’re using. In other words: they don’t have to take any action to receive the messages. By utilizing text messages, you reach people that aren’t tech-savvy, don’t have access to a PC, or simply don’t want to install the company app on their private device. It’s a fail-proof fallback communication channel, and having one of those is crucial: it’s the only way to keep the entire staff up-to-date and ensure that essential news actually reaches everyone.

Text messages have another significant advantage, Hoen adds. By texting, you also keep a direct line of communication open to your employees in times of crisis. ‘You don’t want your employees to feel isolated, or to hear corporate news through external media.’ By texting your employees, you can easily keep them involved and engaged, no matter where they are or what they do. ‘It’s a medium that combines the humane aspect of communication with the essential aspect,’ Hoen concludes.

text messages

Part of a larger picture

Text messages are still widely used by organizations. AMBER Alert Netherlands is a great example that proves how essential text messages can be. AMBER Alert, the national child abduction alert system, reaches more than 12 million adults in the Netherlands. Almost a million of them are reached through text messages, Julie Bellinkx of AMBER Alert Netherlands confirms. Even for a nation-wide alerting system, texting is still an important utility to reach as many people as possible.

At Netpresenter, texting has long been an indispensable part of the all-in-one communication platform. Organizations can choose how they use Netpresenter. With narrowcasting screens, workstations, a company app, and text messages, various channels are available to get the important need-to-know information to your people. This way, you can create your own mix of channels to reach all your employees everywhere.

Is your organization looking for effective ways to keep communicating with all your employees in these strange and challenging times? We are happy to talk to you about the best solution for your organization. Or download the free infographic the power of push notifications.

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Frank Hoen

Frank is CEO of Netpresenter and co-founder of the Dutch AMBER Alert and later the European AMBER Alert Foundation, which brings together and trains law enforcement, governments and innovation specialists from more than 20 countries.