Emergency text message alerts may be the quickest and most reliable way to reach their constituents.
Philadelphia (PRWEB) May 2, 2007
During times of emergency, text message alerts are the best means for reaching the mobile population since 84% of all Americans keep their cell phones on and with them 24 hours per day. Moreover, 94% of all text messages are opened and read immediately. This is simply not the case with email.
Text messaging is also the preferred medium for reaching teens and young adults. In fact, 49% of those aged 15-24 say that text messaging is the most important feature in determining the choice of a cell phone. Today, 48% of all written communication by this age group is done via text messaging. Clearly, the cell phone is ubiquitous on college campuses.
As always seems to be the case in unprecedented situations, criticism has been directed at public safety entities and the administrative leaders in what could have been done differently to prevent the horrors of Virginia Tech. Several reports were critical of the difficulty in notifying students and teachers who were commuting to the campus. Certainly, email was not going to help this group as they drove right into the disaster.
"The tragedy at Virginia Tech has many academic institutions looking for the best method to inform students and staff should the unthinkable happen at their school," said Bob Bentz, director of marketing at Wayne, Pennsylvania-based Advanced Telecom Services. "Emergency text message alerts may be the quickest and most reliable way to reach their constituents."
Advanced Telecom Services' emergency text message alerts service gives colleges and schools an online system that enables schools to send bulk SMS emergency text message alerts in less than a minute. There is no equipment to purchase and maintain and no software to download.
"We can literally train you on how to use the TXTLaunchPad emergency text message alerts system in less than five minutes," said Bentz. "It's really that easy to use."
The school needs to maintain an opt-in database of its students' and staff's cell phone numbers and carriers. When an emergency situation occurs, the web based system can quickly send thousands of simultaneous emergency text message alerts to the database.
Bentz added that he has been cautious about promoting the product so soon after the tragedy that struck Virginia Tech campus. "Obviously, we didn't want to be seen as trying to profit from the tragedy in Blacksburg," said Bentz. "But, after much debate, it was decided that if our product can one day save a life, then we'll gladly accept any criticism in this regard."