In the last year, I’ve been in a great position to learn more about using mobile messaging in an organizing strategy. In my experience — and when I train people on digital media topics — I’ve come to realize that mobile messaging is absolutely the most underutilized tool in digital media. Ever.
Mobile messaging is a powerful organizing (and marketing) tool, and yet no on uses it. There are a lot things that make mobile a great piece of the organizing puzzle, the biggest thing being that it helps connects people in your audience who perhaps either don’t engage on social media or don’t have immediate access to the internet. I think a lot of times organizers focus so much on those who are active on social media that they completely exclude folks who perhaps aren’t on there as much (if at all). There are lots of reasons for why organizers do this — but of course that is a whole other blog post.
But let’s talk a little bit about the uses for mobile messaging:
Promoting or signing petitions
The NAACP recently used mobile to push their petition for a civil rights case against George Zimmerman following the verdict of the case involving Trayvon Martin’s murder. Not only did the petition get shared by over a million people, it was also a great opportunity for people to join our mobile list – people could text in the word JUSTICE in order to sign and show their support.
Publicizing events, rallies, townhalls, and other meetings
If you are planning an event and want to reach a broader audience, then mobile may be the tool for you. Imagine if you could reach folks who maybe didn’t see that Facebook invite but will definitely see your text message about your event – it’s a great opportunity to reach those folks and include them in your work.
Communicating with volunteers
So let’s say your event is getting closer and you’ll need volunteers. You can send a mobile message to your volunteers letting them know where to meet and what to do when they get there.
There are drawbacks to mobile for sure, the least of these not being the high barrier to entry. Mobile messaging can be very costly, which is a huge reason why more people don’t employ it in their organizing strategy. But when you can do it, it’s incredibly valuable.
There are quite a few mobile messaging vendors out there, but I highly recommend Revolution Messaging for those of you who want to get started in the near future.