Andy Riley, Head of Public Sector Sales tackles the irrational fear of mass communications.
The phrase ‘mass notification’ usually sends a chill down the spine of even the most prepared public sector organisation. And understandably so – the connotations of impending danger or emergency situations are difficult to shake.
But, much like strawberries not being a berry and bisected worms becoming two distinct creatures, the truth lies somewhere between what we understand and what is possible.
Of course, mass notification platforms should most definitely be used in moments of critical importance getting the correct information to parties affected both quickly and efficiently – but that is not their only use. An intelligent, unified communications (UC) solution – much like those we deploy alongside our partner Mitel – allows organisations to automate routine communications via the spectrum of modern tools and technologies; SMS, email, desktop, landlines and mobile phones can all be used to make sure information is disseminated accurately and promptly.
In higher education (HE), mass notifications can keep the student and academic communities up to date with on-campus events, additional study session availability and even simple things like coffee shop promotions.
With the rationalisation of workplaces in local and Central Government, mass notifications become a way of keeping your staff up to date with schedule or event changes wherever they are serving your citizens. What’s more, you can gather feedback acknowledgements that let you know when critical team members have received and read the message.
If we look to the healthcare sector, we are already accustom to the ‘bleep’ mechanic notifying clinical delivery teams of urgent situations, but again, this can be more adeptly routed via mass notification.
And that is just the beginning.
What if we extended that process and functionality to even the most seemingly mundane of requests? Calling for a restock when supplies are running low; sending a group message to locate an available wheelchair when a patient needs transport; or letting food services know when a family member would like to order an extra meal. All these things have a tangible effect on the patient experience and actually help create a more connected NHS – which is what Britain’s most precious asset so desperately needs to become.
Mass notifications are more than just a mechanic for crisis communications; they are the outbound bridge between your organisation and your employees. They deliver the services that make the biggest difference – getting the right information, to the right person, via the right channel, in the right sort of time.
So don’t just leave mass communication as an untapped resource; creative thinking on the deployment of real-time, meaningful communications can deliver day-in, day-out benefits to your organisation and in turn can help create a better all-round experience rather than just being prepared for the worst.
This article originally featured in Public Sector Focus Magazine May/Jun 2019