New Web Banners for National Text Platform - 898211

Exciting news! We have added several new web banners to the ftp website, which is available here: 211 Folder for 898211 Services on PreventionPays

You may download and use any of these for your agency's marketing/outreach strategy. Simply go to the FTP and click the folder: "Sample JPG Banners/Promotional Materials" All files are high resolution and can be modified using an editing application like Photoshop or Illustrator.

With text, agencies are now reaching demographics across all age groups and use rates keep climbing. According to PEW Research, adult cell phone owners text more than they use any other function on their phone, more than social media, web browsing, apps, and calling. Making a voice call is #6 on that list. Who would've thought that one day we would all have smart phones where we are using them for doing virtually everything EXCEPT placing voice calls? We're seeing these trends in real time and the data is fascinating and supports the behavior we've all been experiencing already in our personal lives. This paradigm shift in communication needs is now reverberating across social services. Gen Y and Millennials are the biggest users of SMS, but older groups, Gen X, and now Baby Boomers are a close second.  The 65 and older group has grown by a factor of 3 in just the last year!  2-1-1 contact centers are now being texted by seniors on a daily basis! Veterans (of all ages/demographics) love that they can text their local 211 for help finding resources that are tailored to their unique needs. They appreciate the convenience and ease of texting... that help to critical, life-saving resources are just a click away, that help is truly at their fingertips!

Your 211 may use any of these new banners. Just let us know with a quick email. Also, if you need to modify them, a staff with a little experience with Photoshop can easily manage those changes. Replace the logo with your agency's logo or modify any of the text. The files are very easy to alter. If you bump into an issue, you can contact us here at PreventionPays Text, just email "support@preventionpaystext.com" with your need. In most cases we've modified the banners at no additional cost! (Depending on the complexity, we may charge a small graphics fee... far less than if you were to design these in house and from scratch).

Please send comments and questions to us! We want to help. A good call to action and launch plan is the first step to building awareness about your text service and getting the word out that your agency is Text-Enabled! Are you just getting started and would like to learn more about the "call to action"? Check out our past blog posts 

Do you have news about your program? A successful launch or a specialized use case that demonstrates an exciting, new engagement strategy that you want to share with others? Just send us an email and we'll consider it for publication on our blog! Email jonathan@emsmail.org and include the subject "Best Case Use Scenario" or "Case Study Submission" We love to talk about the successes of our clients and partners. In fact, we only blog about what our clients do with PreventionPays so please send us your "Best Case Use Scenario!" and we'll blog about it!

2-1-1 and Enterprise Text Messaging on 898211

Text message I&R services and regional community alerts are helping change the 211 landscape through increased capacity, efficiency and expanded reach to underserved populations and the ever-growing population of individuals who prefer text for their primary channel. 211s and blended sites (crisis/I&R) are finding text is quickly becoming their most important communication platform in their suite of services.  PreventionPays Text and 898211 (aka TXT211) offer 211s a web-based texting platform built for 211 services and is understood as such by all mobile carriers in the US. In addition to text based I&R and regional alerts, 211s on 898211 are demonstrating increased capacity and efficiency in the following ways:

  • I&R Specialists manage multiple sms encounters simultaneously
  • Phone-2-Text Referrals to one or more callers
  • Regional alerts to entire populations by zip code or other program keyword
  • Automate triage for more qualified encounters
  • Conduct fully automated follow-ups to obtain survey data and other information often required by their funders
Text your zip code to 898211 and see if your 211 is textable!

Text your zip code to 898211 and see if your 211 is textable!

The service can save staff time and curtail missed calls.  Traditional telephone support requires a 1-to-1 responder to client ratio, whereas 898211 has demonstrated instances where a single specialist is managing 5+ encounters concurrently.  Adding text will help with declining voice call volumes because more clients are texting 211. Text will increase response times due to the unique nature of sms communication; the natural ebb and flow of sms dialogue is synergistic with the I&R service delivery paradigm. Text will also open the door to new funding sources, as we will discuss further in this post.

What does this mean to your 211?

Adding text is a simple solution that will change how your 211 contact center operates. With the addition of texting, your resources are instantly mobilized.  Texting opens channels to grant dollars for government and local initiatives pertaining to group specific health programs, and disaster relief services e.g. veterans, youth, deaf and hard of hearing, and homeless to name just a few.  As a backup to 911 during disasters, and a conduit for rapid communications on behalf of federal agencies like HRSA, CDC, FEMA it’s imperative 211 maximize its reach to all demographics.  SMS reaches across all groups like no other communication channel and does not discriminate.  PreventionPays platform increases reach to many of the most disadvantaged and difficult to reach groups.  For many, their cell phone is their lifeline, the last link they have to human services.  898211 will increase responder efficiencies, while decreasing missed calls.  The system further supports fully automated follow-up surveys so that 211s can collect data required by their funders without having to expend precious staff time making calls to people who don’t answer their phones.  Your I&R specialists should be doing what they do best – linking individuals and their families to critical resources. 

Key FAQs about PreventionPays Text Services and 898211 Tier 1 Short Code:

The short code, 898211 and platform "PreventionPays Text" have been chosen as the National Platform by United Way Worldwide. Currently, 898211 is used by more nearly 50% of the 211s in the U.S. Watch the Nationally broadcasted webinar 

The Short code 898211 is provisioned as a Tier 1 meaning complete coverage across all mobile carriers in the U.S. with enhanced capacity like carrier grade message tracking and auto-retry.

PreventionPays is the only text solution that supports both two-way text dialogue and regional alerts under a single intuitive, easy-to-use dashboard.

Enhanced services include fully automated referrals via the OnDemand Utility (completely unique to the PreventionPays Platform)

Carriers have provisioned 898211 on their gateways to function in two very specific ways, as 211 I&R and 211 Disaster/Health & Safety Alerts 

898211 strictly follows all CTIA and FCC guidelines with fully automated opt-in/out protocols

Customized and scalable Phone-2-Text referrals to single or multiple mobile numbers -broaden your engagement and count the work your doing!  Every outgoing message is faithfully recorded and archived.  Upload, send and analyze the beautiful data!

End user privacy is always protected with fully automated opt-in/out protocols

Message tracking and auto-retry protocols: all messages you send through 898211 will receive a delivery receipt from the carrier once the message is delivered to their client’s mobile phone. In the event that it can’t be delivered, the system will auto-retry every 5 minutes until delivery is confirmed. We remove the mystery by giving you the most accurate information attainable for A2P texting. The system keeps track of every message so that your staff don't have to. Simple.

Not all mobile phones can call 2-1-1, but every mobile phone can send a text to 898211.

Provides a lifeline for under-served populations including youth, hearing/speech impaired, homeless and/or temporarily displaced (where their mobile phone is their only link to social services)

898211 is provisioned with inherent routing - each site is responsible for a specific set of zip codes (mirroring the structures already in place under 211 and United Way funding mechanisms)

898211 supports overlap coverage without duplicate responses!

898211 supports 211’s primary aim to provide consistent service to anyone, anywhere, anytime (text messaging is the most versatile, durable and consistent form of communication)

898211 is ideal for post disaster alerts, getting people connected with resources when it matters the most.  Even when web and telephonic services are down, text messages survive the most devastating disasters, as witnessed with Katrina, Haiti, Chile and Japan. In all those cases, text was instrumental in saving lives even while the normal communication infrastructureswere down.

SMS was originally created for the armed services, a small, simplistic set of characters sent and received in the most war-torn regions, a more reliable alternative to short wave radio, CB, web, or telephonic devices

898211 is registered as a 211 service with cell phone carriers, and is bound by CTIA and carrier guidelines to always function according to two levels of service:  Two-way I&R support and Regional Community Alerts (push, group text)

Contact us today for a demo! Learn why text is the most critical communication upgrade for 211s! Learn why 898211 is the service of choice by providers and their funders. 

For a demo email info@preventionpaystext.com

Or text DEMO to 898211

Getting Help "OnDemand" from 211 in Oklahoma! A Fully Automated Text Referral Utility

Getting help by text through a fully automated triage that queries end users for their zip code and need and then presents the information to the CRM and receives the three closest referrals and then delivers those referrals to the end user's mobile phone in under 30 seconds! Amazing right?

So, how does it work? Simple. Oklahoma residents text keyword "211OK" to 898211 and then what happens next is truly magical. A series of text messages will ensue obtaining end user's zip code and issue and then, within seconds, "thank you... in a moment you will receive three referrals for your zip code and need." Then, beep, beep, beep (or buzz, buzz, buzz depending on your phone) the screen lights up with the referrals and the end user never utters a word to the call specialist. The exchange is recorded in their CRM (powered by "RTM Designs") and a live operator doesn't even need to know that the event took place.

We're so excited about this new functionality and look forward to sharing it with other 211s and I&Rs. Please note, with each OnDemand encounter, end users are alerted that they can text their zip code at anytime to access live support. So, if something goes wrong or they can't find what they're looking for, they're always just a text away from two-way, live support. We understand that automated referrals can be tricky business and we want to be sensitive to the fact that automation will not solve everyone's problems. However, so far, this tool has saved the agency time and resources. They're already answering less calls because more of those contacts are being handled by the OnDemand service. So, in that respect, it's doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing, helping alleviate stress on over-burdened phones.  

According the Oklahoma 211, they see this as just another choice in how their community receives information. You can go to their website and find resources through the decision tree or you can text 211OK to 898211 and respond to the automated questions. The Next-Gen help-seeker is already here, walking among us.  Oklahoma 211 is working to find ways to expand their service capacity so that they can make a smooth transition and hopefully bridge the generation gap by giving GenYs and Millennials information in ways that are more consistent with Next-Gen preferences. This work builds on prior work in Idaho and Connecticut where automated referrals are being transmitted to mobile phones in a fully-automated exchange. In Connecticut, it's food bank referrals, in Idaho, it's a free lunch program during the summer months. 

Interested in learning more about how Oklahoma 211 started this work? Donnie House is the project lead, she can be reached at: dhouse@csctulsa.org visit their website! 

If you're interested in learning more about OnDemand Text services, text DEMO to 85511 or call us at 805.653.6000 You can can also email info@preventionpaystext.com

We are so pleased with the project! It’s already making a huge difference in how our community receives help with critical resources like utility assistance and food related resources while freeing up specialist to focus on helping other clients with more complex needs. A win-win!
— Donnie House, Program Manager, Community Service Council, Tulsa, Oklahoma 211

Colorado WIC Shares about Texting and Peer Counseling at the National WIC Association Conference in Denver!

Colorado WIC was highlighted at the National WIC Association Conference, in Denver Colorado for their work in Peer Counseling, how they use a secure text service to manage communication with their participants. The project and text platform has helped them maintain consistent communication with moms that are in the most rural areas of their state.   

Background:

Peer Counseling is an important and now integral part of WIC services and how WICs engage with their priority population - GenY and Millennial moms. Peer Counselors (PCs) are young women (typically, women who have received WIC services in the past) to manage a caseload of expectant moms and provide them with education, tips, and resources about breastfeeding.  Depending largely on their population size, WICs will receive funding and then they will be required to hire and manage the workflow.  Each Peer Counselor will be responsible for working with several pregnant mothers which will make up their “caseload”.  Several years ago (when this work commenced) one of the earliest observations was, communication between PCs and their moms can be inconsistent.  Over the past several years, many WICs have experimented with alternative communication methods in an effort to improve program outcomes.

The Problem:

For the Peer Counselor, it’s often difficult to maintain frequent communication with all participants in their caseload. They will try to call them on the phone but most of the women that participate rarely use their mobile phones for voice calls. For everyday communication, most people use texting and this is particularly true among GenY women. The dependence on sms for most communication was initially observed over 5 years ago. In fact, that was the genesis of the Peer Counseling Text program, the hope that through safe and structured text messaging, WIC agencies would be able to improve/increase communication between Peer Counselors and the GenY moms in their caseloads.   

The Solution:

Colorado WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Text Program

Colorado WIC Text Program uses a unique combination of automated educational texts with two-way dialogue. Clients are opted in to the program and assigned an educational track.  The track will send weekly messages that are timed according to the expectant mother’s delivery date. During this time, participants are encouraged to ask specific questions about the content or a general question about breastfeeding. Their Peer Counselor responds to their clients’ questions by using a PC or laptop, tablet or smart phone. Participants are using their mobile phones. The system helps the Peer Counselor with efficient and intuitive, user-friendly controls. PCs can communicate with single participants or as a group. All communication is stored in co-located data centers. The website uses HIPAA protocol for the storage and archiving of the data. 

Over the past several years, Colorado WIC has identified the following benefits/outcomes:

  • Increased breastfeeding support to rural areas
  • Cost-efficient
  • Preferred communication method for participants
  • 95% of local agency staff surveyed agreed this is a valuable addition to WIC breastfeeding education and support services
  • 95% of participants would re-enroll with a future pregnancy

  • 96% of participants would recommend to others.

Who to contact:

For questions about the program at the state level:  Erin Johnson, RD, CLC Colorado WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program Coordinator - erin.johnson@state.co.us

For questions about program details, how it works:  Sonja Lindsay-Crites, IBCLC Pueblo WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program Coordinator - lindsaycrites@co.pueblo.co.us

For info about the conference in Denver, contact:  National WIC Association