46. Consider sending text messages to your members to keep them informed. Encourage your members to opt-in to your service.
Here is an article from njea.org on the subject: http://www.njea.org/resources/social-media/local-associations-increasingly-turn-to-text-messaging
Here is a collection of Mashable articles on text messaging apps:
10 services to send text messages from the web: http://mashable.com/2008/04/19/send-text-messages/
All Mashable articles on text messaging: http://mashable.com/category/texting/
Remind101 may also work for you: https://www.remind101.com/
. Several local associations are now using Remind101. It's free and was created as a "safe" way for teachers to text their students. However, many savvy local leaders are now using it to keep their members informed of emerging issues.
Remind101 is also available in the App Store / Android Market.
Locals are also reporting success using the service provided by Celly, which is free. Learn more about Celly here: http://cel.ly/
Some locals report that they assign each of their building reps with ten members to text when the need arises. The local president sets the text in motion by texting the building reps, and they forward the message.
Added on 8.12: locals have expressed concern in overwhelming their members with two much information. This is a legitimate concern. One local leader specifically mentioned the fact that her local has to "double up" with members by sending mass texts as well as text messages because not all members have subscribed to the texts. A field rep provided her with this advice: "give your members updates, such as '70% of our members have opted-in to the texting.' Then, tell your members that the local will 'double up' until 90% or so have opted in to the text messaging. Also, use your text messaging in conjunction with your email alerts by texting something to the effect of, 'check your email for an important message from the local association president.'"
Also, don't forget to list your members' email addresses under BCC to protect their privacy.
Also added on 8.12: we met a member recently who survey his members and asked each how they would like to receive information (email, flier, text message, etc.). The president organized the list and now offers each members information through the method that they prefer. Members appreciate his efforts!