The Community Held Phone model is, by its very name, a model where a group administrator accepts responsibility to hold the phone and forward on any Text Alerts to subscribers. A major drawback is that this phone costs money for the initial handset purchase and top-up credit as required. There is also the issue of poor mobile coverage at times when this model is required most. If this phone is lost or broken then there is also an additional cost to get a new phone.
The community phone holder must either be awake 24 hours a day, or get involved in a sharing scheme with other committee members who can guarantee that the service will be available. This is a huge headache from a efficiency point of view. Itis a major drawback, and managed solutions like CommunityAlerts.ie offer the perfect alternative. Not all bulk text providers offer 24:7 covers but this is provided by CommunityAlerts.ie. One bulk text provider we are aware of will not send alerts between 11pm-7am so beware of that!
CommunityAlerts.ie provides you with an on-demand Excel spreadsheet with the finest level of detail for each alert that you issue. CommunityAlerts.ie will even provide you with an itemised cost-per-SMS to show you just how much you are saving by using CommunityAlerts.ie's cost-price text messaging. We offer huge savings compared to bulk-SMS services. Please see our Pricing Page on this website
for our fully transparent pricing model.
Unlike a community-held phone, managed services will offer your subscribers an instant SMS. In the case of CommunityAlerts.ie our free smartphone App for Text Alert
allows your subscribers to get their alerts as push notifications for free and these are also instantly delivered. No other service provider will allow your subscribers to get alerts for free. Unfortunately the community-held phone model may issue your alerts in a delayed manner and is not optimal for providing a reliable Text Alert service.
What happens if your community-held phone goes missing? Much more importantly, your subscribers numbers are also missing and they may be irretrievable. With a managed service you can be sure that your numbers are backed up and can be retrieved at any time. This takes a lot of responsibility away from a phone holder and allows Text Alert to operate without any stress or worries in terms of subscriber database management.
You probably already use WhatsApp. You should think of our free Smartphone App for Androids and iPhones
as a great way to get in touch with youyr subscribers for free. No other service provider offer this. Sure, there are apps for SENDING alerts, but our app allows your subcribers to RECEIVE alerts, for free. It is a complete game changer and many larger groups have switched to CommunityAlerts.ie since this App was launched.
Our modern Pricing Model
is based on a small monthly service fee, dependent on the group size. In return for this you get unmlimited free app notifications to your subscribers as a great way of bypassing the SMS phone networks. CommunityAlerts.ie also provides cost price SMS text messaging at just 3.5 cent + VAT each. Our competitors charge 6 cent + VAT each without a smartphone app option. View our pricing
and use the cost calculator to compare our SMS/App rates to those of our closest competitor.
With CommunityAlerts.ie you have the option to go it alone and do everything in a self-service way. You can register for a free trial account
without even having to speak to anyone at CommunityAlerts.ie. With other bulk SMS providers there is a convoluted approach where you must supply reams of information to get set up, but we let you do it yourself. Our administration panel allows you to manage all aspect of Text Alert, from managing subscribers to sending out alerts to a sub-group of your databases - it's all doable on this website. Have a look at our features
to see what is possible.
Our technology is mature and is used by private sector, public sector and non-profit groups across Ireland. During 2011 our technology for Community Text Alert was presented at the United Nations as a great example of how to use technology to share information quickly by SMS text message for emergency events. We bring our vast experience to Community Text Alert and you get the benefit of a reliable and stable service that runs in an automated way. We compliment our technology with excellent technical support for all groups using our service. From initial queries to going live, we are with you every step of the way to ensure your Text Alert is a success. You will even be assigned a dedicated rep at CommunityAlerts.ie to speak with.
You may have read our earlier Blog post on Setting Up a Garda Text Alert
where we discuss how it is possible filter Garda alerts if they are not on point or on topic for your group. Some Gardai issue alerts for events that take place over 40km away from a community group's location so they aren't always relevant. CommunityAlerts.ie give you the option to act as a middle man for these alerts and decide whether or not they should be forwarded on to all subscribers. This is also a huge cost saver and is unavailable from any other service provider.
Bulk SMS Service Providers will cut you off when you run out of credit. We love to work with Community Text Alert groups and we trust them enough to offer them a complimentary overdraft facility to ensure no SMS credits are missed. It is often the case that payment needs to be made by co-signing cheques and there are delays because of this. We allow you to go into the red with your Text Alert balance while any pending is forthcoming. As soon as you run out of credit wityh a bulk-SMS company your account will stop sending texts and alerts will be missed.
Apart from Smartphone App alerts and SMS Text Alerts, CommunityAlerts.ie also offers email alerts and landline call alerts as an inclusive measure. Landline Alerts are very popular in groups with an older demographic who may not own a mobile phone but who still want to get the alert information. Landline Calls allow a committee member to call our dedicated landline with the SMS message and they just read it out on our voice recording system. From there we simply forward it on to your subscribers within a moment as an automated feature. No other provider offers this level of inclusion.
When you are adding or updating susbcribers it is possible to map them to their location on a web map. The aim is that you will be able to print the map with the list of coordinates to share with local emergency services. This includes mapping Eircodes as a great way to share location information. CommunityAlerts.ie also allows you to get geo-focused alerts from Met Eireann or your local authority so by mapping subscribers accurately it ensures that they will get focused alerts from all channels.
We provide a feature where groups can jigsaw together all the townlands that comprise their group environs. This is a simple one-off task that involves checking a box beside each nearby townland. The benefit of identifying your group boundary based on townlands is that you can be notified of any neighbouring crime alerts issued by Gardai. This is carried out automatically by CommunityAlerts.ie in an automated way and this is not available by any other text alert service.
In terms of administration, it can be difficult to keep a detailed log of subscriber payments. Who paid? When did they pay? How did they pay? You can now store payment logs for each subscriber and date stamp them in CommunityAlerts.ie. This information is useful if you want to issue a payment reminder to anyone who hasn't paid on over a year to get them to pay their Text Alert Subscription. Again, this feature is unavailable elsewhere.
CommunityAlerts.ie provides you with a facility to map the location of your Text Alert Area road signs. This information is useful if you need to submit a list of coordinates to your local authority's area engineer to get approval for the erection of Text Alert signs. It is all done through a simple web map and this saves HOURS of time for the group manager who may have to otherwise drive the route to gather this information.
It is important that your subscribers understand the full impact of Text Alert. This includes informing them about your previous year's Text Alert usage and how much it has been used, how much it has cost, etc. CommunityAlerts.ie has a full time graphic designer who can create your AGM Report as a one-pager for distribution at your meetings. This has proved very popular as a new feature and is unavailable with any other service. Let us make sense of your statistics to free up your time!
CommunityAlerts.ie allows your subscribers to pay for their annual subscription online. This is particularly useful for larger groups who find it difficult to go door to door on an annual basis to generate funds. We can send an SMS to your subscribers advising them how to pay online and payments are easily linked back to your group. It's a simple, efficient way to manage the financies and fundraising for your Text Alert.
Well-being notifications are a new part of CommunityAlerts.ie that allow older persons to check in to CommunityAlerts.ie by SMS, Email or Landline Phone to confirm their health and well-being. If the person doesn't check in by a certain time each day then their significent others are notified by text alert. This is a great service for anyone who doesn't want to be a burden on others and it maintains their independence.
Met Eireann severe weather alerts can be issued to your subscribers from CommunityAlerts.ie in an automated way. The group administrator can decide to issue Met Eireann alerts by SMS, or for free using the smartphone app only. If the group manager prefers it is possible to leave the Met Eireann alerts disabled but this is a fully automated feature thatg requires no action to run. If the App-only Met Eireann alerts are enabled then it is a great way to add new value to your local Text Alert service.
CommunityAlerts.ie already partners with a large number of local authorities and can issue alerts for water disruptions, road closures, flood events, severe weather updates, local planning application activity and much more. This can be set up as an optional free feature and alerts can be set as SMS/App or App-only. This is a popular feature amongst many groups, particularly where a local authority has bouyght into the Text Alert concept using service such as MapAlerter.com
The first task for many Text Alert groups is to design and distribute an informative Text Alert registration form for subscribers. Using our in-house graphic design expertise, this is something we can provide to your group as an additional service. We know what you should include on your registration form and we can localise it to your group's location, including referencing the local Garda Station number. CommunityAlerts.ie is unique in providing this service.
Take a look at a sample community website portal
which is available for all groups using the CommunityAlerts.ie service. It allows your group to share information across a variety of channels such as death notices, weather information, local authority alerts, property price register information, and much more. The content for portals are automatically gathered by CommunityAlerts.ie so there is no task for the group manager to update it at any time - it manages itself! No other provider is offering this type of exciting new feature to get the best out of your Text Alert.
New Text Alert Groups must set about finding the best service provider solution for their needs. There are three core service options that you will likely consider, ranging from a standard community-held phone, to a bulk SMS service or a dedicated, bespoke community text alert service such as CommunityAlerts.ie, which is designed specifically to operate community text alert. The community-held phone approach means someone (or many people) in the community are tasked with managing a communal phone for the purpose of receiving Garda alerts and forwarding them on to subscribers as a manual tasks. Then the bulk SMS service providers will charge you through the roof for text messaging and offer little else for your group in the way of a "service". Finally there is CommunityAlerts.ie, Ireland's only dedicated Community Text Alert service.
The CommunityAlerts.ie service goes above and beyond for your Community Text Alert Group and, apart from sending out cost-price SMS text messages, it will allow you to issue alerts for FREE to any subscriber that has our smartphone app installed. Our aim is to provide you with an automated service that runs 24 hours a day and keeps your alert running costs to a minimum. Bulk SMS Service Providers are limited in their offering. Some providers we are aware of will offer a community text alert service that is only available from 8am-11pm. So our question is what happens for that burglary at 7am? The answer is your alert will not be issued on time. Many bulk SMS providers will also keep their administration features to a minimum so they won't be much of a help to the Text Alert group manager. They will send out your alerts, and very little else.
There are many features which are required to operate an efficient and effective Community Text Alert service. Below highlights these features and a shows a visual comparative analysis of these features across the three text alert options. Have a look at the table below, and you can click the feature name to get a summary of what it is we offer compared to the competition. You can also view our list of exciting features that have helped us grow to become Ireland's largest Community Text Alert service provider. This list is best viewed on your laptop, or in landscape mode on your smartphone.
If you are already using a community-held phone then it is a very simple task to switch over to CommunityAlerts.ie. You will need to copy over your numbers to an Excel spreadsheet and email them to CommunityAlerts.ie. We will do the rest. This involves importing your numbers and providing you with a dedicated email address for the purpose of receiving Garda Alerts (we carry out all the Garda setup in the background). Call us on 01-2544363 to get started.
If you are with a bulk SMS service provider and have become disillusioned with their high SMS pricing and a lack of cutting edge administration features, then please get in touch with CommunityAlerts.ie. We can help you! Similar to above, you should request a copy of your existing subscriber database and forward it onto us as an Excel file. This involves importing your numbers and providing you with a dedicated email address for the purpose of receiving Garda Alerts (we carry out all the Garda setup in the background). Call us on 01-2544363 to get started.