As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, the City of Asheville looks to implement tools to engage with our residents safely. Most recently, the City began accepting public comments via text (SMS) message.
The vast majority of Americans – 96% – now own a cellphone of some kind.
In an effort to engage the public regarding the potential removal, repurposing or rededication of the Vance Monument, the public had the ability to text in their comments to the Vance Monument Task force. For the public meetings, the City received 66 responses via text messaging. These meeting participants responding by text answered the same question as their online and in-meeting peers.
The ability to receive public comments via text helps make our engagement more accessible. SMS doesn’t require a new phone or the latest update. SMS works as long as you have a mobile phone and it is able to receive messages and SMS is the same across all platforms. Additionally, the texting option presents an opportunity to communicate with community members in a way that fits into the flow of their daily lives, according to research, consumers’ overwhelming preference for all communication to occur on their mobile device.
With the successful rollout of texting, residents can anticipate the City will use this feature more in the new year.