Now a day more and more people rather be texted than called. Even when you call them and leave a voicemail, many times they won’t check their message till later. Let’s just face it, the communication method has changed. We are all after the fastest and the shortest way to reach our destinations; same applies to our communication methods. The usage of phone and text messaging has increased dramatically within the last years and even in underdeveloped countries. According to B.J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University, “mobile phones will soon become the most important platform for changing human behavior.”
Nonprofit and governmental organizations can bring knowledge directly to the developing world via cost effective text messaging techniques
Here is a great example of using SMS in Tanazia:
Here is why I find mass text messaging campaign the future tool for public health interventions.
– Accessible: can reach wide population, especially adolescents, younger adults, socioeconomically disadvantaged population, less educated young adults, and those who rent or frequently change address.
-Short: you can relay important messages in 140-160 words while avoiding losing your readers attention spam.
– Personal: You can individually tailor your message to your target population, while avoiding the discomfort of discussing sensitive topics such as HIV.
-Cost effective: MSM is much cheaper than making calls and having staff to reach out to many individuals. You save time and money. MSM is as fast and cheap as sending an email, but much more intimate. It is shorter, and your audiences will see it right then and there on your phone screen.
Its instantaneous delivery makes it a powerful tool to implement behavioral changes. It overcomes the barrier of time and space. You can reach your target population despite their location or access to landlines or TV. Your message will reach them, no matter where they are, or what they’re doing! As a public health advocate, I don’t think it can get any better than that!!
Though there are many other methods to spread knowledge or advocate for changes, mobile phone is becoming the most relevant in the new age.