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Tips to better engage your constituents via text

The modern constituent has changed; has your plan for communicating with them also changed? Today, only ~19% of calls in the US are answered. Meanwhile, close to 98% of text messages are opened. So for agencies looking to increase their reach among constituents, texting can be a great way to reach your intended audience. This is especially relevant for government offices, which often need to share important information in a time-sensitive manner. 

By utilizing tools like Hustle, these offices can build deeper relationships with their community members, get feedback and identify priorities, and make sure that people are informed when they need to be. 

Below, we’ve unpacked some of the most attention-grabbing, engaging openers to make sure your constituents and community are in the know and prepared.

Whether you’re seeking feedback from community members, or preparing for a severe weather event, the easiest way to reach most constituents is through their phones. Text messages see up to a 98% open rate, and when the information you have to deliver is urgent, it can be the best way for governments to reach their citizens. Keep your community engaged with these openers:

Celebrate historic days as a way to keep in touch without making a direct ask.
“Hi [NAME], this is [YOUR NAME] from the [CITY] City Council. Today is the [X] anniversary of the [Civil Rights Act]. We’re celebrating by reminding constituents like you how this important legislation has impacted our community. You can read more on our blog post, here: [LINK]”

Ask for their priorities in advance of important meetings or events.
“Hi [NAME], this is [YOUR NAME] from [GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION]. I’m checking in to see what your priorities are for our state officials to keep in mind this season. Anything you’d like your senators to keep in mind?”

Remind them to engage in person with event reminders and invitations.
“Hi [NAME], [YOUR NAME] here from [TOWN] Town Hall! I’m checking in to see if you’re planning to join us at this week’s Town Hall meeting. Will we see you there? Here are the event details if you need them! [LINK]”

Share public health and safety reminders.
“Hi [NAME], this is [YOUR NAME] from [GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION]. We’re expecting power outages and road closures from the upcoming hurricane. Is there anything I can do to help you prepare? Here’s a link to evacuation updates & resources on how to stay safe [LINK]”

Your citizens have cell phones. Hustle texts have high engagement across all demographics, from senior citizens, to young parents, to engaged volunteers. Unlike traditional marketing and canvassing methods like phone-calling and advertisement, texting is low-cost and requires very little training & skill. Everyone can hit send on a text. Conversations are authentic and build trust – allowing cities to explain complicated topics, respond to unique questions, and treat citizens with respect.

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