Did you know that 98% of all text messages get opened, and 95% of text messages are opened and responded to within 3 minutes of delivery? Thanks to technology’s deliverance of innovative communication and outreach tools like peer-to-peer texting, right now is an exciting time for many labor unions seeking to organize action and build stronger relationships with its members, even during a pandemic. It is not that emails, traditional mailers, and tracking people down in-person do not work. Instead, the preferred communication method has shifted to texting for the modern-day, socially distanced American who never seems to have enough time in one day. Since March, SEIU United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) has used Hustle for varied internal communication to its nearly 100,000 members after experiencing challenges maintaining an open window of communication with the explosion of unforeseen changes due to the coronavirus, especially for frontline workers. Using peer-to-peer texting allowed SEIU-UHW to decrease the amount of time invested in outreach and significantly increase member engagement rates by communicating valuable and personalized information regarding members’ working conditions, wages, and benefits.
Who is SEIU-UHW?
Based in Oakland, CA, SEIU-UHW is a healthcare justice union dedicated to ensuring its members receive higher wages, better benefits, and safer work conditions in California. With nearly 100,000 members as of 2020, including patients, advocates, frontline workers, healthcare voters, and healthcare consumers, SEIU-UHW is dedicated to the pursuit of healthcare justice for its members.
Before using Hustle, SEIU-UHW relied primarily on in-person communication, like monthly meetings, worksite visits, and emails in order to circulate updates, get members involved, and communicate new benefits on the horizon. Especially during this year, with frontline healthcare workers being stretched far beyond their maximum capacity battling the Coronavirus pandemic, SEIU-UHW experienced particular difficulties contacting its members. Thousands of more patients, exceptionally long shifts, less administrative time, and nearly zero personal time resulted in strained communicative relationships between SEIU-UHW and members before leveraging person-to-person texting as a new, improved way to personally reach members with wellness checks, provide resources, and keep them in the loop.
Unlike emails or traditional mailers, text messages rarely get left unread. With Hustle, the SEIU-UHW team launched outreach campaigns complete with personalized scripts sent from union reps allowing their members to respond on their time with feedback, commitments, or questions. Now, everyone wins.
Retain and Increase Membership with Hustle
"We are able to reach people that we normally don’t talk to in the field. They are on their phones. We still can’t reach everyone, but we can reach a greater amount now. I think Hustle is a straightforward admin portal, and I like that I can easily set up campaigns and know who sent what when."
SEIU-UHW is one of many labor unions using Hustle to keep in touch with members during such an unpredictable time for healthcare workers and advocates in California. Whether out on the frontline or sheltering-in-place until COVID-19 is contained, texting keeps everyone safe, alert, aware and in tune with the world around them.