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LCR - Send message function - texting

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:09 pm
by PAULKLOMP
Iā€™m a Stake Clerk in a married student stake. The average age of members is about 23. Most have emails but would prefer text messages for announcements & upcoming events. Does anyone know if the church has a way to easily send group texts to an entire stake?

I could do a custom report and an API to write a text messaging app but curious if there is something already available.

Thanks!

Re: LCR - Send message function - texting

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:37 pm
by russellhltn
I thought most carriers allowed sending a SMS from an email. For example, for someone on Verizon, send an email to ā€œ5551234567@vtext.com.ā€ So, if they entered that as their email address, they'd get a text.

That might be clumsy with the footers added, but just a thought.

Re: LCR - Send message function - texting

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:32 pm
by pearcefamily
Following this. With the new schedule starting in January and the condensed auxiliary meeting, we are looking for a clean consistent way to send weekly messages and announcements. E-mail is not the preferred method of communication for the majority of our Sisters (and our average age is WAY more than 23!). We are looking for a group text option, ideally that syncs with LDS Tools that we can send SMS messages and links to all RS members. It would be fabulous if the system existed AND didn't allow for a reply all option!

Re: LCR - Send message function - texting

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:27 pm
by trentj2009
Following this ans we would love this functionality as well, from LDS Tools App as well as LCR.

Re: LCR - Send message function - texting

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:39 am
by tyjoti89
I think we really need better communication tools overall for Ward leaders and members. It seems that every Ward must come up with their own solutions which often violate safe privacy practices and are most often difficult if not impossible to maintain over the long run. Many Wards will create facebook pages, but getting members to subscribe is a real challenge and many members do not want to use social media for some very legitimate reasons. Leaders need to be able to send messages to members, which is currently possible with LCR's Send a Message, but members need a way to subscribe and to get the messages that they specifically need. Some members want no communication and should have a simple way of opting out completely (without removing their records or putting in blanks for all of their contact information).

I think LDS Tools really needs a dedicated communication system with mobile notifications and more of a chat like interface. If you look at most effective companies today, they all have dedicated communication tools. This allows them to get the right information to the right people in the right way at the right time. For example, many companies use chat systems like Slack, which allows the formation of groups, subscriptions, sharing of documents, notification settings, and so much more. Our Ward Council has started using Slack, and it has been working very well. We have a channel for the Bishopric, and channel for the Ward Council, and other functional channels like "Callings & Releases". It would be more secure, and less of a learning curve of this type of tool were integrated into LDS Tools, and it would be very useful to be able to communicate with members of the ward and specific organizations. Groups could be automatically updated as people move in and out and as callings change. It would also be the only way to support a general ward channel for announcements. We aren't going to add the entire ward to Slack for that because that is a maintenance nightmare and probably not very effective. But integration of such a communication tool into LDS Tools would allow us to reach probably over 90% of our ward members.

Here are a few examples of how it would be helpful
- Elders quorum president sends out a message in the Elders Quorum channel Sunday morning requesting help to clear snow at the church before people arrive
- Bishopric can use a dedicated channel to discuss ideas for callings and track their progress.
- An announcements channel could be used to send general announcements for activities and events.
- A channel could be created for discussion of the weekly Come, Follow Me lesson.

Re: LCR - Send message function - texting

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:37 am
by dcgates
Amen to that last post.

Re: LCR - Send message function - texting

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:54 pm
by lmisner
Agree. We are using a variety of means to communicate upcoming lessons,,,email from lds.org, various social media forums and posting information in ward bulletins. A more streamlined process would be nice.

Re: LCR - Send message function - texting

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:08 am
by mevans
What I'd really like to see is some kind of communication options page for me as a member. Let me choose which methods I want to receive which communications. Maybe I want a text. Maybe I want an email. Maybe I want a voice call with a recorded message. Maybe I want a printed message to arrive in the mail. Maybe I want a private message on Facebook. (Maybe I want my ministering brothers to hand-deliver it :) I realize that for some of those options, units may need to pay for the communication.

We can't easily force everyone to use the same communication method. Some messages are long and don't work as texts. How are those handled? Does the church send a text with a link to open the message?

Messaging may not be the church's core competency, so they may contract out for it. There are companies that do this. It could be that the cost of adding those options is too high.

Re: LCR - Send message function - texting

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:49 am
by davesudweeks
mevans wrote:What I'd really like to see is some kind of communication options page for me as a member. Let me choose which methods I want to receive which communications. Maybe I want a text. Maybe I want an email. Maybe I want a voice call with a recorded message. Maybe I want a printed message to arrive in the mail. Maybe I want a private message on Facebook. (Maybe I want my ministering brothers to hand-deliver it :) I realize that for some of those options, units may need to pay for the communication.

We can't easily force everyone to use the same communication method. Some messages are long and don't work as texts. How are those handled? Does the church send a text with a link to open the message?

Messaging may not be the church's core competency, so they may contract out for it. There are companies that do this. It could be that the cost of adding those options is too high.

Amen. I chuckle when I see posts like, "I must have LDSTools to do my calling" or "If we can't text everyone in the ward with a single text we cannot get the message out to anyone."

In absence of "being directed in all things" we need to work together to resolve this given our own specific situations in our own specific units. A solution that works in my ward will likely not work in yours so each ward council needs to put their heads together and work it out for their specific unit. Our ward is using a blended approach consisting of a weekly e-mail blast, a ward facebook page, individual ward organizations using texting as appropriate for their members, an expanded printed Sunday bulletin, and personal visits or calls to those who don't have any of the above communication options (yes, we do have some).

Re: LCR - Send message function - texting

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:00 pm
by kmilleca
This is definitely a work in progress but I thought it might be helpful to see what our ward is doing to reach out to our members via the best possible medium for each.

I've attached a guide we recently compiled for our Ward Council.

Kevin

[-- moderator note: attachment with personal information was removed --]