The Media and Public Information Ministry (MPIM) is a religious organisation of Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Arazanzu (their Patroness) which is based in the Philippines. Together with the guidance of their Pastor, Rev. Fr. Larry Paz, MPIM believes that by using a combination of the technologies and communication tools available, they ensure that their community remains connected and informed of all congregational activities at all times.
The one challenge that MPIM faced however, was that even though the Phillipines was deemed the most social nation in 2015, there were still quite a large number of community members who did not have regular internet access. This made it difficult for MPIM to get their message across to their community, and it is also why they turned to SMS.
According to Atom Yango, public information officer for MPIM, “With the goal of bridging this communication gap, we opted to use SMS to deliver content to our members who cannot access the internet. By doing this, we ensure that they receive the relevant announcements and that they aren’t missing anything that is being said or shared across our social media platforms or on our website.”
Yango goes on to say that the reason they chose to add SMS to their communication strategy, is because everyone in the Philippines has access to SMS. The MPIM began using the BulkSMS Web to SMS platform in November 2016 and Yango has found that “SMS provides a practical and reliable solution when it comes to keeping each member constantly informed.” MPIM sends over 1500 SMS messages a month, with content ranging from event invitations, and birthday wishes to the mass schedules and parochial activities taking place.
When looking at how SMS has improved the communication with certain members of the community, Yango says that they make use of a Sender ID. This adds a personal touch to the SMS messages and ensures that each member feels included and engaged. Yango believes that, “This key feature makes each SMS recipient feel that their “Patroness” is sitting right beside them”.
Not only has SMS proved effective in sharing necessary information with their congregation who don’t have access to the internet, but it also plays a vital role in implementing the organization’s mission. Without SMS, many members of the community would not be included in the regular communications.
“This use case is such great example of how SMS can be used to communicate with people who do not have easy access to the internet. MPIM’s use of SMS, and particularly the personalisation through the Sender ID, shows how the trusted and reliable nature of SMS can help keep a community connected and informed.” Says Dr. Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com.