An underused tool in the fight against the second wave of Coronavirus
In this article, we'll go into a bit more depth as to why exactly Broadcast Messaging is such a powerful tool. We have compiled a list of six unique characteristics to highlight exactly how it can be used productively, to shore up the lines of communication in the ongoing situation with Coronavirus.
When it comes to the fight against the incoming second wave of Coronavirus, Broadcast messaging (the method for sending bulk messages to multiple contacts) is a really useful tool- but it doesn’t have to be under-used.
What has been shown to cut across the uncertainty, and underlie a successful response to Covid-19 is trust and communication, which relies on the channels of communication and telecoms infrastructure actively working with us.
Broadcast messaging is one such channel, as it is highly adaptable, and has a higher degree of fidelity than other platforms when you need to reach out en-masse.
Previous applications of broadcast messaging in sectors such as Public Services, Education, and Healthcare have demonstrated a lot about the authority inherent within it as a medium. Whether it is being used by companies and businesses, such as to supply quick and easy surveys with a guaranteed ease of response, or higher up- being used in all UK Public Sectors, this method can create a real response when other mass communication platforms are so saturated with messages that it becomes very difficult to get your message heard.
On top of this, the addition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to broadcast messaging opens up new opportunities to create powerful and responsive systems that can guarantee successful delivery of messages and provide seamless mechanisms for collecting responses from the recipients.
Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, criticism of government responses has highlighted the need for clear and authoritative message delivery. This clarity relies on the medium of messaging used just as much as the content of the message to be delivered.
Decision makers, without the proper tools of communication, are caught in an oscillation between needing to tell people what to do and asking them to have faith that there is clear and reasonable judgement behind these decisions.
In times of crisis, any service that directs the public, needs to provide authoritative messaging, dispel misinformation, and navigate away from the appearance of lukewarm indecision. Without these attributes any method chosen may have a detrimental effect.
This is where broadcast messaging, by its very nature, can be deployed to help.
Broadcast messaging, as a tool, has already been proven to work during the pandemic. It is a communications tool that has been deployed in order to adapt to the dramatic paradigm shift in service and demand within the healthcare industry that has happened in response to the global pandemic.
This has been characterised by a shift from first-come, first-served appointments, based on severity of need, to the cancellation of huge amounts of non-urgent appointments. There has been a strong movement towards digital means of consultation with heavy integration of technology to aid social distancing, and the re-prioritisation of healthcare demands.
The capacity of broadcast messaging to strengthen the ties of communication between patients and their practices and hospitals, increased the capability of hospitals, doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers to rapidly and dynamically respond to the threat of coronavirus in its first wave.
Through the automation of broadcast messaging, appointment reminders, bookings and patient communications that are undertaken over text and over phone, frees up healthcare workers’ time, and drastically reduces the chances of missed appointments. Coupled with this, the infrastructure is high capacity, and scales automatically to meet the demands of the healthcare industry – leading to a very resilient system.
Data flows and the exchange of patient data are made more efficient by secure internal messaging systems, whilst keeping GDPR compliant, with data perimeters kept safe by modern cloud-based API’s.
One of the best ways to limit the inundation of new cases is by finding fresh and innovative ways to keep lines of communication open.
Perhaps one of the greatest threats in moments of crisis is the spread of misinformation, and the output of mixed messages due to a multitude of sources and media. Modern broadcast messaging offers the ability to send clear and unambiguous messages – giving those messages authority.
The ability to communicate to a targeted, mass audience,creates continuity and consistency of messaging. This benefit is two-fold. Firstly, targeting messages to specific groups of people gives the sender a crucial check and balance, especially with sensitive information. Secondly, the modern proliferation of media outlets and platforms necessarily allows for the misinterpretation of a message in order to garner an audience. The authority of the original message is disrupted, which – in turn – has a knock-on effect in creating echo chambers that lead to misinformation spreading.
Broadcast messaging operates through an opt-in or out system, meaning that trust, which is crucial for public broadcasts, is created between the message sender and receiver. This is because it is a medium that affords the message receiver choice in how and when they receive messages. This may also have the added benefit of creating a community of those who choose to receive the message.
Broadcast messaging operates on highly ubiquitous channels. This means that messages are received on devices that are used every day, such as smartphones, so the intended recipient does not need to install any additional software on their devices to receive the message. The ubiquity of phone calls and SMS increases the guaranteed delivery of messages. The API can also be configured to garner data about those to whom you send the messages to, and whether or not they have been read – useful information you can feed back into the system to increase clarity over the process.
Modern broadcast messaging is programmed through API’s and telecoms infrastructure that can integrate the very latest of technological innovation. Aculab Cloud’s API, for example, provides access to cutting edge text-to-speech, speech recognition and voice biometrics, utilising AI and machine learning. It can also provide fast and precise discrimination between calls answered by humans and answering machines – allowing tailoring of the call flow to best match each one. The API, in turn, provides the sender with the ability to integrate very high levels of data security and protection in line with modern compliance and transparency requirements, such as HIPAA and Ofcom.
The infrastructure that underpins broadcast messaging is already waiting to be used, and therefore requires very little set-up. The carriers, devices and hardware that Broadcast messaging operate on are also held up to a zero down-time standard, as the channels required are so deeply embedded in everyday use.
Broadcast messaging could be deployed to help coordinate the next responses to Coronavirus, with clarity and authority. Local lockdowns can be coordinated more easily, new information and updates about Coronavirus, treatment and testing centres can be disseminated. With broadcast messaging misinformation can be prevented. Authoritative groups can convey helpful messages, which are then received on ‘everyday’ devices.
All this ultimately rests on the opting in or out of those who choose to receive the messages, giving a choice to the people, and a sense of everyone being on the same page.