The 6 Stages of Setting Up Community Text Alert (Part 1)


Pin Point Community Text Alert
is far more than simply a service that issues text messages. It is imperative that a Text Alert group is set up correctly and we have experience across Ireland providing groups with set up assistance. We know the potential pitfalls that groups face and we know how to overcome these and offer sound advice throughout the set up process.

Based on our experience since becoming a recommended Text Alert service provider by Muintir Na Tire we have been able to categorise a typical Community Text Alert set up experience into 6 steps across 3 broad categories:

  • PREPARATION
    1. Getting Started
    2. Gathering Subscribers
    3. Import Contacts
  • EDUCATION & TRAINING
    • How to send alerts
    • Garda Interaction
  • GO LIVE!
    • Your Text Alert system is live and ready to use

Preparation for your new Community Text Alert service

Getting Started is often the hardest part in the set up process. Sure, there is lots of community interest and people want a Text Alert system but a committee is definitely required and you really need to have enthusiastic volunteers to make sure things run smoothly from the outset. Text Alert eventually requires someone to be somewhat competent with using mobile phones to possibly issue alert and also to update subscriber lists over time. You definitely do not require a degree in IT to use the Text Alert management website provided by Pin Point Community Text Alert, but it helps if you are good at browsing websites. If you can use Facebook then you can use our system!

The major tasks at the "Getting Started" stage are:

  • (a) identifying how you want your Text Alert to operate (ie, through a professional service provider)
  • (b) creating a project road map to ensure things run smoothly and nothing is a surprise
  • (c) affiliated with Muintir Na Tire and getting advice from your local Muintir development officer on the "hidden" obligations of Text Alert such as getting the correct insurance.

For (a), we will take the positive assumption that you have selected Pin Point Community Text Alert to act as your Text Alert service provider. We excel at the "Getting Started" stage and we regard this as crucial to your Text Alert success. You may not have considered tasks such as providing a professional looking registration form to hand out or designing an Excel spreadsheet to import subscribers to our system. We provide all that as part of the early stages to ensure you are not bogged down wondering how to proceed from this point. In the case of our Registration Forms, they are designed by a professional graphic designer and are customised to the needs of your group. Get in touch with us and we can provide samples to you.

We also let you know very early on that Pin Point will provide all the interaction and link-up assistance required for An Garda Siochana to issue alerts directly on your behalf. This is often a mountain you do not know where to start climbing, but we have set up over 120 groups with Garda Stations across Ireland so it makes sense to do all this on your behalf as part of the set up process. As per Garda Text Alert guidelines, we provide you with the details required to complete your official Text Alert (TA1) registration form. There are really only 4 or 5 lines to complete but it is good to get this submitted to your local District Garda Station early so the Garda set up can be taking place concurrent to your set up process.

After you complete Stage 1/6 with Pin Point Community Text Alert you will have the following tasks completed:

  1. Have a complete understanding about what is required to launch a text alert service
  2. Have a full knowledge of the many potential pitfalls and take advice on how to avoid them
  3. Receive a Text Alert registration form template so you can print and deliver to your subscribers
  4. Complete a Garda TA1 Text Alert registration form and return it to your 24-Hour Garda Station
  5. Have a dedicated committee in place to proceed to Step 2 and start gathering subscriber information
  6. Full assurance that your Text Alert project is following a logical course and you know that Pin Point Alerts are working out as a smart choice of service provider

In our next post on "Setting Up Community Text Alert" we will highlight the best and most efficient ways to gather subscriber information across your community. We know the methods that work and those that fail.With Pin Point Community Text Alert you can be guaranteed that our advance Project Management skills will make sure that everything runs smoothly from Stage 1 to Stage 6 in the set up process.

Pin Point Community Alert named as a preferred text alert service provider by Muintir na Tire

We are delighted to announce that we have been named by Muintir Na Tire as one of their selected service providers to rollout the Community Text Alert iniative from Sept. 2013 to Sept. 2016. The announcement was officially made on Sept. 19th 2013 by Mr. James O'Neill, Director of Services for Muintir na Tire.

The road to this announcement started when Pin Point Alerts were invited by Muintir an Tire and Neighbourhood Watch to present their Text Alert service at Garda Siochana Headquarters on May 9th 2013. Our presentation was attended by Senior Gardai including Asst. Commissioner Jack Nolan, along with representatives from the IFA and Neighbourhood Watch. Mr. Liam Kelly, National Coordinator for Community Alert, represented Muintir na Tire. From May to September 2013 Pin Point Alerts attracted interested from a number of community alert groups and the service was successfully launched on May 23rd 2013. By September 2013 we received a letter from Muintir Na Tire acknowledging that Pin Point Community Text Alert was nominated as one of just two preferred text alert service providers to operate this programme.

"A selection process has taken place over the past 6 months to nominate a preferred service provider/providers. Pin Point Alert has been selected with one other, as the two service providers of choice to roll out this programme over the next 3 year period", according to Mr O'Neill. "Muintir na Tíre look forward to working closely with Brendan Cunningham and everyone at Pin Point Alerts in the coming months and years ahead," he continued.

The Pin Point Community Text Alert service has already been successfully implemented by a number of community groups across Ireland in the previous number of months. Our service is easy to understand and operate from the viewpoint of community alert group managers. Where we differ from our competitors is that our service is 100% automated and it is available 24:7. We offer Community Alert Groups and Gardai with direct access into our system so there is no need for a member of the community alert group to ever hold a community phone and this link is available 24:7, 365 days a year. Based on research by Muintir Na Tire the community-held phone is not best practice for Text Alert due to the responsibility it gives to the holder within a community. Muintir Na Tire's finding's identified three core issues with the community-held phone approach:

  • Poor network coverage
  • The sense that while holding the phone for a given period that they as volunteers were on call 24/7
  • That they may become a target from local individuals who view them as a 'snitch' should that
  • individual be involved in criminal activity.

There are hundreds of Text Alert providers providing services in Ireland. These include a range of local companies as well as international services that are available here. Therefore it is a privilege to be announced by Muintir Na Tire as one of just two nominated service providers to provide their Text Alert initiative between Sept. 2013 and Sept. 2016. Our service is extremely reliable, it is based on technology developed in-house by Pin Point Alerts and is therefore easy to extend and improve depending on the individual needs of community alert groups. Get in touch if your group are keen to set up a Community Text Alert that has the full support and approval of Muintir Na Tire.

The original letter Pin Point received from Muintir Na Tire about this announcement is located below and is also available for print by clicking here. The print version is useful for group managers who wish to return to their committee with a recommendation letter about the Pin Point Text Alert service as part of their discussions about selecting a service provider.

Pin Point Community Text Alert letter of recommendation by Muintir Na Tire

About Muintir Na Tire
"Muintir na Tíre, the national organisation promoting community development in Ireland, was established in 1937 by John M Canon Hayes, the first unit of which was launched in Tipperary town in November of that year. This was the beginning of Canon Hayes'™ rural community idea which was to develop and expand into a comprehensive movement designed to raise the standard of living of people in all aspects of Irish rural life. The emphasis was on local improvement '“ social, economic, cultural and recreational '“ based on the participation of people themselves in the promotion of the welfare of their community. Through its core principles of neighbourliness, self-help and self-reliance, Muintir na Tíre has promoted and supported the concept of active community participation and championed the idea of community development in both Ireland and Europe. From the early 60's the organisation adopted the United Nations definition of the Community Development process, which states that it is 'a process designed to create conditions of economic and social progress for the whole community with the fullest possible reliance upon the communities own initiative'. This definition reflects Muintir na Tíre'™s approach to this process which is based around 'the whole community' as a unit of organisation through which social, economic, cultural and environmental development can take place."
Source: : http://muintir.ie/about-us/

About Pin Point Community Text Alert

Pin Point Community Text Alert was established by Pin Point Alerts Ltd during 2013 to coincide with the launch of a national strategy for Community Text Alert. This national strategy was launched in partnership with Neighbourhood Watch, Muintir na Tire and An Garda Siochana. This strategy was formalised by An Garda Siochana when they published a set of Garda Text Alert Guidelines that were launched at the National Ploughing Championships on Sept 24th 2013. 

Contact Pin Point Alerts now and we will supply you with various material about how the Pin Point Community Text Alert service operates.

Pin Point Text Alert on TV3 Midweek

Shortly after launching our service we appeared on TV3's Midweek programme to discuss the launch of some Text Alert groups at Killenaule, Co. Tipperary. There were 5 individual groups launched on the night and each of them were subscribed to the Pin Point Community Text Alert service. Watch the video below and this will give you a full understanding of Text Alert as well as offer you an introduction to the Pin Point Text Alert service.