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What’s the purpose of your mass notification?

Cyber fingerRegardless of your choice of a notification solution, all notifications fall into three broad categories—Informational notifications, notifications requiring confirmation and notifications required to gather information by response. It’s important to understand the different types as each category calls for a different approach in setting up the notification.

Informational Notifications

These are notifications that are sent in order to share information. Sometimes the information may be important, other times it’s more a matter of formality. Often the responsibility lands on the sender who is charged with disseminating the information rather than the recipient. With informational notifications, the sender does not need an audit trail to confirm every recipient received (and/or read) the message. Therefore, there’s typically no response or validation required. Often with these messages there is not a critical time-frame in which the recipients need to receive the message, and less critical device paths, like email, one-way phone or one-way text message may safely be used for delivery.

Notifications requiring confirmation

Other messages, while not extremely time-sensitive or critical, need to be structured to allow the sender an audit trail that verifies each recipient received the message. These notifications require response options that allow the sender to request a response or affirmation from the recipient. The message may or not be urgent, and device paths can be determined based on the type of information, how critical the message is and the intended time of receipt. These are categorized as two-way messages with a response required.

Notifications for gathering information

In other cases, the sender would like to capture information, or get answers, from the recipient. The questions might be related to their ability to report to work, or to provide information regarding employee safety, etc. The response may identify the location of recipients, indicate that they are safe or in need assistance, whether they are able to help others, if they can join a conference call, that they’ve turned in important paperwork or just about any other information. These notifications may or may not be urgent, but they require a response, and one that might be more than a simple yes or no. These messages may need to capture alternate phone contacts numbers, time estimates to report to work, recorded voice responses and free-form text entries.

Interested in finding the best mass notification system? Download the Automated Notification System RFP Template.