South Waikato District Council (SWDC) was always looking for new communication tools – to broaden its suite of methods it used to inform the community, to reach those people who might not be on Facebook. SWDC knew that the future of its communications would be in connecting with mobile phones but needed a new and better way to do this.
Datacom was developing Antenno, a new mobile app that assists councils and other organisations working in the public sector to inform and involve people in the community. People in the community can use Antenno to receive council alerts, notifications, and engagement opportunities in a way that is more relevant and convenient than other channels.
SWDC, as an existing Datacom customer, became an early adopter of Antenno, and was involved in the journey from the start by participating in concept design workshops and trialling the app.
Antenno helps people stay informed and get involved at a level that suits them, about things they care about, so the community in the South Waikato District can be more aware, and more engaged. It sidesteps the need for people to search for council information, read lengthy email notifications, or watch social media feeds, by sending notifications to people only when something comes up that is relevant to them.
The app is free for people to install and use, and is available on both Apple and Android smartphones. The service is licensed by councils on a monthly subscription basis.
SWDC can create alerts, information and notification ‘posts’ via the Antenno web portal. Posts are allocated a topic, and are map-defined to the appropriate zone of relevance. When a post is published, app users are notified if a place they care about falls within the post’s zone, and the topic fits their preferences.
Antenno gives SWDC access to information, such as post circulation ‘reach’, the level of engagement with posts, topic preference trends, and other analytics.
“The Antenno portal is a doddle to use, quick, simple, logical; a pleasure. We can do five recycling posts in under six minutes.”
Kerry Fabrie, Communications Manager, South Waikato District Council
SWDC found Antenno to be simple, easy to use on the back-end – and the Council is noticing an increase in the types of alerts being posted. It’s also reporting more and more opportunities for using Antenno becoming apparent. Community members are also enjoying the instant notifications and alerts, commenting:
“Really awesome idea and love having instant notifications of what is going on around the area.”
"A great service offered by the council."
"Love it. Have recommended to friends."
And it’s got the thumbs up from staff – they are already seeing the value of Antenno over and above other social media platforms.
“We have increased frequency of posting...More and more things that come up, we think ‘yep we could put that out on Antenno.’”
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