Arist launches platform for text message-based PSA campaigns   

by | May 5, 2021

Arist, developers of an innovative enterprise-level text messaging platform for education, training and outreach, announced that its technology has been optimized to help marketing, media and communications professionals deliver effective public service announcements (PSAs) via text message. Backed by behavior science from Stanford, the updated functionality enables advertising agencies, PR professionals, nonprofits, government organizations and media companies to send fully customizable PSAs that are dynamic, and that audiences can engage with on their mobile devices.

“Traditional PSAs are static and don’t allow audiences to engage with content at the point of delivery,” stated Arist Co-founder and CEO Michael Ioffe. “Gaining the attention of today’s over-saturated media consumer is difficult, so when organizations get their attention they need to make the most of it. Our new PSA functionality enables organizations to meet audiences where they are, on their mobile devices, enabling them to engage with public service content in a more meaningful way.”

Although the Arist platform was built with corporate learning in mind, innovative entities like the State of California are using the Arist platform for public service campaigns, with remarkable results. California recently partnered with Arist for its Listos Emergency Preparedness Campaign, which marked the first time a state used text messaging to train and educate the general public. The campaign was able to reach remote and disconnected audiences, and over 93% of recipients felt like the campaign changed their behavior and made a difference. Listos California is advancing a new culture of preparedness within the state with a campaign that encourages people to complete five easy and free steps via text message to prepare for wildfires, earthquakes and floods.

“When we had to pivot our outreach to reach vulnerable Californians with information about preparing for natural disasters due to the pandemic, we needed something that could help us engage with audiences at a deeper and more immediate level,” said Karen Baker, co-chair of the Listos California campaign. “That’s when we found Arist, and the results of our work couldn’t have been better. Our text message efforts helped us exceed our goal to establish a baseline of preparedness in more than one million highly vulnerable Californians and will become part of a lasting movement toward individual, family and community resilience.”

Californians interested in emergency preparedness training provided by Listos can sign-up by texting “LISTOSCA” to 72345. They will receive one text message per day, sent at the time they choose, over the course of a week. Each text includes a disaster readiness tip and prompts individuals to take a specific action. By the end of 7 days, participants will have learned how to complete five easy, free, or low-cost steps to protect themselves and their families.

The campaign launched statewide, with a focus on hard-to-reach communities. The text message campaign is available in a variety of languages, including English, Spanish, Filipino, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean and Hmong. The tool also connects Californians to the COVID19.CA.GOV website for all available information on the virus and other resources.

First Draft, a nonprofit consortium dedicated to combating misinformation, also relies on Arist for public service message delivery. First Draft, founded in 2015, empowers people around the world to understand the growing challenges associated with misinformation, catering to teachers, health communicators and communities of all kinds. Through Arist, First Draft created Protection from Deception, a two-week text message campaign designed to teach communities how to protect themselves from misinformation. The course began by covering the basics of how false information is presented, before teaching tangible fact-checking skills, such as how to reverse image search or verify a digital account’s identity.

Communicators love the Arist platform because it doesn’t require any coding experience to use, and it integrates easily with other marketing automation systems. Arist is also time-efficient and cost-effective. Campaigns can be created within a few hours, with zero production cost. Traditional methodologies where audiences are pushed campaign messaging via the Internet, television, radio, outdoor or direct mail, can take hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars to produce.

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