Registration is wrapping up for most spring sports and it's time to start distributing schedules, sending rosters to coaches, letting parents know about rule changes, and inevitably making weather cancellations or rescheduling events.
Keeping everyone on the same page is a big challenge, especially when unexpected changes need to be sent to hundreds of people quickly. Organizing hundreds of email addresses and phone numbers can be overwhelming. Follow these quick tips to make communication a breeze this season.
Tip 1 - Collect the correct contact information
Communication begins with accurate contact information. Make sure you've got contact information for parents, coaches, and board members. This often begins during the registration process (hopefully you're not too late for this year...)
Nowadays, it's critical to collect email addresses and mobile phone numbers from each participant. If your forms haven't been updated in a few years and still require participants to enter Home Phone Numbers, or don't include email address requirements, make changes to your forms ASAP. Also, make sure parents are required to enter their 10-digit phone number. If you're missing their area code, or assume their area code, you could wind up messaging the wrong person.
Jersey Watch allows you to easily manage contact all of your organization's contact information in one place.
Tip 2 - Don't rely too heavily on social media
Social media can be a great place to post general information about your organization, upload photos, and interact with your community. But when it comes to getting out important messages quickly, social media can really drop the ball. Remember, not every parent is on social media, and they may not be checking their Twitter or Facebook feed when you make your post.
If you're relying on Facebook to get the word out about your organization this Spring, be aware that Facebook has made some major changes recently that will probably affect your ability to effectively communicate.
The good news is there are more effective ways to reach large groups of people quickly and easily - which leads us to Tip 3.
Tip 3 - Use mass text messaging for urgent messages
One of the biggest challenges as a youth sports volunteer can be getting the word out to dozens, or hundreds, of people when unexpected weather throws a wrench into your schedules.
It's likely that less than 10% of parents will see an emergency post on social media. Email open rates hover between 15% and 30% depending on the message. But nearly 98% of text messages are read within just a few minutes. Using mass text messaging to quickly and easily reach parents and coaches is a no brainer when games are cancelled and you're in a bind.
Everyone at your organization will be happy if you use text messaging to send weather updates and cancellations. Need a text messaging solution to get up and running quickly? Check out our quick video at the bottom of this post.
Tip 4 - Set expectations early
Make sure parents and coaches know that accurate contact information is critical to helping you communicate effectively during the season. Let them know if they enter their emails or phone numbers incorrectly, they'll be likely to be left off of important messages during the season.
Also, be sure to set expectations with parents before the season starts on how messages will be delivered, and when to expect them. If you can establish consistent habits of sending emails and text messages, you won't have to field unnecessary questions and requests from parents during the season.
Sometimes parents and coaches need to be trained on how you'll be distributing messages. Get started before practice begins with friendly messages like "Welcome to the 2018 season!" and FAQs so you don't have to field any unnecessary questions or complaints when the season starts.
Jersey Watch Communication Overview
At Jersey Watch we're helping hundreds of organizations make communication a breeze. Learn more in the quick video below, or send us a message if you'd like to try it out.
Need help communicating this season? Or want to try Jersey Watch? Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org