Engaging King County Residents with Text Messaging

King County strives to find convenient ways for residents to learn about the services they can use – that includes mobile devices. If you’re hiking one of King County Parks’ backcountry trails, and you want a trail map on your phone, King County Parks has it for you.

KCIT 2017-2018 Service CatalogYou can find physical maps at trailhead kiosks, but you can also text to download a map to your phone. At Cougar Mountain, one of King County’s most popular hiking sites, users can text KING COUGAR to 468311 to receive a map of the park’s lush forest and 36 miles of trails.

King County Parks’ goal was to replace clunky QR codes on signage to make it easier for residents to connect with information online about the agency’s 28,000 acres of open space and close-to-home recreational experiences. The switch to texting also allows the agency to move away from those long URL’s. Providing digital maps saves printing costs, and also lets people know that King County Parks has online resources.

Promoting texting with signage

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To cross the divide between the digital and physical world of King County Parks’ 215 miles of backcountry trails, King County Parks posted signage at trailheads to promote text messaging programs. Use of the system increased four-fold when they rolled out signage around the trails alerting hikers to the opportunity.

Customer service and alerts

Cougar_SMS_StatKing County Department of Natural Resources and Parks has expanded the texting program to notify residents about construction during improvement projects. For King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD), it’s important that residents know that “We’ll be with you every step of the way!,” when providing customer service about projects. This includes on mobile devices.

For King County sewer upgrades, residents can stay informed about construction, detours and updates through two way texting. With texting WTD can personalize information to a specific audience; in this case it’s targeted for a specific community where the agency is replacing sewer lines.

King County can educate, provide customer service support and send alerts all from one text.

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