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Smartphones for Smart Parishes

phone on bible

Communicating with parishioners can be difficult outside of the weekly Mass. No matter the circumstances, there is a simple solution within Realm® that can help you communicate more efficiently. Many dioceses and parishes are evaluating the move from PDS™ to Realm because it offers features that serve all areas of the church, including diocesan curia staff, priests, parish staff, group leaders, and parishioners.

Communications Inbox

This feature allows direct communication to your entire parish, groups, or subsets of a group.  It is integrated with your member profiles. This makes it easy for a leader to communicate without having to know the email or phone numbers of the members. Furthermore, it allows the sender to reply to all, reply to just the sender, or to disable replies completely. (That’s a feature I’d like for all my messages.) The Communications Inbox also allows the group leader to access the history of all previously sent communications. Parishioners can always choose their communication preferences for each group that they’re involved with.

Realm Connect App & Texting

Parishioners with the app installed can automatically get a notification when a new message from the church arrives.  If your parishioners don’t have a login to Realm or haven’t yet installed the Realm Connect mobile app, your administrator can enroll in a text messaging plan, which enables you to reach parishioners through a simple SMS text message (no app required).  Texting then becomes an additional way to deliver your messages. For text messages that exceed 150 characters, Realm will automatically create a link to the message along with the subject. No need to worry about abuse of texting since the Realm administrator can limit which groups have access to the texting feature, which can ensure only those who need it have access. 

If your parish is already using Realm, it’s simple and affordable to enable text messaging. If you’re considering Realm, this may be a benefit you didn’t know was of value to your parish. But if your parish is skewed towards an older demographic, you may not realize that 90% of adults age 50+ in the US have smartphones*, which means they have access to the free Realm Connect app, and you can reach the remaining 10% without smartphones via SMS texts.  You can now easily reach anyone with a phone.

So next time there is an error in the bulletin, the Knights of Columbus need pallbearers for a parishioner’s funeral, or Father wants volunteers for a landscape project before next weekend, you’ll have a quick, efficient way to get a message out to a group without having to message the entire parish.

* Millennials stand out for their technology use, but older generations also embrace digital life


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