How the New York Times Uses Olympic Text Alerts

August 12, 2016 | Back to the Blog

new york times olympic text alerts

Sweat, tears, excitement, intrigue—

The Olympic Games cause a stir among people all over the world!

The Thrills

From Michael Phelps blowing past Olympians out of the water with his 26th medal (22 of which are gold medals) to the tense expectations surrounding Simone Biles as she successfully attempted to become the all-around champion for women’s gymnastics—the Olympics certainly have no lack of drama.

The appeal of the athletes and the intensity of the games themselves would be enough to draw people in and engage them in the events. But one news outlet is taking it a step further.

Olympic Text Alerts

The New York Times is sending text messages to interested readers regarding Olympic activities, in an attempt to create a personal, engaging experience for readers.

CNNMoney reports, “Unlike email alerts or push notifications, these texts will give readers an informal, behind-the-scenes look at the Games, almost as if they had a friend texting them directly.”

Personalization

CNNMoney then quotes the Times‘ director of personalization:

“People have asked, ‘Couldn’t you just do this on Twitter’. … We could, except this is a much more personal relationship. We can show up in the same place as your friend, your mom and your work colleague.”

The goal is to make the Games personal to the user, to draw them in and give them an interesting and memorable experience. It is a new strategy the Times is trying and they foresee the potential to use similar strategies when covering other major events.

Olympic Success!

Will it prove to be successful? I think so! People respond to the method of communication that is most familiar to them.  And for most people that method is SMS texting or similar messaging apps.

I predict these Olympic text alerts will be a smash hit!

It comes as no surprise that the Times would roll out text messaging as a way to interact with readers. 76% of mobile phone users report having sent or received SMS text messages from businesses.

Newspapers are apparently the next industry to jump on the bandwagon!

You can send out mass text messages as well!  Sign up for a free test account today.

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