Vertical Business Case Studies
Voice of America is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the US government. It went on the air in 1942 during the war as an independent and reliable source of news for people in war torn societies. During the 2005 fiscal year, US Congress appropriated $158 million to VOA. Currently, VOA produces over 1,000 hours per week of educational and cultural programming for over 100 million people in 44 languages worldwide.
VOA wanted to increase interaction with their listeners who reside in various locations all over the world. They needed an application that would allow their international listeners to communicate with them inexpensively and effectively.
Upside was able to provide the ideal solution for VOA's customer relationship needs. SMS was integrated with their programming as a dedicated virtual number published to their listener base. This allows their listeners to text short messages to them through this virtual number during their radio shows. These messages include questions, comments and opinions that are shared on-air. For their live call-in discussion programs, this SMS solution has become an essential service as it has significantly improved the immediacy of interaction with their active listeners. As VOA's listener base is global, Upside's SMS technology allows international users to message VOA's radio shows at a low rate with extremely reliable connectivity.
Current SituationVOA has expressed overall satisfaction with our current service, enthusiasm for future SMS applications and would definitely recommend the use of SMS as a tool for other businesses.
Text messaging can be quick and cheap, allowing listeners more direct contact with us while we're on the air - essential for a live call-in discussion program.
-Douglas Johnson, VOA program host
Upside's SMS solution is currently the first text messaging solution deployed in the organization. Other divisions within VOA are considering implementing this solution for their programs as well, after the success of the first trial. Employees at VOA are excited and motivated about SMS and would like to see SMS deployed more aggressively throughout the organization. This includes using SMS for other applications, such as pushing out periodic news headlines.