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Mr. Postman Take 2

I can't  believe that two weeks have gone by without a new CryWolf® tip.  I do my best to post a new tip each week, but if work is crazy, as it has been lately,  I sometimes don't get the chance.  If you are unfamiliar with the world of blogs, it is possible to subscribe to my blog so that you are notified when something new is posted.  Using the tab on the right hand side will allow you to choose which option suits you best.  My personal preference is to use Google Reader.  This way, all the new posts from the blogs I follow are collected in one place for me to read when I have a chance. This also saves the frustration from checking a blog when nothing new is posted. Here is a simple video from Google explaining Google Reader.

The other option is to use the RSS (sometimes referred to as Really Simple  Syndication, but is technically an RDF Site Summary) feed which will send new posts to your email inbox. However you choose to find this blog, I appreciate you "stopping by".   It is fun to see new states pop up on the map as new readers join us.  Please feel free to share my blog with other alarm units.  Of course, I would also love to hear from you too. I don't think there is a blogger out there who doesn't like to get comments whether they are good or bad--at least they let us know that someone is out there.

While at the symposium, the CryWolf® users group learned of the option to choose all correspondence for an alarm site to be sent by email. This option was discussed here. This week, we are going to discuss how my unit implemented this feature. Because I am not comfortable making this choice for alarm sites, we decided to give alarm users the choice.   To do so, my unit updated our registration forms to allow citizens to opt-in to receiving all or most communications by e-mail.  This was easily accomplished by adding a simple check box to the form. We also explained the option in the letter that goes out with the registration or renewal forms.  When we speak to alarm users, we also mention this option and will update their account if they would like to use it. These were quick and easy changes and I am sure that we will find other ways to use this option.

Another thing that we are doing is letting the citizen's method of contacting us dictate how we respond.  For example, if a citizen registers their alarm site online, we send the permit information to them via email.  If a citizen updates their account online, the resulting letter is sent by email.  We have structured our available letters to allow us to do so.  By allowing the citizen's contact with us to dictate how we respond, we can target those who are at least somewhat knowledgeable of technology and reduce our postage costs.

I hope these tips are helpful.  I am sure that you have some great ideas also so please post them in the comments and let others learn as well.


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