Client Stories

A SMS-platform to provide a 2-way local news and information service — an analysis of user numbers, growth of engagement and interaction.

Time Frame:

Spring 2019


  • Frequency Analysis
  • Online Questionnaire
  • System Data Analysis
Madeleine Bair, RJI School of Journalism

Investigate how El Timpano/Pasa La Voz could leverage the texting platform Groundsource to distribute news and engage members of the Latinx community in Oakland, CA.


The study consisted of two phases. First, IE Lab collected data from the mass texting platform Groundsource used by the client. Each week, the IE Lab gathered quantitative data from Groundsource—such as topic of the text sent, number of text replies, time of text sent—and recorded it in spreadsheet templates. Second, IE Lab applied a Qualtrics online questionnaire to collect data from participants about their experience and expectations. It was created in English and then translated into Spanish for distribution.

  1. Participants said that the ideal frequency of texts is approximately one per week.
  2. “Yes/No” questions and sent texts that provided participants with canned responses result in higher rates of response.
  3. Future texts sent should focus on issues that are more personal to the intended audience.
  4. Some participants would be willing to spend $1 to $3 for continued access to the client’s texting service.
  5. Reasons why users did not reply: Data reveals that users “forgot” or had no time. Also, they prefer reading over active responding.

Participant holding a Pasa La Voz postcard.

Participant holding a Pasa La Voz postcard.