By Joel Ceausu
The Town of Mount Royal has launched a new method to communicate with residents, and a new era in civic notifications.
The city’s govillemo web app lets townies receive general interest messages by text messaging (SMS), such as boil-water alerts, as well as more narrowly focused messages based on their personal preferences.
The bilingual service is entirely free, except for any messaging fees that may be charged by the user’s mobile network operator. Similar to the Citizen Alerts launched in Côte des Neiges–Notre Dame de Grâce last year, the web-based app’s main advantages are that users receive public notices instantly and that the app automatically adapts to the different screen formats found on tablets, Smartphones and other devices. Users can also choose to receive important messages via e-mail.
No advertisements or solicitations will be sent through govillemo, only activities organized by or in partnership with the Town will be announced using the service. The tool is intended to be complementary to the Town’s existing communication channels, in particular its website, Facebook page and, of course, local weeklies serving the community like The Suburban.
“Govillemo won’t be used for everything from soup to nuts,” said Mayor Philippe Roy. “Residents will still want to visit the Town’s official website to obtain the full information, whatever the topic or occasion. But the time had come to modernize our approach and take advantage of the great mobility that telephones and tablets provide these days. When residents sign up for govillemo, they will receive alerts and important or urgent notices but not a constant stream of news items.”
To sign up, visit www.govillemo.ca