Jury management is a difficult task even in the best of situations, between keeping your own records accurate, and ensuring jurors always receive the communications they need. With jurors leading their own busy lives, and possibly not all that enthusiastic about doing their duty, you need to utilize the best techniques for staying in touch with them.
However, it turns out that one of the best tools for jury management is also one of the most ubiquitous: texting! Because everyone has a cell phone – but doesn’t necessarily answer their calls – texting becomes the most efficient and effective option for communications.
If you aren’t making use of texting in your own jury management, there are plenty of reasons to utilize it.
Why Texting Is The Best Option For Jury Management And Communication
1 – Everyone has a cell phone
Cellular phones, and smartphones in particular, have become the latest truly must-have technology that everyone is simply expected to have. According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2021, 97% of Americans have a cellular phone of some sort. That makes it one of the most ubiquitous and commonplace technologies in the country.
So if someone is in your jury pool, it’s almost certain they have a cell phone – and therefore texting capabilities. On top of that, even though many people will ignore calls from numbers they don’t recognize, texts are almost always seen, typically in under 15 minutes if it’s sent during the day.
2 – All demographics use texting
Even though the stereotype of “texting” is of teens and 20somethings staring at their phone all day, texting is basically universal. Texting usage has been found to be the most widely-used form of written communication ever adopted, and it’s used across all demographics.
So if your impression is that only “kids” use texting, that’s simply not true. Younger people may rely on it more than older people, but pretty much everyone reads and responds to texts.
3 – Texts are immediate
In decades past, the most common way of communicating with jurors was through standard mail – but mail is slow. It typically takes at least a day or two to be delivered, even same-city delivery, and there’s always the chance of important documents being misdirected or lost in the mail. On top of that, people tend to aggressively sort their paper mail, discarding anything that doesn’t seem relevant to them or might be some sort of scam. It’s easy for people to overlook official documentation if they have too much junk mail.
Texting gets past all these issues. Texting is immediate, delivered within a couple seconds of being sent, and will almost always be seen by the user in a short period. Even if they aren’t checking their phone at the moment, the notification will be waiting for them when they do.
4 – Texts are more readily accepted than calls or emails
In the late 20th century, phone calls were a popular form of mass contact – but that’s changing. An increasing number of people simply don’t like extended phone calls, particularly people under 30. They won’t answer their phone unless they recognize the number, and even then, they typically prefer to be texted if it’s something simple.
Email has similar problems. Because of the deluge of “spam” messages people receive, they also tend to aggressively screen their emails. Nearly everyone now has some form of automated service screening out emails, and it’s always possible for jury notifications to run afoul of their spam filter.
In particular, if you’re sending an email with an attachment, it’s a very good idea to notify people via text ahead of time. Otherwise, emails with attachments are viewed with even more skepticism, due to the risk of computer viruses.
5 – Texting is cheap
Finally, and perhaps best of all for many offices: texting is among the cheapest forms of communication too! They’re faster to write than standard letters and emails and don’t require anything approaching the time investment required for large-scale phone calling. Plus, texting itself is typically free, or at most only a couple cents per message.
So, with texting being simultaneously the most-used and least-expensive form of communication, it only makes sense to integrate texting into your jury management strategies. There’s genuinely no downside. You have the best chance of getting the results and replies you need, with a low chance of the message being misdirected, and it’s highly efficient at all levels.
That’s why more governments, lawyers, and other officials are adopting texting as their main tool of jury management and communication.
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