FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Things you may wish to know
Will this mean that we'll receive more notifications and disruptions?
The PAL platform offers your community the ability to customise which topical conversations or channels you’d like to be enrolled into, as well as the option to mute or unmute each of the joined channels, based on which of them you’d like to receive notifications for.
This allows your community to choose their own experience within the platform, as well as how much or how little they’d like to engage, mitigating the risk of frustration and reducing the high volume of chatter that is typical of other engagement platforms.
Is there a way to segment the topics of conversation, so that we can eliminate chatter and keep people on topic?
PAL creates an intimate space for all community-based engagement to occur, whether it be on topics relevant to the community like security or community notices, or new, quick-to-deploy topical conversations that emerge as a result of the community having a space to connect on topics that interest them.
There is also no risk of communication from different private and professional contexts becoming intermingled as all community-based engagement is contained within the community’s PAL platform.
Safety is a primary concern. Will security-related issues within my community be exposed to those outside of our community?
PAL offers a safe and secure platform where the community can feel at ease connecting with neighbours, peers and security providers on security-related matters. Data and insights pertaining to the community’s engagement and security are never compromised and are only accessible to the community itself.
PAL’s Membership Application functionality also gives communities the ability to verify each registered platform user, to ensure that those engaging on the app are card-carrying members of the community.
What can I do if a conversation starts to spiral out of control?
The PAL platform offers community administrators the ability to suspend a user from the app for a 24-hour ‘cooling-off’ period or revoke their ability to interact in the community’s conversations and channels by rejecting their platform membership privileges.
Community administrators also have the ability to block a user from the app permanently, which will prevent that particular user from being able to use any of the platform’s features.
Can I create chat groups where only selected members can post?
Community owners are able to create a read-only channel where only those who have been made ‘trusted’ users in the community can share content.
Can I link our website or news stream to the app?
We can integrate a feed from your website or news stream right into your app, meaning that all your important, community-related information is accessible in one place.
Can the community share emojis, images, videos and gifs?
A range of media types are supported within the app, including audio, video, images and GIFs giving your members the option to share various different pieces of content.
Word documents and PDFs are also supported within the app, empowering the sharing of important documents like meeting minutes, by-laws, community rules and regulations.
How can I make sure that everyone has read my message?
Community owners have the ability to set a chat group to be ‘Join by Default’ so that all members are automatically enrolled as soon as they register, and ‘Required’ meaning that the group cannot be left.
Could I have different admins in each chat group?
The platform offers community and group-level posting privileges as well as the ability for community owners to create a read-only channel where only trusted members can share content.
Can I include important numbers into the app, such as emergency or household services?
When setting up your app, we can include a Dialboard from which a range of important community contact numbers can be accessed at the click of a button.
Use the Dialboard for your emergency control room, the police and fire department, an ambulance service, and even recommended gardening or cleaning services.
As even more added value to your community, you can also offer them a ‘Cloud Concierge’ service.
Route a button on your Dialboard to a 'personal assistant' type of service whereby a member can tap a button and receive a call-back, by either a service provider or a designated representative of the community who can route their request to a multitude of recommended service providers.
Can I create a private or direct conversation with each community member?
In the interest of privacy and transparency, the PAL platform does not support direct messaging between members of your community. Instead, PAL supports private conversation functionality whereby different members of the community can be added to topical or operational groups that are not visible to other members of the community. These private conversations can have as many or as few members as needed.
Can we create conversations in the app that are private with only a selected sub-group of people?
The platform offers private chat functionality whereby members of your organisation can be added to a topical or operational group that is not visible to other members of the community.
This private group can have as many or as few members as needed.
Can I ask each member to include specific information when registering, such as a membership number or residential address?
Yes, the community has full control over the information a member is prompted to fill in when they’re registering their profile on the app. This information can also be adjusted at any time, should the community’s requirements change.
Will I be able to see how many people are in a group and who they are?
As a community owner, you will have access to the details of the members within each group, as well as all registered app members.
To ensure that the privacy of each community member is respected, the names of members of a group are only visible to the community admins and not to the other members of the group.
What is the member limit in the app and in each chat group?
There is absolutely no limit to the number of members you can have in your app, or in each of the chat groups you would like to create.
How can this app help contribute revenue to our community?
Built-in advertising and sponsorship features within the app.
Attract different kinds of brands into your community, from small business owners to national organisations.
Provide additional value to existing community supporters.
My community may not want to adopt and use another app.
Whilst it’s true that most people today are inundated by messaging, advertising and spam, once there is commitment and buy-in from community administrators to the platform (i.e. transitioning existing workflows, and facilitating ongoing conversations), the community tends to follow suit.
Furthermore, PAL supports your community’s commitment to adopting the platform by offering community onboarding and user support to ensure that your transition or adoption is as smooth and easy as possible, as well as ongoing support and training for your administrators on PAL’s engagement dashboards and community management tools.
Why won't WhatsApp work for us?
WhatsApp is effective in connecting people individually and personally. The group chat feature can also work well amongst a known group of people, such as family members or friends.
Whilst many other types of groups start off on WhatsApp (such as colleagues or residential communities) because of its ubiquity and 'free' price-point, as the group's type of communication becomes more formal, one might want to consider a platform that's more conducive to the type of engagement expected.
Moving out of WhatsApp and into the community's own domain allows for the 'rules of engagement' to be more clearly defined, and are more likely to be respected by members.
The community invites members into its own branded digital environment within which only its information and documents can be accessed.
Unlike 'free' to use social networks such as WhatsApp or Facebook Groups, the discussions and people-identifying information within groups are secure and private, and are not shared with other apps or services on members' devices.
One may also want to invite more than 250 members into your conversations which, at the moment, is the maximum number of people allowed in a WhatsApp group.
As a group matures into a multi-faceted community with multiple initiatives and areas of interest, different interest-based chat groups can help members find new points of connection.
Community engagement can be harnessed and choreographed to different outcomes like community upliftment initiatives and revenue generation opportunities.
As one of our customers shares:
"[The app] closes in a community and exposes community-based interest groups under the same banner for people to explore other than a specific theme. This is the base whereby community interaction can grow."
Why shouldn't we use Facebook Groups?
When you’re using Facebook for any of your community messaging and engagement, all data around that engagement is shared with Facebook, compromising the privacy of your community. Important information the community would prefer to keep within a certain context can also become lost due to the high-noise nature of the Facebook platform.
What happens if we would like to shut down the platform after a period of time? Will we get access to all the conversations that have passed through the app?
If, for some reason, you’d like to shut down the platform after any period of time, all the data related to your membership as your community’s engagement will be owned and accessed by your community only.
Is there support available for community members should they need assistance with the app?
Yes! Our support team is on hand to assist your community whenever they’re experiencing technical difficulties on the app, with a maximum lead time of one business day.
Our community is low on funds. Is there a freemium or sponsorship model that can help us get started?
Your fee is subsidised by the Sponsor which includes promotion of the Sponsors' services to the Community app users.