• Using Lightcatch
  • iPhone tips
  • Introduction
  • Security Systems

Alerts that are effective

Creating a great alert will get four to five times better results.

If people need to stop and think about what they are looking at, they simply leave it for someone else and move on.


Here are the six most important things to create a great alert.

1) Give them a clear photo of what to look for.

If you can’t find a photo, get one as close as possible from the internet. If the image is a screen shot and there is mostly a black top and bottom edit that image to get rid of that black space. If for example, the image you find has a chrome bumper and your bumper is black remember to edit that image to show yours is black. Sending out unclear images that are hard to see on a mobile phone is like saying “This isn’t important enough for me to care, but I expect you to care.”


2) Do it snappy.

Alerts that are under 1 hour from the crime get almost double the results from people who take longer.  Alerts in under 5 minutes are the best.  

If you are over one hour late, that is normal, and results can still come but every hour delay is one more hour it gets easier and easier for bad guys to get away.


3) Write the headline with a summary of what the public should do

Should they look for something, be warned about something or help with something? Don't put Stolen, Theft, or the Location in the headline.  The app will do that for you.


4) Take the time to describe clearly the identifying features that people who have no idea what it is you are looking for can help.

For a vehicle, things like how many doors does it have, what colour is it, what are the accessories on the exterior, are much more helpful than the engine type or the stereo package.
With this information people seeing the item can quickly match what they see with the image provided.  They will then confirm they are correct using the details described.

All this leads to a double confirmation, and it makes it more trustworthy for the police to act upon.

Here is a list of things to think about.

Describe the color and exterior.

If a vehicle include items like Ext cab, crew cab, 4x4, # of doors, are all important.

Include any unique items Dents, decals, rust, modifications.

Describe the accessories on the exterior, Running boards, mirror or glass tint or chrome level, mudflaps.


5) Put the information of what happened, or where, at the end of your write up.

They need the details of what to look for so put that information first. You don’t want the story to hinder the people who looking and helping.


6) If you really want something to happen upload clear short video.

Video does so much more than pictures, it's worth everyone's time to do it right. Many people try to take video with a smartphone of a monitor and then upload that for people to see because it is quicker to do.

Our experience is doing it this way sends a message 'I don't really care what you have to do to view this video, and how hard you have to strain to figure out what is going on.'  People won't watch it, unless it is incredibly entertaining or shocking.

We see way better results when the original video is used.

To use the marriage analogy if you want to impress someone don’t do everything as low quality as possible. Most people will not be impressed.


If any of these things aren’t as good as they can be the first time go back and edit them afterwards. If you want to add video or more images afterwards those need to be added by creating an update.

Once the update is made with the images they will automatically be added to the main gallery. Here is more information regarding updates.