News Story Posts

How are Posts Used in my Site?

News stories or announcements in your site are created using the “Post” App. News stories appear in three places in your website:

  • Spotlight zone of your home page (top section of your homepage with rotating banner images)
  • More News zone of your home page (second section of your homepage with additional stories)
  • News Centre page (location for all of your current and past news items)

What Should I Know Before I Post?

Edit Your Post, Not Your Home Page!

Never, ever use the gear icon to edit your home page or News Centre (or your calendar page). Manage news on your home page as outlined in this section of the guide, and the page will take care of itself.

 

Don't Forget to Share To  

Like events (calendar), posts only show up on your site if you use the "Share To” function. Posts that aren't shared will be trapped forever in the cloud, and they don't deserve that. Make sure you look for the paper airplane of sharing any time you create a post. If it's grey, that item hasn't been shared yet; if it's orange, it has.

 

Take a Little Time 

Unlike content page changes, which show up as soon as you're done editing, posts that you create may take anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes to be processed and displayed on your home page. Wait a bit and refresh your page before you give up hope. 


Post, then Send

Your website, and especially your news items or announcements, should be the foundation of your public communication.

All public information from your school should be accessible on your website.

Before you send a notice home, make sure that content is on your website so anyone can find it, even if the notices don't survive the backpack trip home. Before you send a broadcast in SchoolMessenger, add the story to your website and link back to it so everyone has easy access to the information, in their own language, and even if the email gets deleted or the voicemail box is full.

Always post first, then send.

 

Except When...

All information on your website is publicly-available and visible to everyone. If you have sensitive or confidential information, you should never post it on your website, even if it's not published. Never take a chance: if you wouldn't want it to be next to your name in tomorrow's newspaper, don't put it on your website.

 

Divide and Conquer. Or Build a Power-Bundle

Posts are usually most effective if you create one for each distinct news item, especially for any new or important information that parents need to be aware of or act on. 

On the flip side, if you have twenty individual announcements to make in a day, they may not even be on your home page for a full day before being bumped off to your news centre. For items that may not need immediate action, grouping them together (especially if they share a common theme like security, policy changes, or learning highlights) can be a more effective use of your home page and easier for parents to take in.

In either case, name your story carefully. A single post called “Weekly Update” won’t draw viewers in, or even let them know if it contains anything relevant to them. And when you have five Weekly Updates on your home page (or 30 in your news centre), it's even less engaging. Using a title like “New Office Hours”, “Terry Fox Pledge Forms Due” or, “Staying Healthy in Cold and Flu Season” makes it easier (and more interesting) for readers to find the content that applies to them.  


Almost a Preview

It's not possible to preview your post before publishing it. If you'd like to look at it before it takes centre stage, expand your school in the Share To settings, and check the box for News Feed, but not Home Page. When you save your post, it will appear in your News Centre, where it will be publicly visible, but only to visitors going in to the News Centre (not to everyone seeing the home page). You can view it from the News Centre and then make any changes that you need. When you're happy with it, update your Share To settings to go to both the News Feed and the Home Page and save your post to push it to the home page.  

Note that since this method still makes the post visible to the public, it should never be used for sensitive information - only to check your formatting.

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