What is the News and Announcements Feature?

IN THIS ARTICLE:
Learn about iClassPro's News and Announcements feature, how it is displayed in the Customer Portal, and how to create news items within the Office Portal.

What is the News and Announcements Feature?

iClassPro's “News & Announcements” feature to help keep customers in the know in a unique way that is convenient for both you and your customers! This feature allows businesses to create blog-style posts that will be displayed in the Customer Portal under the “News” link in the navigation.

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These entries can help a business relay vital information about closures, general notifications, registration deadlines, highlight staff members or customers and more! The possibilities are endless!

Staff Permissions

To begin composing an announcement, the staff user will need to have permissions set to access the area and for the level of control that staff member has. Under the User Group or the Advanced Staff Permissions for the user, the permission settings pertaining to this feature are:

Page Access>News & Announcements - This is either Full to enable the link to access the News & Announcements link in the User Panel or None to disable it.

Tasks>News & Announcements - Options for this permission are:

  • None – no visible information after clicking link.
  • View – staff member can view but not create or modify announcements.
  • Full – staff member can view, create and modify announcements.

Tasks> Delete News & Announcements - This is either Full to enable the user to delete any announcements or None to only be able to delete entries they created. 

Navigation

To compose an announcement, the user will access the User Panel and then select the News & Announcements link.

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The “News & Announcement” link will only appear if the staff member has the appropriate permissions for this feature.

Clicking this link will bring up the “News & Announcements” page.

Creating an Announcement

To begin creating an announcement, click Create New Announcement.

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Announcement Fields

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Each Announcement posted will include:

  • Announcement Title – the subject of the announcement (no formatting options – uses pre-determined CSS styling).
  • Announcement Content – any text, images, links, tables, etc. used to convey the message to customers.
  • Main Image - (optional) a graphic designed to catch the customer’s attention for this announcement. This image displays as the thumbnail and banner of the associated announcement. (While a main image is not required, if one is not posted a grey image icon will take its place for display purposes.)
    • When displayed as a Thumbnail – the image will be centered and the shortest side of the image will be used as the dimension to crop it into a size that will be conveyed proportionally as a 153 x 98 pixel image.
    • When displayed as a Banner – the image will be centered and cropped to display the middle 200 pixels in height by approximately 720 pixels in width.
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  • Video Link – a video can be embedded by entering a valid YouTube or Vimeo link.
    • Go to YouTube.com, locate the video you wish to share and start playing it.
    • Copy the URL from the address bar at the top of the screen.
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    • Paste the URL into the box on the VIDEO LINK box and click ADD YOUTUBE:
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    • Go to Vimeo.com, locate the video you wish to share and start playing it.
    • Copy the URL from the address bar at the top of the screen.
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    • Paste the URL into the box on the VIDEO LINK box and click ADD VIMEO:
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    • Show video above announcement content – the video will be shown above the announcement content when viewing the full announcement.
    • Show video below announcement content – the video will be shown below the announcement content when viewing the full announcement.
    • To embed a YouTube video:
    • To embed a Vimeo video:
    • Choose where the video should be displayed:
  • Selected Location(s) – Unless SELECT ALL is enabled, only the Locations chosen here will display the announcement after a Location is selected in the Customer Portal.
  • Status – Choose the status of the post from the following options:
    • Draft – use this status to save your work while an announcement is still being composed, but is not yet complete.
    • Published – allows you to publish the post and pick the entry date to be displayed online.
      Note: If you choose a future date, the announcement will be published immediately, but will show the future date on the entry.
    • Scheduled – allows you to schedule a date/time for the entry to be published online, as well as an expiration date/time, at which time the entry will no longer be shown on the Customer Portal.
    • Hidden – allows you to hide a published announcement. The announcement will not be deleted; however, it will not be displayed on the Customer Portal.
  • Visibility – Choose which customers can view the announcement once it is published.
    • Public – can be viewed by anyone who can access the Customer Portal. Users will not need to be logged in to view the announcement.
    • Private – can only be viewed by customers who log into the Customer Portal or create an account. This is good for information that you only wish to share with customers. 
    • Actively Enrolled Only – can only be viewed by customers who have a current or future enrollment.
    • Show in Customer Portal Slideshow - The "Show In Customer Portal Slideshow" option will determine if this News Article is available in the slideshow that displays on the Customer Portal. Articles with this option checked will show across all locations on the Customer Portal. 
    • Show Date on Customer Portal – determines whether the announcement date is displayed when viewing the announcement on the Customer Portal.

After entering all the required information for a post, choose:

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  • Save Draft or Save – to store a copy of the announcement without making it visible in the Customer Portal.
  • Save & Publish – to store a copy of the announcement and make it visible in the designated areas of the Customer Portal.
  • Cancel – to navigate away from the unsaved announcement.

Search Options

After accessing the page, existing Announcements will be displayed. These can be filtered or searched by Title or the Date Created using the search tools on the left-hand side of the screen.

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Depending on the number of Announcements, the results will paginated. This view can be adjusted by increasing the number of results shown per page.

For each announcement, the following details are shown:

  • Image & Title
  • Visibility
  • Location(s)
  • Date Created
  • Created By
  • Status

Existing entries can be edited by clicking on the title.

Viewing Announcements in the Customer Portal

If there are no announcements published for the location being viewed, the "News" link will be hidden.

The link structure to the list of announcements on the Customer Portal is: http://app.iclasspro.com/portal/ACCOUNTNAME/news

Clicking on an announcement will display the full content of the post:

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Audit Log Trail

When announcements are created, deleted and edited, iClassPro records the changes with audit log entries.

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Need more assistance?

Call us at 877-554-6776. Our business hours are Mon–Sat, 9am–9pm (CT).