Step 2: Message Content

Important: Some menus or features shown may not appear in your account, as only those to which you have been granted access will be visible.  For access to additional features, please contact your account administrator.

Once you click the Continue button, you’ll be taken to the Message Content screen.

 

You have 4 options (channels) to deliver your broadcast:

·        Phone

·        Email

·        SMS

·        Posts: Facebook, Twitter, Pages, Presence Website Alerts

Important: As you work through the New Broadcast process, any field marked with the orange asterisk is a required field.  Once the requirements of a field have been met, the orange asterisk will change to a green check .

 

Phone

A Phone message can be a message you record in your own voice, composed using "text-to-speech" or a combination of both.  The Phone option also includes settings to control the Caller ID, number of days the call is allowed to run and options to allow recipients to record a response to your message or press 1 or 2 to log a response.

Note: To help prevent message fatigue and to increase the likelihood of your contacts receiving the message, we recommend using this channel for emergency-type broadcasts only.   

 

Settings

The following are your options when you click the  button for the Phone portion of your broadcast message:

·        Caller ID: the number that will appear the call is coming from when your recipients’ phones ring.

·        Days to run: select how many days the system can possibly make attempts to deliver the phone message to a live person or answering machine/voice mail.

Note: Your account’s admin settings determine the maximum number of days that can be selected.

·        Record a voice response*: allows recipients to leave their own voice response to your message by pressing "0" on their phone.  Your message should instruct recipients to press 0 if you wish them to use this option.  You will be able to listen to these voice responses from your Communicate account by going to the "Broadcasts" tab and then the "Responses" subtab.

·        Confirm call by pressing '1' for Yes or '2' for No*: will allow recipients to press 1 or 2 on their phone keypad to answer a question or take a basic two-question poll.  Your message should instruct the recipients of the choices and which key to press for each.  You will be able to view responses from your Communicate account by going to the "Broadcasts" tab and then the "Responses" sub-tab.

*Note: Account enablement required. Please contact support if you don’t see these options.

 

Call Me To Record

Telephone voice messages, in your own voice are the most attention-getting and memorable type of broadcast message.  These can very easily be recorded via the default “Call Me to Record” feature.

 
Your Voice Broadcast Options

If you’ve recorded your voice broadcast successfully, you’ll have the option to listen to it, re-record a new message if you wish to, or delete your recording. You can also record your message in as many languages as you need to*.

*Note: If your account is set up for multilingual messages, the first voice message you record will be automatically be assumed to be in your accounts default language (typically English).  After you’ve recorded your first message, you will see a drop-down menu for recording other languages. You can repeat the above process for each language you need to send.  You will only be able to record languages for which your account is configured.

1.    Listen to your recording.

2.    Re-record your voice message (previous recording is deleted).

3.    Select a language in the drop-down menu to record your Broadcast in multiple languages.

4.    Click Save when you're satisfied with your voice message.

 

 

 

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Text-to-Speech

The Text-to-Speech (TTS) option provides a nice alternative for when you’re unable to record a phone message using your (or another person's) real, human voice or if you need an alternate language recording when no real person is available to record. You will type (or copy and paste) the message you want to broadcast and the system will use advanced TTS software to have it spoken by a synthesized voice.  

The TTS feature also includes options to do automatic translations, insert merge fields and upload audio files to insert into the message.

1.    Click the Text-to-Speech tab.

2.    Write a short script of exactly what you want read in the space provided.

3.    Click Save to save and finalize your message.

 
 Your Text-to-Speech Message Options

1.     Insert Field: Inserted data will be placed at the point where the text cursor was placed when the Insert Field button was clicked.  In the example image below, you can see where the sender’s Staff Title was inserted - which will be read aloud by the TTS voice during the appropriate place in the message.  When adding an insert field (also referred to as a merge field), you will also have the option to provide a "Default Value" - which is something the TTS voice can read in the event that any student records might be missing that data or have bad data which cannot be read.

2.    Upload Audio Clip: Upload from your computer an audio file (supported audio types include: ".wav", ".aiff", ".au", ".aif", ".mp3", ".3gp", ".m4a") and insert it into the body of the TTS message.  Instead of the TTS voice trying to read the file, the recording will simply play for the recipient at the point in the message where it was inserted.  If other text follows the audio, the TTS voice will resume reading it aloud as soon as the audio clip has finished playing.

3.    Speaker Icon: Provides options to listen to how your TTS message will sound to recipients.  We always encourage you to listen carefully to any TTS message for pronunciation and timing.  While the TTS voices utilized by SchoolMessenger Communicate are among the best available, certain words, especially proper nouns, may not be pronounced properly.  You may try to spell words phonetically to improve the TTS voice pronunciation.

4.    Person Icon: Toggle between using a male or female voice for TTS.  If you are using voice audio clips during your message, we recommend using the gender that matches that of the person in the audio clip.

5.    Translate Option: Convert the original TTS text into all available languages which your account is configured for. TTS is not available for all languages - those languages which are not available will be denoted on the screen. Check the boxes to select the translation you’d like included in your Broadcast.  

The following are your translation options once you check the Translate box (5):

6.    Select all (checks all boxes for all available languages) or

7.    none (de-selects all checked translations) 7. Re-translate All: if you edit your original message after translating, you’ll need to select this to update the translation to match your new edit.

8.    Disable Translations: if you’ve already translated your broadcast but change your mind.

9.    Translate to English: gives you an opportunity to see what the alternate language TTS looks like when translated back into English.

10.  Speaker Icon: plays back the translation.

11.  Override: make manual text edits to the alternate language message in the event that you wish to provide a correction or improvement to the translated message.

 

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Email

Adding an email message to your broadcast is pretty much the same as composing any email. The options in SchoolMessenger Communicate are just like those found in most email utilities, and can be used to compose as simple or as advanced of an email as you want.

1.    Click the + Email tab.

2.    Enter your Email details:

From Name and From Email: Your name and email address will automatically be entered in the “From” fields, but you can change them if needed.  Remember, this is the email address your message recipients will see and reply to.

Reply to Email: The address that will be used if any of your recipients choose to send a reply to your broadcast. If you expect, and want replies, make sure you use a valid address to which you have access. Support can create a “noreply@schoolname.com” email address that you can use for this field if you do not want replies to your message.   

Subject: Pre-populated with the name of your broadcast, but you may change it if you like. d. Body: Select a premade template or “stationary” for your email. This field isn’t mandatory. If you don’t wish to choose a template, just leave this blank and begin writing your email content in the body field below.

Body: Various stationery templates are available.

3.    Use the edit tool bar to customize your email however way you wish.  

Field Insert: Inserted data will be placed at the point where the text cursor was placed when the Insert Field button was clicked.  In the example image above, you can see where the recipient’s Last Name was inserted. When adding an insert field (also referred to as a merge field), you will also have the option to provide a "Default Value".

Attach: Add file attachments to your email.  You may include an unlimited number of hosted attachments (50MB limit per file). Note that attachments are hosted and saved on our servers. Attachments will appear as links to the file within the content you’ve created in the body of the email. This allows for larger files and helps your emails from being blocked at the recipient end.

Important: For security reasons, certain file types are not permitted.

 

Paste Text from Phone: If you’ve written a Text-to-Speech message in the +Phone channel, click this button to quickly paste the same message into your email.

4.    Write your message in the content field.

5.    Translate your message to different languages by checking the box.

6.    Click Save to finalize your email message.

Note: Your account administrator may place restrictions on the domain name which can be used in the "From Email" address. For example, your admin may require that the "From Email" address end with the domain @springfieldcsd1.com.  The system does not allow for certain domain names to be used.   

 
Translate Your Email

Checking the box to the left of Translate will automatically translate the text of your email into those alternate languages for which your account has been configured, and display that text below - each language gets its own section.

Note: Automatic text translation is not available for all languages.  If a language is not available, you will receive a notice for that language and the options to type your own translation.

 

  1. Preview: Lets you see approximately what your email message will look like when read in a recipient's inbox.

  2. Select all (checks all boxes for all available languages) or none (de-selects all checked translations)

  3. Re-translate All: If you edit your original message after translating, you’ll need to select this to update the translation to match your new edit.  Or Disable Translations: If you’ve already translated your broadcast but change your mind.

  4. Select Your Translation: Check the box to the left of the translation to include it in your broadcast. The system will ignore the translation and not send it if you leave the box unchecked.

  5. Translate to English: Gives you an opportunity to see what the alternate language looks like when translated back into English.

  6. Override: Make manual text edits to the alternate language message in the event that you wish to provide a correction or improvement to the translated message.

 

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SMS Text Message

Important: Before sending bulk SMS messages, you should check with your system administrator to ensure that the SchoolMessenger SMS “opt-in” process has been completed by your contacts.  While SMS messages are an effective way to communicate with people who prefer to receive text information on their wireless devices, it is important to abide by the protocols established by the wireless carriers and industry regulators. If you would like to read more about this subject, please view the SMS Messaging content in the online help.

Adding an SMS Text Message to your SchoolMessenger broadcast is the simplest of all the types. You may enter up to 160 characters.

1.    Click the + SMS tab.

2.    Write your message in the content field. You have the following options:

Insert Field: Inserted data will be placed at the point where the text cursor was placed when the Insert Field button was clicked. When adding an insert field (also referred to as a merge field), you will also have the option to provide a "Default Value".

Spell Check: Use to avoid awkward errors.

3.    Check the box to translate your text.

Translate Your Text: Checking the box to the left of Translate will automatically translate the text of your email into those alternate languages for which your account has been configured, and display that text below - each language gets its own section.

Select all (checks all boxes for all available languages) or none (de-selects all checked translations)

 Re-translate All: If you edit your original message after translating, you’ll need to select this to update the translation to match your new edit or Disable Translations: If you’ve already translated your broadcast but change your mind.

Select Your Translation: Check the box to the left of the translation to include it in your broadcast. The system will ignore the translation and not send it if you leave the box unchecked.

Translate to English: Gives you an opportunity to see what the alternate language looks like when translated back into English.

Override: Make manual text edits to the alternate language message in the event that you wish to provide a correction or improvement to the translated message.

4.    Click Save to finalize your SMS message.

 

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Load Saved Message

If you have previously composed and saved a message on your account which you would like to use for the broadcast, you can click the button to locate and select it.

To learn more about saving messages for future use, read the following topic: Create a Message.

 

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When you are done creating your messages:

Once you have created and configured all of the types of messages you want to include in your broadcast, confirm that there is a check-mark in front of each of those types and then click on the “Continue” button on the lower right of the New Broadcast screen.

Note: If you would like to learn more about including social media content, such as Facebook, Twitter, RSS Feeds or Push Notifications please view the Social Media section of online Help or read the Advanced Training Guide.

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 Jump to the next topic: Step 3: Review & Send