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Using the Newshub

Writing Newshub Posts

Creating a Newshub post requires both using the WordPress site and writing an engaging and relevant post.

For information on all the technical aspects of creating a post, please refer to the instructions.

How do you write for the Web?

Think about how you read on the Web. What makes you click a link? How much of any given article do you usually read?

  • Determine your audience.
  • Determine what the user wants to know. What problem can you solve for them? What story about the Libraries do you want to tell?
    • Cover the basics: who, what, where, when, why, how
    • Resist our library worker impulse toward information overload.
  • Put the most important information first. For longer posts, write in chunks. Make the post easy to scan.
  • The title should help tell the story.
    • Try not to repeat the same text in the title and the featured image as it looks repetitive in social media posts.
  • Don't link to phrases like "click here." This is an accessibility issue. Make the hyperlinked phrase meaningful.
  • End with a call to action if you want the user to do something.
  • Revise and proofread, but be prepared for others to edit your post.
    • If you discover a mistake in your post after it's live, you can still edit the post.

If writing seems daunting, know that the more posts you write, the easier it gets. You will share your posts with another reporter for feedback and help proofreading, and other reporters will depend on your advice as well. The higher the quality of all our posts, the better we all look. Don't hesitate to contact someone from the marketing team if you would like their advice as well. 

Want more tips?

Creating Your First Post

After the marketing team has created your account, log in to WordPress here using your MU username and password:
https://library.missouri.edu/wp-admin/

*You may have access to two or more sites in WordPress: your library site and Library News.  If you have access to both, make sure you’re on the right site by hovering over the “My Sites” menu in the top right corner.  Choose Library News.

Once you’re in Library News, go to Posts in the side menu and choose Add New.

Once in the post editor, you’ll see areas for your title and post text.  It’s pretty self-explanatory.

Creating Your Profile

WordPress will automatically publish your posts under your name, but you can also display a small author bio under single posts. We want to promote our work as library staff, so this is a great opportunity to explain who we are and what we do. 

You can add this feature by going to Your Profile, under Users. (Some of your menu options may be different).

Scroll down to About Yourself. You can write a few sentences about what you do, what your interests are, etc.

If you would like to display a small photo next to your bio, you can register for a Gravatar using your campus email address at http://en.gravatar.com/. This is a good way to help our patrons match faces with names. Consider using your LibGuides profile photo for this, if you have one. It may take a few hours for your photo to display on our site after you register with Gravatar.

Title

This is the most critical contact point with potential readers. It is the first thing people will see and is the part that will most likely determine if a possible reader will engage further with the story. Only 80% will read the title, while 20% will actually click it. 

There a several factors that can make or break a title:

  • Length- Do not make the title of the piece too long. People tend to only read the first three and the last three words. 
  • Inform and hook- The title should clearly state what the content is about without being bland. For example, instead of "Research Databases for Your Next Term Paper," considered something more along the lines of "Jump Start Your Next Term Paper with These." The latter invites people to read further and focuses on the payoff. 
  • Promise- Good titles have a promise that they make to the reader. This is the payoff. If the title is not making a promise that your content will fulfill, or explain a need it will help with, start over. 
  • Language- Use terms that the audience for your content will prefer. For example, book club vs. book discussion group, finals week vs. end of the semester. 

 

In your title, please include your library if needed. For example, a book display post should include something like "Health Sciences Library Book Display."

Keep in mind that the title will not display with the graphic on the gateway carousel, but it will on social media. Try to vary the text so that the title and the graphic are not exact duplicates on social media.

Categories

Categories provide a fixed taxonomy that helps to structure the navigation of the website.  Please do not rewrite the categories or add new ones, as this will affect the navigation! 

Please do assign existing categories to your posts, however. Under the Featured Image box, you can select categories to make sure your post is displayed under the right headings on the Newshub.

There are two types of categories: location (your library) and type of story. The type of story categories are the four that show up on front page:

  • Resources and Services
  • Events and Exhibits
  • Workshops
  • Cycle of Success

Pick only one of the above as these categories cause posts to go out on social media automatically. If you pick more than one, the story will post multiple times on social media.

Use location-based categories (under Libraries) if you’re composing a post that only applies to one location or if you want to categorize a post with multiple locations.

If you feel like your post does not fit into any of the categories, get help from the marketing team. You must choose a category or your post will not show up on the Newshub.

Using the Gateway Category

Guidelines for Gateway Announcements
The rotating gateway announcements found on  library.missouri.edu are populated from the Library News site. The Communications Officer maintains control over the content of the gateway announcements and must approve announcements before they are published.

Items appropriate for the gateway
The content for gateway announcements shall fall within the appropriate topics listed below and must not violate other policies of the University.

Because the gateway is the first page most users see when visiting the library’s website, the items highlighted on the rotating carousel should be relevant to a wide audience of our users.

Appropriate content examples:

  • Library events and exhibits that are open to the whole MU community
  • Announcements about a resource or service that would be of interest to a large number of users; for example, a service that all students could use, not just a subset of students
  • There is a regular gateway announcement for the Fridays @ the Library workshops; announcements for more specialized workshops will not be placed on the gateway, but should be marketed directly to the targeted audience
  • General information, such as changes to library hours, that would be of interest to most library users
  • Personnel announcements that would be of interest to our users, such as the appointment of a new librarian
  • News of major accomplishments by librarians, staff or the library as a whole, such as receipt of a large donation or grant
  • Emergency information: in the event of an emergency, the communications officer or web administrator will post any pertinent information, such as library closures or changes to hours

Graphics and editorial guidelines

  • The graphic that will appear on the gateway carousel is the same graphic that you have set as the featured image for your post. Graphics on the gateway need to include brief but informative headlines in a large font. It should be clear to users what type of information they will get if they click on the graphic. The graphic you set in your post will automatically be resized to fit into the gateway carousel format, but it may not display exactly the same. In order to get the best results, create a graphic that is around 350 pixels wide by 260 pixels tall or about at 1.34 to 1 ratio. If you need help creating an appropriate graphic, please contact the communications officer.
  • Because we want to maintain a high-level of professionalism on the library’s website, the communications officer may contact you to work on a suitable graphic for your blog post.
  • The communications officer maintains the right to edit blog posts to ensure they align with library and MU editorial guidelines.

Expiration of posts

  • In general, announcements should run for one month. Event/workshop announcements will be removed from the gateway immediately after the event is over.
  • The communications officer will set automatic expiration dates for each announcement that is approved.
  • When the announcement is removed from the gateway, it will still remain on the Library News site. 
  • When appropriate, announcements can be reposted on the gateway by re-checking the “Gateway Carousel” category box.

Tags

Tags are a more freeform way to classify posts.  Right now, we do not have any guidelines for using tags, but we expect this to change. You may want to confer with other reporters or the marketing team to make sure that everyone is using tags in a consistent way, but feel free to tag your posts as you see fit.

You can find the tags box below the Categories box on the right side of the post editing screen.

Here are some ways we use tags currently.

  • Examples: Open Access Blog, Digital Services, #TipTuesday, ILL, etc.
  • Tags make it easy to email a link to a series. For example, the Cycle of Success category includes posts about new hires, etc., and you may want to create a link to only true Cycle of Success series posts. The Cycle of Success tag makes this possible.
  • Shannon uses tags to pull posts into newsletters.

Images

Featured Image

Every post needs to have a featured landscape/horizontal image to ensure that it displays properly on the Library News site.

To set the featured image, simply click Set Featured Image. The Media Library will pop up.  

If you need to add an image that’s not already in the Media Library, you can do that in two different ways:

  1. Drag your own edited image files into the Media Library to upload them.
  2. Exit out of the Media Library, and choose the green Pixabay button (just below your post title). Enter keywords to search for a free stock photo. Select the image you want to use, then scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Use as featured image.

Note: After you set the featured image, it does not always display in the featured image box in the post editing screen (I’m not sure why). If you can see a filename, it’s set.

Additional Images

If you only have one image, there is no need to put additional images in the text box. However, if you want more than one image, you’ll need to add them \there.

Follow the steps above to add your own images or import Pixabay images into the Media Library. It can be difficult to make the images line up properly with your text. You can try wrapping the text around the images or resizing them.

If you click on the image, you can see the options for wrap text and clicking the pencil will allow you to resize the image.

Alternative Text

If you make a graphic that's text heavy, be sure to provide that text as "alternative text." It's best practice to do this for all images, but if you are using a graphic as a text replacement, it's vital to include all the text in this manner.

Resources for Finding and Creating Images

  • Canva
    • Provides templates for various types and sizes of images, graphs, clip art, etc. 
    • When creating an image, please make sure to pull your image into your folder, as well as any other folders your image fits into, i.e. in the Cycle of Success folder because it's a Cycle of Success graphic. 
    • Please email marketing team for the username and password
  • Picktochart
    • A good resource for infographics
    • Please email marketing team for the username and password
  • Pixabay plugin in Wordpress
  • Creative Commons
  • Graphic design help from the student designer (talk to Shannon)

Troubleshooting

Here are some known issues we've run into the past. If there is an issue that you have, that isn't on here, please email Kelli HansenWhen the issue is resolved (or you have a work-around), please email Taira or Jen so we can update this guide.

  • Posts not saving
    • Sometimes WordPress will say your post link has expired. No matter if you click yes or no, whatever you have written or edited will disappear. We aren't sure why this happens, so please make sure to Save to Draft periodically and copy the text you've written so you have it in case the post did not save. 
  • Images make your post too long
    • Consider wrapping the text around the images, resizing the image, or placing the images on the same line. To place two images on the same line, add them next to each other, the first aligning to the left margin and the second aligning to the right margin.
  • Pictures not uploading
    • If your graphics won't upload, email someone else who has access to the newshub and see if they can upload it for you. 

Sharing Formatted Drafts

When you need feedback on the content of a post from the featured user or library staff member, sharing a formatted draft seems to get better and faster responses than just sending unformatted text. (Perhaps because it looks “real.”)

  • Keep the post’s category as “uncategorized” and do not add any additional categories or tags. Doing so will trigger the post to be sent to social media, etc.
  • Although the post will not show up under any categories, it can be found in site search results because it is technically live. Clearly mark DRAFT in your title and post in case anyone stumbles across it.
  • Submit for review and alert Shannon (or Taira if Cycle of Success) that you’d like to make the post shareable. (If you have the power to publish your own posts, you won’t need them to publish it for you.)
  • Alert anyone that you share the post with that it’s not meant to be “live” live.
    • Template to include on communication: Here's a draft of the post. Please let me know if there's anything you'd like me to change. Please don't share this link. I will send you the final version once it is live and ready to be shared.
  • When the post is ready to be “live” live and pushed out on social media, let Shannon or Taira know. They will have to add categories and tags.

Even if you do not need feedback on the content of your post from those featured in it, every post benefits from a second pair of eyes. Ask another reporter to look over your post for typos, grammar and formatting errors, or other ways the post could be improved. When another reporter asks you for feedback, respond promptly with constructive criticism. Remember, they will be proofing your posts as well.