As a prerequisite to sending a message you will need to have a list of recipients in order to be able to send an Alert message to those people, you can find the details of creating a recipient list to target users in this guide.
Once you have your curated list, you are ready to send out a message.
Start by first navigating to the recipient list, which can be seen on the left from most screens within the main admin area, here you will either have an existing list, or you can load a saved list:
Then click "Create Message" to be taken to the initial message sending page:
Composing your Alert message
You will then be brought to a screen that looks like this for composing your message, you can select a message template if you wish to, and start composing your message:
To access the templates click the folder icon and then you will be presented with a number of templates to choose from (depending on what templates have been added to your Neighbourhood Alert site):
These templates can include any content that an Alert message may include (text. images, links, attachments). Templates can be used for sending of similar content repeatedly such as a regular update. Or they can be useful for messages that should always be formatted in a set way, as these templates can be set as shared across all administrators on your site.
Whether you choose to load a template or start from fresh, the Alert message editor includes the below options, to allow you to: Format text, insert images into the message body, create links from text and images, merge in details (mail merge) from the recipients you send to, if applicable for your area, you may also be able to insert a link for the recipient to complete a survey.
Now that you have composed your message or selected your template and customised it to fit your message's needs, you can add attachments into the alert itself to be sent out alongside the message like so:
Once you have selected all of the attachments that you need and your message is fully composed you can click continue to proceed to the Message Options page:
Message sending options
Message Types are the different types of messages that exist within the system and there is one for every possible topic that the message could be regarding, ranging from crime to neighbourhood watch activities.
Every single message must have a message type allocated to it and this directly effects how many people receive your alert as some users may have opted to abstain from receiving information about the chosen message type.
Every user as a default opts in to every single message type, however they are free to change this and opt in or out for as many as they want which will result in the number of recipients in the calculated section at the end being less than you originally selected to send to.
- Urgency level indicates how urgent the message is and will have different coloured accents in correlation to the colours shown in the image below.
Recipient Type allows you to only send to specific types of member within your recipient list:
- Does your message direct recipients somewhere, reveals a prompt to a user who is attempting to reply to your message by directing them to a link that you have installed within the alert, but still gives them the option to reply to you, should they wish to.
- Mark alert suitable for sharing affects whether you wish for the recipient to be able forward this onto others or not, directly from the options in the Alert email. This also allows your Alert to be shown on the 'Latest Alerts' page on your website.
Now that you have configured your message options to your liking, you are ready to move to the last step and preview your message:
After you have pressed continue and moved to the final screen as shown above, you can preview what this will look like for your recipients, add an SMS message in case several of your recipients are only able to receive a text message like this, you can also add a recorded voice message so people can hear your message being spoken out loud:
You are now entering into the final stage of the message sending process by checking your calculated recipients and sending / scheduling the message:
You can also assign your replies from recipients of this Alert to: A whole Team (either yours or another Team), or an individual administrator in a Team (this could be yourself, or another relevant administrator)
Then, press continue and you will be presented with the option to send your message now, or use the message scheduling system which allows you to schedule messages to be automatically sent at a later date instantaneously:
After this, once your message is sent you can then deal with the replies by going to the message console and locating your inbox: