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Creating a Press Release

To create a press release, hover over the word “Content” in the black horizontal navigation bar, then hover over “Add Content”, and click on “Press Release”. You will come to a page called “Create Press Release”.

The page looks like a form that contains text fields. Please note that any field that has a red asterisk next to its name is a required field (ex: Title).

 

Featured Image

You have the option of adding an image that will be displayed between the page title and the body text.

Click on the Browse button in the Feature Image section to upload an image as a Feature Image. 

A popup window should appear. You have two options to insert an image as a Featured Image on

the page: “Upload” and “Library”.

 

By default, the “Upload” option has been selected. If the image has not been uploaded, then you can add the image into the content manager by clicking on the “Browse” button so you can upload the image from your computer. In addition, there is a message beneath the upload area that states that the maximum file size limit must be less than 8 MB and it lists the type of files you can upload. This includes image files (.jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png).

Once you have selected your image, click on the “Open” button. Next, click on the “Upload” button to upload the image and then click on the “Next” button. The next window will show the “Alt Text” and “Title Text” fields. Always enter a very short, literal description of the image for both of these.

The Alt attribute specifies an alternate text for an area if the image cannot be displayed in the web browser. When using Internet Explorer, you can view the Alt text by hovering over the image. People who use screen readers because they are visually impaired will be able to hear the Alt text spoken to them by the screen reader. In addition, the “Alt Text” field displays information you enter into the field if the image cannot be viewed by the user in the web browser, for example if the person is browsing with images turned off.

The “Title Text” field displays the title of the image itself. If you use Firefox or Google Chrome, you can view the title by hovering over the image. Ultimately, you want to provide a brief, concise physical description of the image. For example, if the image shows a picture of the member standing behind a podium, then you would enter the following information: “Rep. Smith standing behind a podium”. You can enter the same information into both fields.

Once you have entered the information, click on the “Save” button. You should see a thumbnail version of the image in the Featured Image section of the page.

If the image you want to insert onto the page as a Featured Image has already been uploaded then you can click on the “Library” option in the window to view all files that are already in the content manager.

You have the option of using the filter in the window to filter the files based on a file type or by file name, and change the order of the list by sorting it by the file upload date as well. Click on the image that you want to insert onto the page and then click on the “Submit” button.

Using Notepad

It is most likely that the content you want to add onto this press release or any page is going to be in a Microsoft document or a Microsoft Outlook email. It is important not to copy and paste the text directly from a Microsoft document into the body field of the press release. Copying text directly from a Microsoft document will also copy Microsoft’s style definitions, which may override the ones that have been created for the website. As a result, you may create a page in which the font size is too big or too small, or the font type is incorrect. In addition, the beginning of the page may contain quirky code that will push the content further down the page. It may even include code that may actually “break” the layout of the page.

Thus, you must copy the content into Notepad first. This will strip all of the Microsoft formatting so the content becomes plain text. Then you can copy and paste the content from Notepad and into the body text field of the new page in the content manager. After pasting the content, you will need to re-format the content to include any bolding, italicizing or line breaks that you would like to appear on the web page when finished.

Using the Text Editor

In the text editor tool bar, you are able to bold, italicize, or indent content. You also have the ability to select text and hyperlink it to an external website URL or to a page that exists on the website. This is all pretty straight forward.

Inserting a Link

To link to an external website, select the text you want to hyperlink, and then click on the “Link” icon. It looks like a chain link in front of it.

When you click on the “Link” icon, the link popup window will appear. Enter the web address, or URL, of the external website you want to use in the “URL” field.

You can enable the URL to open up in a new window when the user clicks on the link by clicking on the “Target” tab in the popup window and choosing “New Window” from the dropdown.

You may want to give the link a Title. Click on the Advanced tab and enter something in the “Advisory Title” field. This is what the tooltip will be when one hovers over the link, and is also what will be read to visually disabled people using a screen reader. This can be especially helpful if the URL itself doesn’t really make obvious what website the link is taking you to, or if the URL has a very long string of nonsense characters at the end. If you don’t give the link a title, the URL is what is read to a visually disabled person.

Click on the “OK” button. The text should now be hyperlinked to the URL that you entered.

To link to a page that is on your own website, an “internal link”, there is another (more helpful) method. Click on the “LinkIt” icon that is located on the far right of the editor toolbar.

A pop-up window should open. In the “Search Content” field start typing a word from the title of the page you want to link to. Once you start typing it, a dropdown should appear beneath the “Search Content” field that will list page titles or files that contain the word you typed.

Click on the page title you want to insert. Next, click on the “Attributes” link to insert the page title that accompanies the URL. This allows site visitors who are blind or who cannot see the URL to use a screen reader that reads the title of the URL. Click on the “Insert link” button to finish making your hyperlink.

You may notice that the information entered in the “Target Path” text field does not look like a conventional URL. This is showing how the URL of a page is stored in the content manager. Once the page is saved and is live on the website, the URL will not contain a number or the word “node”, but will always link to the correct page, even if you change its title later.

To remove a link, highlight the underlined text and click on the “Unlink” icon that appears next to the “Link” icon. This should remove the hyperlink from the text.

To a link to a file that is uploaded the website, you must upload the file first onto the content manager and then add the hyperlink onto the body field of a page. First, highlight part of the text in the body field you want to hyperlink the file to, and then click on the “Link” icon.

When you click on the “Link” icon, the link popup window will appear. Click on the “Browse Server” button. Another popup window called “File Browser” will appear.


You will see two columns in the popup window. The first column, called “Navigation”, will list all of the folders that contain uploaded files. By default you should see a folder called “documents” selected (the file name is in bold). The right column will display a list of the files that are part of the selected folder. You can sort the files by “File Name”, “Size”, “Width”, “Height”, and “Date.” If you are uploading a file for the first time, then you should not see any files listed in the “documents” folder.

Click on the “Upload” button to upload the file onto the content manager. Then click on the “Browse” button to locate the file on your local computer. Then navigate to the desired file and click on the “Open” button.

 

Next, click on the “Upload” button to upload the file into the “documents” folder. You should see the file name highlighted in the right column because it has been selected for insertion. Click on the “Insert file” button to insert the file’s URL onto the Body field of the page.

 

You should now only see the “Link” popup window and now the URL text field contains the URL to the uploaded file.

  

Click on the “OK” button and you should see that the text you highlighted earlier is now hyperlinked to the file you

To view a list of files that were uploaded, click on your login name in the upper right hand corner of the horizontal black bar.

You will see a page that displays your username and beneath it are four tabs. Click on the tab called “File Browser.”

You will see the same “File Browser” window when you uploaded a file and inserted its link to the Body field of your page in an earlier exercise. You have the ability to manage the uploaded files by deleting them and uploading new ones as well.

Inserting an Image onto a Page

You have the ability to insert an image onto any page. First, place your cursor on the page where you want the image to appear. For example, if you want your image to be placed to the left of the first paragraph, place your cursor at the beginning of the paragraph. Click on the “Add Media” icon, located in the far right side of the tool bar.

A popup window should appear. You have three options to insert an image onto the page: “Upload”, “Web”, and “Library”.

By default, the “Upload” option has been selected. If the image has not been uploaded, then you can add the image into the content manager by clicking on the “Browse” button so you can upload the image from your computer. In addition, there is a message beneath the upload area that states that the maximum file size limit less than 8 MB and it lists the type of files you can upload. This includes image files (.jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png), document files (.doc, .docx, .xls, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .pps, .ppsx) and audio and video files (.mp3, .mov, .mp4, .m4a, m4v, .mpeg, .wmv).

Once you have selected your image, click on the “Open” button. Next, click on the “Upload” button to upload the image and then click on the “Next” button. The next window will show the “Alt Text” and “Title Text” fields. Always enter a very short, literal description of the image for both of these.

The Alt attribute specifies an alternate text for an area if the image cannot be displayed in the web browser. When using Internet Explorer, you can view the Alt text by hovering over the image. People who use screen readers because they are visually impaired will be able to hear the Alt text spoken to them by the screen reader. In addition, the “Alt Text” field displays information you enter into the field if the image cannot be viewed by the user in the web browser, for example if the person is browsing with images turned off.

The “Title Text” field displays the title of the image itself. If you use Firefox or Google Chrome, you can view the title by hovering over the image. Ultimately, you want to provide a brief, concise physical description of the image. For example, if the image shows a picture of the member standing behind a podium, then you would enter the following information: “Rep. Smith standing behind a podium”. You can enter the same information into both fields.

Once you have entered the information, click on the “Save” button.

In the next window there is a section called “Options”. By default, the current format option is set to “Original”.  This means that the image you insert onto the page will be at the file’s original size. This is usually not a good idea. Especially if the image came directly from a digital camera, it is likely too big. You can select one of the pre-created image size options: “Default (Large)”, “Teaser (Medium)” or “Small (Thumbnail)”. By selecting one of these sizes, you will insert a different, smaller version of the image.

Keep in mind the file that has been uploaded into the content manager has been uploaded in its original file size. What you are changing by selecting “Default (Large)”, “Teaser (Medium)” or “Small (Thumbnail)” is the size and dimensions at which the copy of the image will be displayed when it appears on the page. Click on the “Submit” button. The image should have been added to the page where the cursor was placed.

You will notice that the text is not aligned with the top of the image.

Click on the image once and then click on the “Text Left Align” icon so the text aligns with the image properly.

Once you save the page you will see that the image is aligned to the left of the text and there is padding between the two elements.

If the image you want to insert onto the page has already been uploaded then you can click on the “Library” option in the window to view all files that are already in the content manager.

You have the option of using the filter in the window to filter the files based on a file type or by file name, and change the order of the list by sorting it by the file upload date as well. Click on the image that you want to insert onto the page and then click on the “Submit” button. Another window will appear and you can click on the “Submit” button to insert the image on the page.

If you want to embed a YouTube video player onto the page, you can select the “Web” option.

Copy the embed code for a YouTube video player and paste it into the “File URL or Media Resource” text field. Once you are done, click on the “Submit” button. At the time of this writing only YouTube embed codes are supported by this feature.

Once you save the page you will see the video player on the page.

Using the Summary Field

Each page that is created in the content manager includes a “Summary” field. By default it is not visible but can be viewed by clicking on the “Edit Summary” link located next to the “Body” text field name.

When creating any page, such as a press release, you are not required to enter a summary. By default the first 400 characters from the “Body” content will be used as the summary. It’s quite possible that the first 400 characters may not include an entire sentence or paragraph. Thus, the summary may not make sense because the 400th character ends in the middle of a sentence.

In addition, the first 400 characters of the body field may not be the text of choice for the summary. For example, the 400 characters in the body of a press release may include the contact information of the person that issued the press release (ex: John Smith, 202-234-2343, john.smith@mail.house.gov ). Clearly, this information is not a summary of a press release. Offices should exercise caution when it comes to using or not using the summary field.  If you do not want the Summary to just be the first sentence appearing in the Body of the Press Release, and want to write your own custom Summary, click on the “Edit Summary” link. The “Summary” text field will appear above the body text field. It is recommended to limit the Summary to a sentence.

If you do not need a custom summary and the default first 400 characters of Body text is fine, then do not enter anything in the “Summary” field and click on the link called “Hide Summary”.

Related Items

The “Related Items” feature allows you to add any page that is created in the content manager to the page you are creating as a related item. For example, let’s say you are creating a press release that talks about legislation relating to Veterans. There is a page on the website called “Veterans’ Resources”.

You could add the Veterans’ Resources page as a related item on the press release and then a link to the Veterans’ Resources page will appear on the press release under “Related Items”, typically on the sidebar.

Click in the “Related Items” field and start typing the beginning of the page title or any word that is part of the page title. You will see a dropdown beneath the field that will show the list of pages with the phrase or word you entered.

Click on the page title that you want to use. If you want to add another item, click on the “Add Another Item” button and repeat the process.

Issues

The website has issue pages that can contain content regarding the Member’s position on various political issues. (If you are part of a new member’s office, the initial content is generic for illustration purposes, and only states that constituents contact the office).

On every page that you make, the issues appear as a checkbox list. If the page you are creating relates to any of the existing issue pages, then you can click on the checkbox next the issue’s name. You can select more than one issue, as applicable.

Once the page is saved, the page will list the name of the issue(s) it is related to at the bottom of the page and will be hyperlinked to the applicable issue page(s). If you visit that issue page, the page you just created will be listed on the issue page as a related item at the bottom.

Congress Number

On each page there is a “Congress Number” section where you can select the current Congress. Later on, you will learn how you can update the Congress Number to add the future congress numbers as your Member wins re-election. The default is “Calculate automatically” which sets the value to whatever the current Congress is for the time the item is created.

Date and Time Fields

If you create a page that is time sensitive such as a press release or another media page, then you may want to change the “Date” field. By default, if you do not enter a date, it will use today’s date. However, it is possible that you may want to create a page in which you will use a past date. For example, you decide to create a press release that was issued yesterday. Go to the bottom of the page and click on the “Authoring Information” tab in the gray section on the left hand side.

Click into the “Date” field, and you will see a Calendar popup 

window. Select the date you want to use. You may select the date the press release was issued by the office. You can select a future date but keep in mind that it does not automatically publish the page on that day. It will just list the future date regardless of whenever you publish the page.

If you enter a date in the “Date” field, then you must enter a time in the “Time” field. If you do not enter a time, you will receive a message to enter a time when you try to publish or save the page. You can click into the “Time” field and just click on the down arrow key on your keyboard to enter the current time. The time will not be displayed on the press release page on the live website once you publish it.

Publishing  vs. Draft

Once you have entered all of the content, you have two options. If you are ready to make the page live on the website, you can click on the “Publish” button at the bottom of the page. If you are not ready to publish the page, you can click on the “Save as Draft” button. This will save the page in the content manager but it will not make the page live on the website for anyone to see.

As you create different pages, you will notice that their creation is similar to that of a press release but with some small differences.

 

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