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Top FAQs

My Spreadsheet

What information do I need to include in my spreadsheet?

Every spreadsheet needs the following sets of data (each in their own column):
First Names
Last Names
Postal Codes (in a column labeled postal_code)
Student Email Addresses

Can I send news about one person to multiple zip codes?

Not at this time. readMedia matches each student with the newspapers that cover the zip code in their "Postal_Code" column. Each row in your spreadsheet can only have one postal code in this column.

However, you can add a newspaper from another postal code to one student's record if needed. LINK TO MORE AT BOTTOM OF PAGE

What happens if some students in my spreadsheet are missing zip codes?

You will be alerted after uploading a spreadsheet with students lacking valid US zip codes.

You can view the spreadsheet you uploaded at any time to make changes. Entries without valid zip codes will appear at the top of your list highlighted in pink.

You can double click on the information in their Postal Code column to edit the data or click on a red X to omit them from your spreadsheet if you'd like.

Do all of the zip codes in my spreadsheet have to have exactly five digits?

No, readMedia will automatically translate your zip codes to a five digit number.

For example, if you have zip code of 12345-6789 in your spreadsheet it will automatically be converted to 12345.

Alternatively, if you have a zip code of less than 5 numbers, like 1234, it will be converted to 01234 for you.

Can I have international students in my spreadsheet?

Yes. While readMedia does NOT deliver news to international newspapers, you can certainly include international students in your spreadsheet. Simply set them up with a postal code of 00000. These students will have an online story created just about them. You will want to include their email address in your spreadsheet so they are linked to the story when it goes out to the media.

How many email address columns can I have in my spreadsheet?

You can have as many columns of email addresses as you may need. For example, if you want to reach both your students' school and personal email addresses, and maybe their parents' emails as well, you can certainly have columns for each. They will all be delivered a link to the story when it goes out.

What happens if some people in my spreadsheet have values in a column (honors, etc.) and others don’t?

If a person is missing data in a cell in your spreadsheet then that information will be omitted from your release.

For example, this often happens when some students have middle names and others don't or when some students graduate with honors.

Can I include full sentences or paragraphs in my spreadsheet?

Definitely. You can have as much information as you need inside the cells of your spreadsheet. The data in your spreadsheet will appear as is, so including a full sentence or paragraph in it will allow you to insert some highly customized details about a select few people. 

Uploading a Spreadsheet into readMedia

When importing, I got an error saying “Your spreadsheet file must contain unique column names”, what does this mean?

The very first row in your spreadsheet should contain your column titles. These titles need to have unique names.

You'll see this error if you have two columns with the same name or if the first row in your spreadsheet is blank. 

Do I need to select the student’s email address column while uploading?

While you should always indicate which column in your spreadsheet contains student's email addresses, you can skip this step if needed. A readMedia editor will assign the student email column before distributing your news.

Editing an Uploaded Spreadsheet

Can I make changes to my spreadsheet after uploading it?

Yes. To edit your spreadsheet click on the View Spreadsheets link on the right and then choose to Edit one of your uploaded spreadsheets. 

While viewing your spreadsheet you can double click on any cell to make manual changes to the data or click on the red X to remove a student from this batch of hometowners.

I left somebody off my spreadsheet accidentally, can I add a record to my spreadsheet after I’ve imported it?

No, you cannot add a row to your spreadsheet after uploading it. You will want to either upload a new spreadsheet with the new student included or send a separate story about that one student as an Individual Hometowner.

Can I use my spreadsheet more than once?

No. Once you've sent out a hometowner using a spreadsheet it will be removed from your account. This helps prevent accidentally selecting an out-of-date spreadsheet while sending your hometowner.

If you need to send news about the same batch of students you will want to upload your spreadsheet again. 

I can’t find my uploaded spreadsheet in my account. Where did it go?

If you don't see your spreadsheet after clicking on the View Spreadsheets link, it is probably tied up with a draft hometowner. You'll see your most recent drafts listed on your Hometown News tab:

If you need to edit your spreadsheet you will want to delete your draft.

Can I export my spreadsheet from the readMedia?


Can I add/remove a newspapers for an individual student?

Yes, you make changes to each person's media distribution while viewing your spreadsheet. There you'll see an Add Newspaper button and "Not the right newspaper for..." links

Click on the Add Newspaper button to add a media outlet to just this one student or all students within this zip code. Choose the "Not the right newspaper for..." link to permanently remove this newspaper from this zip code. Keep in mind that removing a newspaper will prevent that paper from receiving all news from that postal code.