FAQs‎ > ‎

Top FAQs

Drafting a Template

What are placeholders and why do I need them?

Every template needs placeholders in the body of the release and in the single format headline. These placeholders will contain the personalized data about your students that will come from your spreadsheet. They will represent the person's first name, last name, hometown, major, class level, high school, parents and more.

In your template you should insert some generic text to let you know where you'll be using this personal information. This text will act as a placeholder for the data from your spreadsheet later on.

Can I change the automated information that appears in my templates?

Yes, you can make changes to the automatically populated contact information on the first step of composing your template. Simply change the information so that it appears the way you'd like it to.

If you need to make permanent changes to this data please contact readMedia at customerservice@readmedia.com.

How do I add a logo/letterhead to my template?

First you need to have a logo or letterhead uploaded into your account. You can do this by clicking on the My Account tab and then on the Logos or Letterheads links. You'll see an option to add a new logo/letterhead there.

You can have as many logos/letterheads as you may need in your account. For example, many schools upload separate academics and athletics logos.

If you have a logo/letterhead loaded into your account, you can add one to your template by clicking on the dropdown boxes directly above the Next Step button while you're on Step 1 of composing a template.

What do Single Format and Multiple Format mean?

The single format version of your template is a story about one person. It will be delivered to a newspaper if there's only one person from your spreadsheet who is from within their coverage area.

The multiple format version is a story about a group of people.This release will send a newspaper a list of the names and hometowns of everybody from your spreadsheet within their coverage area. 

Regardless of whichever story the media receives, each student in your spreadsheet will have a single format hometowner written just about them on www.readabout.me.

Do I need to create both a Single Format and Multiple Format template?

Yes. When you compose a group hometowner you need to create both a single and multiple format version of the same story. readMedia needs to be able to deliver either a story about one person or a story about a list of people if needed.

You will need to create a multiple format version of every template. Even though you may not think you need it with this hometowner, some newspapers have large coverage areas which may require one.

What does the placeholder button/pending box do?

Clicking on the Placeholder button inserts a pending box into your template. These pending boxes will save a spot for data from your spreadsheet later on.

I can't assign values to the pending boxes. Why?

Placeholders will remain as a pending boxes throughout the entire template creation process (even in the preview stage). After saving your template you can use the Send a Hometowner link to combine this template with a spreadsheet and assign the values.

What do Opening, Repeating and Closing mean in the Multiple Format tab?

The opening and closing sections of your multiple format templates are static. The information that appears here will be the same for every media recipient. Your opening should be all of the text that leads into your list of students.

The repeating section is the only area where you can add placeholders. This section will become your list of students. The text that appears here should be written as if it's about just one student. This line will repeat as needed for newspapers. 

You closing text is everything that follows your list of students. This often includes paragraphs of additional details as well as a boilerplate paragraph.

Can I reuse a template?

Absolutely. You can use a template as many times as you need to. Many schools use the same templates year after year when sending standardized hometowners (things like Dean's Lists, graduation, or matriculation). Reusing templates can save you a lot of time.

Can I copy a template?

You can edit, copy or delete any of your existing templates at any time. Simply click on the View Templates link on the right to access your list of templates.

How can I edit a template saved as a draft hometowner?

You can't edit a template if it's saved as part of a draft inside your account. In order to make changes to the template you will first need to delete the draft hometowner. After that you can send or resave it using the same "Send Hometowner" link.