Bulletin Designer Focus Group Session

The following are questions, concerns, and feedback from our May 2nd 2016 Bulletin Webinar.

Feedback, Q & A, and FAQ

1) Which templates/layouts render best on mobile devices (Phones) Are the template responsive for mobile smartphone use -- or do you recommend a specific type of template? Are some of the templates more device responsive than others?

We are in the process of making the Modern Bulletin themes responsive. The responsive functionality should be available soon. Responsive Themes will work when the Email client supports it, and the content sent out is not formatted in such a way to break it. A simple example would be a table set to be too wide, this would break the ability to display content in a responsive manner.

2) Please explain the archive function for bulletins.

The archive feature essentially locks your bulletin from further editing and allows you to store it for safe-keeping. If you are using dynamic widgets such as stories in your bulletin, archiving will make sure to lock your bulletin, such that if the story used ever changed, it would not affect your newsletter.

3) I use widgets for events, speakers, links, birthdays, etc. How are those added?

We have kept all your familiar built-in widgets that allow you to add upcoming events, speakers, birthdays and more. You will find these under the grey categories on the right hand side, such as Essentials. Simply expand the group and you will find all the widgets that can be dragged and dropped into your bulletin. To edit any details, simply hover over the placed widget and click on the edit icon.

4) Can you edit a bulletin after it has been archived?

No, archiving the bulletin locks the newsletter from further editing. You can however copy the most recent archived bulletin.

5) Can you print bulletins in color OR black & white?

Yes, you can print the newsletters in color or black and white. At the moment, this is a setting in your browser’s print functionality window. We will be creating print-friendly bulletins in the near future.

6) Same schedule for Districts?

Yes. Districts will receive access to the new Bulletin Designer at the same time as clubs. The private beta preview will open on May 12 for all clubs and districts that signed up.

7) Where can I see the survey link in bulletin designer?

If you go to the current Bulletin Designer, you will see a link to the survey on the left blue column on the page.

8) In the templates, will the stories automatically split into two parts, adding the "read more" area? If you have a long story, will it automatically shorten with the "read more" option?

Stories are divided into two sections: the brief and content area. If your text is only in the brief section, a read more link will not appear. If you have any text in the content area, then the read more link will appear, provided you set your stories widget properties up that way. Clicking on the gear icon at the top right of the placed Stories widget in your bulletin will allow you to finetune the display properties, including whether to show only the brief, the brief and content, and whether you want a Read more link (in addition to many other options such as line separators, background colours, etc.) As a best practice, we recommend using the brief as a short teaser to entice readers to read the rest of your story by clicking on Read more.

9) Where do we keep our local photos for the bulletins?

Once uploaded, all photos used within ClubRunner (website or bulletin) are saved in the Image Library.

10) It would be good if your examples consistently used club logos that were created from RI's logo creator tool.

Thank you for your feedback. We will keep that in mind once we build our templates. While we can definitely include the official Rotary logo, we do recommend that clubs replace it with the one that they generate using the logo creator tool on RI's site.

11) Will the image widget being demo'd auto resize images?

If you use the pre-formatted image widgets, your images will automatically be resized on the fly. However, even if you don't resize an image that you embed within a story, ClubRunner will resize it to fit the area, even if that doesn't appear while in edit mode.

12) Have you resolved the issue of fonts styles when we copy/paste from somewhere else?

Yes, this fix was part of our latest biweekly software release. You can view notes from our previous service updates by visiting: http://clubrunner.helpserve.com/Knowledgebase/List/Index/365/service-updates

13) Our club sponsors 2 RCC's. Can each RCC use this and have their separate bulletins each month?

If the members from the RCC are in your member roster, you can assign them the appropriate access to email the bulletin to their recipients. Their recipients would have to be added as contacts within the new contacts module. You can learn more about the contacts module by visiting: http://clubrunner.helpserve.com/Knowledgebase/List/Index/752/contacts-module

Once that's set up, you can create two separate bulletin groups which would categorize each RCC's bulletins. You can have up to 3 groups.

14) I would be curious how many clubs use bulletin. We create stories and publish; we send club emails and use Facebook. We just haven't found a need to use bulletin yet. Not sure why I would.

The bulletin module is the second most popular module used in ClubRunner following the Website Designer. There are a number of reasons why clubs would want to use the newsletter module to send out communication to not only their members but also their contacts, including announcements, invitations, meeting summaries, and more. Newsletters can be used to share lots of information with a large number of people, automatically sourcing information that has been entered into your website, such as upcoming events and speakers. It can also be used as a vehicle to drive traffic to your website using the example above of featuring your stories as brief teasers with Read more links. With the stats feature, you can always gauge the popularity of your bulletins by seeing how many members opened the email.

15) I think the text editor in V3 is not very good as the formatting is not consistent, as you are typing and enter the typeface changes. Will this change in the new version?

Sorry to hear that. We did make a few fixes to the current editor to address the formatting. In this version, the font will be defaulted to the bulletin theme you select, and can be changed. If this isn't the case please contact our support team to investigate further.

16) If we want to import a list of Rotary "friends" to invite them to an event, can we do that in this module? Can it be used with Events to send invites and have RSVPs?

You can use the contacts feature to upload your list of friends, and can create a newsletter to email them an invitation. However, you would have to ensure that any registration links are embedded and added in. This module does not integrate with the events module (yet). We are close to releasing an upgraded email module for the events which will integrate with contacts.

17) If a bulletin is archived and a photo is deleted from the library does it affect the archived copy?

Yes, if images are deleted from the library, they will be removed from the bulletin as well, regardless of whether it is archived or not. This will be resolved shortly.

18) It looks like this tool has much more utility than just for weekly bulletins. I have been using Bulletin for our weekly meeting only. You have given me an idea to create unique bulletins for events/fundraisers, etc.

Newsletters are a very powerful tool and can be used for a variety of different communication topics. We’re glad you feel that way!

19) If you use the 3 photo template with text below, do all of the photos have to be the same as in horizontal or vertical?

The orientation can be horizontal or vertical. The system will automatically resize the images to fit into the space. For consistency sake, we recommend always using the same orientation.

20) Will you be removing the old logos for Rotaract, Interact, Rotary wheel, etc? Many people don't realize these are outdated.

Yes, we will update the current image library to include only the latest logos. If newer versions of any logos are available, we will replace the existing ones so that any pages using them will get updated.

21) I use the widget for the President’s article. Once archived that can be changed – will that continue or will the Presidents article need to become a monthly story again?

You can continue to change the content in that widget. The archived bulletin will always display the content as it was before you updated it.

22) Does the new version have a name? Version 4.0?

This new method of creating bulletins is built on the same Version 3 platform, it just got a facelift as far as user interface. We’re going to call it the Bulletin Wizard. But would love to hear your suggestions if you have comments on the name.

23) Is the preview the same for a desk top, tablet and smart phone?

No, the preview is only for the desktop. Devices and other clients that support responsive functionality will resize if you are using one of the Modern themes.

24) I really want to see contacts and adding sponsors/friends of club as this and collecting dues and manage donations is our biggest concern. Would like to get away from quickbooks.

Contacts is available for all clubs and is coming soon for districts. You can learn more about how to use the Contacts feature by visiting: http://clubrunner.helpserve.com/Knowledgebase/List/Index/752/contacts-module

You can collect dues and manage donations from ClubRunner. To collect online payments, you must be equipped with our Online Payments and eCommerce add-on module. To learn more about this, visit: http://site.clubrunner.ca/Page/features#OnlinePayment

To familiarize yourself with the Dues and Billing module, please visit: http://clubrunner.helpserve.com/Knowledgebase/List/Index/413/dues-and-billing

25) Does the Archiving work the same way?

Yes, you still have the option to archive the bulletin after sending it.

26) Is the publish button being eliminated?

In a way, yes. When you do use the Live Designer, the updates are automatically published in the background when you click on Next, to proceed to the next step. So, if this means that you need to hide any references to the bulletin until after you’ve sent it, it may be something we need to look into. Thanks for the question!

27) Where do I currently find email stats?

Email stats can be found by clicking on the Communication tab on your Admin Page and then on the Email Traffic Report. Or, you can go to your list of sent emails and see the Stats link on the right hand side. The following article explains how to access this page: http://clubrunner.helpserve.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/1080/370/how-do-i-view-my-email-stats

28) I have the bulletin links on the District website. If I do a bulletin for a special event, would I just not click the button to show on the website?

That’s right! You have the option to display the bulletin on your website or not. For cases where you don’t want it on your website, make sure that option is not checked. As a reminder, one of the new features we introduced is a Default Settings page where you can specify these options so you don't have to keep changing them each time you add a bulletin.

29) Can't remember - what kind of access level does someone need to work on a bulletin?

You need an access level of 60 (Editor) or better to work on the bulletin.

30) Are you doing anything more about the emails that are bouncing with specified providers?

This is not something we control. Emails bounce for a variety of reasons including being recognized as spam from the recipients ISP, or due to the security levels that the receiver’s workplace might add to their email network. These of course are not the only reasons emails bounce. You can however now manage the bounced emails and remove anyone that is not receiving emails from the block list. The following article goes over this in detail: http://iloveclubrunner.blogspot.ca/2016/01/tip-of-week.html

If you have a recurring issue with one ISP, our support team may be able to reach out to them and have them add our IP address to their white list. Please contact a member of our support team with more details.

31) Is delivery size the same as it is now?

Yes, all bulletins are still 600px wide. The reason for this is because email clients tend to automatically block emails that are wider, as these types of emails are notorious for being spam. Additionally, email clients are built for emails to be 600px wide only. Anything wider forces the reader to scroll horizontally to read the content, which makes it difficult to read the newsletter.

32) Will content stay available if I change template?

Yes, you can change the layout of the newsletter and all of your content will remain. You can also switch themes (colour schemes) without affecting any of your content. Try them all out!

33) Will you all be doing a webinar on contacts and dues/billing?

We hold monthly training webinars and upload all recorded webinars on our knowledgebase. To view our schedule of upcoming webinars, please visit: http://site.clubrunner.ca/Page/webinars.

To view past sessions, visit: http://clubrunner.helpserve.com/Knowledgebase/List/Index/356/recorded-webinars

As contacts is still in Beta, we haven't really had a webinar on it yet, but we're putting some final polishes on it now, and a focus group would be a great idea.

34) Is it the same LinkedIn site that we have been using?

Yes, it’s the same one. The name of the group is ClubRunner Beta and Early Access Participants and here is the link: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4746832

35) Is there a way to set a permanent default for fonts?

Not at this time. But that is an excellent suggestion and we have added it to our wishlist.

36) If a recipient's email appears in multiple lists and you are sending to both lists will the system auto correct for sending multiple emails to the same address?

Yes, the system will automatically remove the duplicates so each recipient only receives the email once. Please note that when sending the email, for the system to recognize the duplicates, you must select all of your lists at the same time. If you send to each list separately, chances of receiving duplicate copies increase.

37) I think some of the templates might have to be more closely viewed through the brand guidelines - not just colours, but fonts for which parts.

We created these themes using Rotary’s brand guide, and for fonts that were not available, we are using the official alternate fonts. The reason behind this is because not all the fonts are web friendly and might not render on everyone’s device the same way. For this reason, we have to use the alternate fonts, which are authorized by RI.

38) Will the new version support HTML?

You cannot edit the HTML of the pre-formatted widgets, however, you can always add a custom content widget (as you can with the current version) and edit the HTML. Simply click on the source button to create your bulletin using HTML. There's no reason why your bulletin can't consist of just one custom content widget.

39) I archive manually because I can’t create an 11th bulletin. Once I hit ten I need to archive. For some reason our club’s max is set at 10. Once we hit 10, we cannot SAVE a new version.

You should be able to have 12 active bulletins at a time. Are you sure you don’t have a second group with 2 active bulletins in it? We will have our support team investigate this on your account and reach out to you directly.

40) Contacts: can I import from a spreadsheet?

Yes, the following article explains how this can be done: http://clubrunner.helpserve.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/1267/752/importing-contacts

41) We also want a store front for purchase of tickets, etc. we are looking at a 3rd party if we have to for managing tickets sales, etc.

We do offer an add-on called MyEventRunner that allows you to sell tickets for events. We’d recommend requesting a free trial to see if it meets your needs. You can learn more about MyEventRunner by visiting: www.myeventrunner.com.

42) How does one adjust the appearance of who is sending the bulletin? I don’t want my name, I would like it to be from the name of my Rotary club.

You can edit the bulletin editor’s name from the properties screen, however, you will need to do this every time you send a bulletin, as we do not currently save this setting.

43) If we have registered for this webinar, will we be invited to the sandbox version?

Everyone who registered will receive their own access to a Sandbox website so you can view the Bulletin Designer and use it. Please note that the sandbox site is shared with other users, which is why we recommend you never send your bulletins to everyone in the distribution list.

44) How do you send it to addresses outside the club?

This is what our new contacts module is for! You can learn more about how to use the Contacts feature by visiting: http://clubrunner.helpserve.com/Knowledgebase/List/Index/752/contacts-module

45) I'd be delighted to be a beta tester for the new version.

Thank you for your interest! If you have not already done so but are interested in joining our private beta, where we will install this new designer on your club or district account, please email us at admin@clubrunner.ca. Please be sure to include your club name.

46) The reason our club doesn’t use archive is when you use archiving, the current bulletin drops from the list and our process is to use the prior bulletin and change stories as desired (sometimes we run a story for a few weeks in a row), so starting with the previous bulletin was easier than using a template.

You don't have to archive a bulletin right away, you are able to have 12 active bulletins at any point in time. So if this approach works best for your club, you are more than welcome to keep going. Note that you still have the Copy function in the new version, on both templates and previous bulletins.

47) I agree with changing name of "card" list, I love the format but others may not understand the term "card".

These are just the type of suggestions we are looking for – thank you! We are also considering calling it the Thumbnail view. If you have more thoughts, please join our LinkedIn group and join the discussion there: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4746832

48) I see the term ‘article’, can you comment on the distinction of what you think of as an ‘article’ vs. a story?

Great point. This was the name of the pre-formatted widget that is essentially a heading, followed by a body of text, with an image on the side and a button at the bottom. We'll make sure to rename it and avoid the understandable confusion. Thanks!

49) You did this demo from scratch (pick a template). Will you show how it works differently if you are starting from a prior bulletin?

The process will be very similar. You would start from your list of Active bulletins, then click on the More button at the lower right corner of the thumbnail, and select Copy. That will launch the wizard at the Design stage, and the rest is business as usual.

50) Can you use a prior archived bulletin as the starting point? And How?

Yes, you can copy the most recent archived bulletin in very much the same way as described above. Simply go to the Archived bulletins list, locate your bulletin, and select Copy.

51) How can I start copying from a previous bulletin?

You simply have to click on “Copy” which will duplicate the content and design of that bulletin, and you can then use that as a starting point. The following article explains how this can be done: http://clubrunner.helpserve.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/1103

52) Is adding the stories widget to the bulletin new?

No, the stories widget has always been part of the Bulletin Designer.

53) Now I have to arrange the stories order in bulletin and stories widget separately, will it now be the same?

When adding stories, you will be redirected to the Bulletin Story List page, where you can select your stories and sort them. Once done, you can click on the ‘Back to Designer’ link to go back to the bulletin designer. This only affects the bulletin stories, and this is unchanged from the current version.

54) Can the width of the columns in the layouts be customized or are they fixed (like they are now)?

They are fixed for many reasons, mostly to ensure that we resize all images to fit properly, and in order to ensure the pre-formatted widgets behave well. We can however add additional layouts that offer different widths. Was there a specific look you were after? If so, please let us know.

55) What is the difference between bulletin stories widget and the stories widget for the website?

The bulletin stories widget is a separate container that shows those stories only in your bulletin, while home page stories widget is the container that holds the stories to display on your website. You can have the same story appear on the home page and bulletin, however, you just have to ensure that the story is in both the bulletin stories widget and the home page stories widget. The easiest way to think of the two is to think of them as something that holds the stories. All these containers pull stories from the main Story Library.

56) We have trouble using add from stories library since we have so many stories in history that it often takes over a minute to load the stories library, can anything be done about that?

That’s something we can definitely look into. Thank you for bringing that to our attention.

57) Are these all the "Ad-Free" extra cost version?

We used an account that did not have any ads for our presentation. However, all the templates shown will still display the ads from our sponsors unless you have opted out of that.

58) Will the bulletin pull stories from the Home page and Speakers?

Yes, you simply have to add the appropriate widgets and the information will display on your bulletin. Simply browse the grey categories on the right hand side, such as Essentials.

59) Will there be any way to share stories between clubs and district?

That’s a great suggestion, and one we’ve heard before! We can definitely look further into implementing some better sharing of stories between clubs and district.

60) What's a Sandbox?

A sandbox is a shared website that you can access to “play” with new features. It is not the same as your club’s website and is simply a demo account, so you don't have to worry about messing up your content or sending out emails to your members.

61) What is the LinkedIn group please?

This is a group for our beta testers and Early Access participants group where we hold discussions to get your feedback on our product. You can join this group by visiting: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4746832

It is a closed group and you have to request to join, however, we will accept you very fast!

62) Can I upload photos from my account at Google+ ?

Not at this time, but we’ve added this to our wishlist for future enhancements.

63) Can I produce a consolidated table showing individual duties from the duty roster in the bulletin?

This is a feature that actually already exists. There are several ways of doing this. For every bulletin, you have the option to show member commitments. This can be done from the Properties screen. If this option is selected, then each bulletin sent will automatically include individual duties assigned to them, in addition to other commitments such as event and volunteer registrations. You can also add the Responsibilities widget into the bulletin.

64) Has text wrapping around photos been enhanced? This is related more with stories imported from the story list.

Text wrapping can be accomplished by double clicking on your image, or right clicking and selecting image properties. Then select either Left or Right for the Alignment Drop down.

65) When will this new protocol go live?

General availability is aimed for early June.

66) Can you add overlay images over banners such as Rotary logo or call to action?

If you use the Banner feature (which only works on some layouts), you have the ability to build a banner with any combination of text, background image, and left and right logos. We are also looking into plugging in additional image editing tools as part of our image uploader.   67) Please provide the email address again, to be included for the beta testing.

Sure! If you are interested in joining the private beta, where we will install this bulletin designer to your club, please email us at admin@clubrunner.ca. Spaces are limited. How many bulletins can be live at any point?

You can have up to 12 active bulletins at a time.

68) Love the settings feature, would be nice to have the option on other parts of the website, like the attendance module – would like to set default to ALL

We're definitely headed in that direction! In fact, in this current software release, you'll notice that the makeup screen will now remember your date range so you won't have to keep repeating it every time you add a new makeup. If you could send us a more detailed note on exactly where you want to see this default, that would help!

69) When will you be releasing the image editor?

We'll need to do some further testing on this but once it's behaving reasonably well we would release it to all subscribers.

70) When sending the bulletins, it would be nice to have the email subject line prefill with what has been used in the past – with the ability to change. That will help ensure the subject line is consistent such as for weekly club bulletins.

The email subject is actually part of the template! So once you access the module for the first time, copy your latest bulletin as a template and from that point it will set the same subject.

71) Do bulletins count towards email limits?

Yes, bulletins do count towards email limits. For more information on email limits, please visit: http://clubrunner.helpserve.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/1081/348/understanding-email-limits

72) I always submit questions via feedback and get a canned email that it might be considered. I think we could strategize on some things that would make it easier for clubs and make them want it.

Though you do receive a canned reply, please note that every suggestion is shared with the entire management team and development team and added to our wishlist. On a bi-weekly basis, when preparing for our software release, the management and development team prioritize all wish list items based on popularity, time to implement and the benefits it will provide all customers. We will do a better job of sharing our roadmap. We'll reach out to you directly to find out more on what you have in mind.