Emergency Bulletins: Winter is coming!

December 8, 2015 Carlin Cole

It’s that time of year again when we in the South put up our flip flops and our Northern friends tune up the snow blowers.  As winter officially begins and those nor’easters begin to bear down on us, it’s important to be familiar with how Emergency Bulletins work with the ON Products to keep your school up-to-date on the latest delays or closings.  So, how exactly do those Emergency Bulletins work?

Platform Managers can publish Emergency Bulletins to specific personas and roles in the application. Within the bulletin they can enter a title and message as well as a URL to link users to additional information. Platform Managers can also enter publish and expire dates and times. These bulletins appear as a banner within the app and as a banner and/or lightbox on your website.  Users can close the banner once they have read the bulletin to keep it from cluttering the page.

To add an emergency bulletin:

  1. Go to Core > Communication > Emergency Bulletin
  2. Click Add bulletin
  3. Enter the Bulletin title and Emergency message

Other optional information you can add:

  • Page URL (to direct the user to a link associated with the bulletin)
  • Status (choose the date it should begin and end)
  • Display as (Lightbox and/or Banner)
  • Publish (choose where you would like the bulletin to be viewed)
    • onMessage Website (choose which sites to publish this to)
    • WebApp (choose which roles will see this within the app)
  • If you have multiple bulletins, click save & add another. If not, click save & close.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 8.40.01 AM


When a user clicks the ‘X’ or closes out of an Emergency Bulletin Lightbox pop-up will they be notified again?

Once a user closes or X’s out of the Emergency Bulletin for the Lightbox/Banner they will not be prompted with the Emergency Bulletin again until they clear their cache/cookies or open up an incognito/private browsing window.

When you clear the light box or the banner emergency bulletin a cookie is written to the browser cache to notify the site that the emergency bulletin has already been cleared.  This will prevent the emergency bulletin from coming back up as long as that cookie still exists. So it will not come back in that particular browser until the cookie/cache is cleared.  The settings for this completely depend on the browser and the User. Some Users have their browser setup to clear cookies every time they close it, whereas some people don’t have it cleared except through a manual process.

Interested in Styling an Emergency Bulletin on your website?  See https://kb.blackbaud.com/articles/Article/24183

Hopefully with these simple steps you are armed with the ability to keep your constituents up-to-date and informed.  I hope you all stay safe and warm this winter.

About the Author

Carlin  Cole

Carlin is a Product Support Lead II for Blackbaud’s K–12 Private Schools Group.

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