Keeping the “New” in News

Posted on 11/1/2010 2:12:50 PM

When an event is promoted more than once, it is tempting to update an already-existing news post with the revised information. However, doing this will nearly guarantee that no one will notice this “new” news post.

That is because it really isn’t new. News posts created in Ektron retain their date of creation, and that date is what determines where it appears and in what order within a news list. Updating a news post gives it a new publication date but does not change the date of creation. News feeds that search for new posts to distribute tend to look for the post’s creation date.

During the assembly of each edition of IUP Daily, for example, the tool used by the Web Team pulls up every news post created during the previous five business days (one week). Anything created earlier than that will not be noticed by the news tool and will not appear in IUP Daily.

A similar problem can arise if, in the effort to be efficient about promoting an upcoming event, a web maintainer creates a news post a few weeks in advance within the CMS editor, then checks it in with the intention of publishing it a few days before the event. But because the news tool looks at the date of creation, not publication, that news post will fall outside the five business days and will never be included in IUP Daily. In addition, if other news posts are published between the date that post is first written and its date of publication, that “new” post will be buried underneath the others on the department or office’s news page.

If a news post contains inaccurate information, such as a wrong date or time, or a misspelled name, it should definitely be updated. But if you have new news, be sure to make a new news post.

Having a plan for your news posts is great, and writing the posts ahead of time is encouraged if it helps you stay organized. Just don’t write them in the CMS Workarea. Use Word or Notepad or any other text editor, and save them to your own computer or network drive. When you’re finally ready to publish the item, just copy and paste the text into a new news post (remember to use Paste Text, never a straight Paste).

And be sure never to update an old news post to promote a new event.

On a slightly different subject, sometimes web maintainers may post news by using the Suggest a News Item link on their department’s news page. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but if you’re a site approver, you need to be aware that one more step is required. When a news item is suggested via the “Suggest a News Item” link, Ektron does not recognize who is submitting the post, and it sends the submission all the way to the start of the approval chain. This means that, even if you are an approver, if you enter a news post using the “Suggest a News Item” link, you must then open the CMS Workarea to the Smart Desktop and approve your own post. Otherwise it will never be published.

One more thing to note: Often, web maintainers will see a news post on another department or office website and decide they would like a similar post in their own News section. Maybe someone in their department is mentioned in the post or it discusses one of their area’s programs.

However, posting a duplicate news post really needs to be avoided. A far better way to display any news post on your site is to use the Imported News or the Highlighted News option, which allows you to display any news item from anywhere on the IUP site without needing to make a news post. Read more about how to feature other news posts on your own site.