Author Archives: Elise Hu

How to Create a Link Roundup

We’ve created a tool to make a morning link roundup post easier and more effective. There’s a bit of a learning curve on this, so please watch the 6 minute screencast I created to demo the tool, embedded below. But if you’re feeling brave, or need a quick reference, you can use the step by step guide after the jump.

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Storify is Now in Your Dashboard

We’ve added the Storify plugin to your modified WordPress dashboards so that from now on, you can build your Storifys in your dasboard and skip any embedding into a post. This means your Storify timeline that you create in the WP backend will BE a post. Cool, eh?

1. To create a Storify post, click on the new Storify heading in your left-hand navigation panel. It’s near the bottom, just above “Performance.”

2. Login to Storify. (If you have never used it before, you can use your StateImpact Twitter account to create a login).

3. Enter a headline, which will become your post headline.

4. Enter a description, which is the overarching description of the timeline of links, media and tweets you are about to create in Storify. This description will live as the “intro paragraph” to your Storify post.

5. Begin curating tweets, media, links and more for your Storify timeline. You can use the search field to find recent tweets under a particular hashtag or term, or pull in media from Instagram, YouTube, Flickr and more. Be creative.

6. When you have a nice timeline built, have your editor read it over and then all you have to do is hit publish.

Edit your Storify from the post window w/the box above Publish

7. This will jump you over into a standard WP post display for you, so you can see how your Storify lives on your page. TAG and categorize your post here, also add a jump underneath the intro paragraph and before the Storify begins so your timeline doesnt take up your whole page. Then hit update.

8. If you need to edit your Storify but you are already in the post window, click the “Edit Story” link in the upper right hand box above the “Publish” window.

How to Use the Add Link Tool

StateImpacters, there’s a hidden tool in your WordPress editor that should make it easier for you to link to your previous posts and topics pages. How to use it:

The "add link" interface will make linking to your previous content a little easier.

1. In your post or topic page, highlight the text you want to link out.

2. Click on the “Insert/edit link” icon, just as you typically do for your hyperlinks.

3. When the window pops up, instead of entering the destination URL, click on “Link to existing content” in the second part of the window.

4. Clicking on that will open up a search and a reverse chron listing of your previous posts and topic pages. Just search for the headline terms of the post or topic you want to link to and select it.

5. Click on the story you want to link to, and it will show up in the URL field above the search.

6. Click “Add Link” and you’re all set.

Obviously, this only queries your previous original content, so if you want to link out to other sources (which you should, generously), this add link tool won’t work — do it the old fashioned way.


Featuring Multimedia on Your New Topic Page

As you can see in this documentation, StateImpact topic pages have gotten a facelift. They include some new functionality for you to feature your best posts on a topic and to feature your data apps or interactives that live outside the traditional post format. Those apps or interactives will need to be added as “multimedia” and tagged, just as you tag stories. So here’s the workflow:

  • Choose “multimedia” and “add new” at the dashboard.
  • Add a title, an excerpt, and the URL of the original page or post.
  • Add tags with all the topic pages you want it to appear on.
  • Set a featured image for the multimedia.

How to Make a Related Content Module

Want to make it easier for readers to see all the posts and topic pages you have in a series? Now you can, with our related content module. It’s built right into your post edit window and you can use it with any post that’s longer than three paragraphs. Examples are on Ohio and Florida‘s posts right now. Check out our screencast below to see how to make one.

Related content modules take up space. Don’t make them too long by including a bunch of posts. Keep it to two or three posts, and no more than two related topics per module.

Place your cursor in the place you want the module to go. Don’t just put it anywhere. Put it in an area where there’s a good block of test.

You can drag the order of your related content around in the module before saving.

Click on a related content item (post or topic) to remove it from the module.

Now, Twitter Sharing is Easier Than Ever

Reporters, great news. Now you don’t have to manually shorten your post URLs before sharing them on Twitter. Your dashboard is doing it for you. Check it out, below:

Now, once you publish or update your post, look in the upper right hand corner and you’ll find the shortened link to share your post on Twitter. Copy it and then paste it into your Twitter message. Let us know if you run into problems, but hopefully this makes your workflow easier.

How to Feature Posts

This is an example of the featured post widget.

We’ve rolled out a new functionality that will allow you to feature posts in the right rail, in a widget. These instructions will take you through featuring posts, and then putting in the widget on both your home page and your post page. First, the screen cast to walk you through the process. And below the jump you can read instructions.

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How to Format a Q&A In Your Post

It’s easy! No, really. The screencast guides you through (after the standard 15 seconds where my video doesn’t encode correctly):

Things to remember:
Don’t type in a Q or A in front of your questions and answers when you transcribe your interviews. Also don’t put the speaker names in, because our formatting will make clear which are questions and we assume the questioner is always the blog post author. Also, don’t bold or do anything to the text. Simply type in the questions and their answers, and separate those with spaces.

Then, all you have to do is highlight the full question, then click the Q button in your edit panel. Same for answers. REMEMBER: You must highlight an entire answer before hitting the “A” button to format, even if the answer is long and separated with a space. It will confuse the system if you don’t highlight all of a question, and all of its answer.

StateImpact Style: Setting up your Facebook and Twitter accounts

These are the instructions to get the pretty StateImpact look on your Twitter and Facebook pages.


1. Log out.
2. Select “Create a page” link below the “Sign Up” button.
3. Select “Media/News/Publishing” under category.
4. Type “StateImpact FullStateName”
5. Check “I agree to Facebook Pages Terms,” and click “Get Started”
6. Click “I already have a Facebook account,” and fill out the form using your own Facebook account login info.
7. Add this profile image
8. Select ‘Edit Info’ under Page name

  • Basic info: Name, founded, city/state.
  • About: “A collaboration of local public media and NPR with a focus on XyXy.”
  • Description: “StateImpact [State Name] is a collaboration between XySTATION, XySTATION, XySTATION and NPR. Reporters XyXy and XyXy cover state government with a focus on [coverage area]. Read our reports online, and hear us on public radio stations across [state].”
  • Add
  • Phone (optional)

9. Manage permissions

  • Profanity Blocklist: Medium

10. Your Settings

  • Deselect email notification

11. Add under “Manage Admins” in the left navigation.

12. Add a post! Important: This is the headline style (‘We’ve Got a Budget Framework’) | By Scott Detrow’). Just double click on the headline to enable you to edit it. Same with story summaries, which should be tightened up. Feel free to add commentary, like “Announcement came from Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati’s Twitter account…”


1. Login:

  • Username: StateImpactPA, StateImpactIN, StateImpactFL
  • Password: whatever you choose, send it to

2. Change Settings > Profile

  • Add this profile image
  • Change name: “StateImpact [full state name]”
  • Set location: City, State
  • Add SI blog address
  • Bio: “StateImpact [full state name] is a collaboration of local public media and @NPR, covering state government with a focus on [XyXy].”
  • Save changes

3. Change Settings > Design

  • Add this background image
  • Check “tile background”
  • Change design colors
  • Background (1e2b36)
  • Text (333333)
  • Links (164a7a)
  • Sidebar (d6d6d6)
  • Sidebar border (8a8a8a)
  • Save changes




Photo 101

Our multimedia trainer-in-chief Becky explains the buttons and parts of the StateImpact Canons that you need to know, and Elise discusses the best sizes and proportions you should use to display those photos on your site.