If you have purchased a subscription for your business, organization, or school, here are the ways that you can publicize your programs and services on BPN:
- Update your profile page
- Post an announcement or event
- Ask parents to post reviews of you
- Additional options for tutor & music businesses, college advisors, daycares, preschools, and childcare referral agencies
Make sure the information on your profile page is up to date and contains complete information about your school, business, or organization. (**Note** artists, authors, and performers who have purchased a $35 subscription do not have their own profile page but instead use one supplied by BPN.)
What is your profile page? Your profile page is the main way parents find out about you on BPN's website. It displays information such as your own website, how parents can contact you, any currently-published announcements or events, and reviews of you posted by BPN subscribers. Having a profile page on BPN increases your web presence, and improves visibility of your own web page. We use information on your profile page for listings and databases on the BPN website. You can edit and update certain fields on your profile page if you are a community subscriber.
- How to edit your profile page: Login to the BPN website and go to your account page (click 'my account' at the top of any page). Scroll down to the section "My Profile Page" and click the edit link.
- Fields you can edit: "About you", phone number, email address, website, city, as well as other fields depending on the type of subscription you have. For example preschools can edit their hours and the ages of children they accept.
Fields you cannot edit: The name of your school, business, or organization can only be edited by BPN, as well as the category BPN has assigned you to. For some types of business such as preschools, BPN also must edit license information and capacity. Please contact us if you need us to update one of these fields.
How BPN uses your profile page:
Posts: Every announcement and event you post contains a link to your profile page, so parents reading your post can get more information about your business and also read reviews of you posted by BPN subscribers. Your profile page in turn displays all your posts that are currently published.
Reviews: Parents who subscribe to BPN can post a review of you directly to your profile page. Any other reviews of you that have been posted on BPN are also displayed on your profile page, including archived reviews from BPN newsletters 1995-2015.
Databases: If you are a school, preschool, class, or camp, information from your profile page is used for one of three searchable databases on BPN: Childcare & Preschools, K-12 Schools, and Classes & Camps. Parents can search these databases using information you provide on your profile page such as your city, languages spoken, and ages of children you accept. These searchable databases can be found in the main menu at the top of every page on the BPN website. For example, "Search K-12 Schools" is in the "Schools" tab on the main menu.
- Advice Archive (aka "Category Listings"): All of the profile pages on BPN except for schools & preschools are arranged into categories in the Advice Archive, which is made up of thousands of pages of advice and reviews posted by parents. Your can browse the Advice Archive by clicking Browse Advice in the main menu. Your profile page is included in one or more categories of the archive under the heading Organizations & Businesses in this category. Example: The "Libraries" category in the Advice Archive displays advice from parents as well as the profile pages of local libraries. Libraries that are community subscribers are indicated by a yellow 'B' after their name. You can view the primary category your page is assigned to on your profile page. Look at the top of your profile page for the breadcrumb. Example: the profile page for the Albany Library has this breadcrumb:
Your profile page might be included in more than one category. For example, a music class for young children might have the primary category "Music for Little Ones" in its breadcrumb, but may also be listed in the categories "Classes for Toddlers" and "Classes for Preschoolers." If you want to change your primary category, or you think there are additional categories you should be included in, please contact us.
You can have up to 3 announcements published at a time, plus up to 3 events. Announcements expire after 30 days and then you can post again. Events expire after the event date has passed. All posts must describe activities that are specifically for parents or children.
- What to post:
- Kid-friendly events you host, such as a performance or a carnival ==> Event
- Open house, tour, or informational session about your programs & services ==> Event
- Upcoming classes, lessons, camps, teams, or other groups for parents or kids ==> Announcement
- Current openings at your school, preschool, or daycare ==> Announcement
- Support groups and workshops you offer specifically for parents or kids ==> Announcement
- Services you provide specifically for parents or kids ==> Announcement
Job openings ==> Announcement
Volunteer opportunities for kids and/or parents (nonprofits only) ==> Announcement
What to put in your post: Read "Hints for posting a good announcement" for tips about how to get parents' attention about your programs and services.
How to post: Click Post a message on the BPN website, and then choose either Post an Announcement or Post an Event. For detailed instructions about filling out the posting form, see FAQ for Announcements and Events.
Where your post will be published:
When your post will be published, and for how long. All posts are reviewed by a moderator before being published. Typically posts are reviewed every few days, but it can take up to 7 days for a moderator to review your post, so please plan accordingly. The moderators catch up on all pending posts on Friday before the Announcement newsletter is mailed. So if you post before Friday, your post will be included in the newsletter (assuming it is approved.)
- Announcements are published on the BPN website for 30 days, after which they expire.
Events are published on the BPN website until the event date has passed.
Weekly newsletters include (1) new announcements posted during the past 7 days, along with (2) upcoming events for next 10 days. This means that your post will appear only once in a newsletter, although it will continue to be published on the website as explained above. (See About the Newsletters below.)
How often you can post:
- Announcements: Up to 3 announcements can be published at the same time as long as they are each about a different program or activity. If you have more than 3 programs you want to post about, such as multiple summer sessions, either combine them in a more generic post about your summer camps, or unpublish older posts and then post the new ones.
Events: Up to 3 events can be published at the same time, and each event can have up to 3 dates/times. If you want to post more events than that, publish the earliest dates first, wait for them to expire, and then post new events.
- How to tell whether your post is published: Look on your profile page. There you will see all your announcements and events that are currently published. You can also view all your posts, including expired posts, on your account page (click 'my account' at the top of BPN's website). Check the post's Status:
- "Awaiting moderation" = moderator has not reviewed your post yet (allow up to 7 days).
- "Approved" = your post is published on the website.
- "Expired" = your announcement was posted more than 30 days ago or your event date has passed.
"Unpublished" = either you or a moderator unpublished this post before it expired.
How to unpublish a post: Go to your account page (click 'my account') and click the title of the post you want to unpublish, and then click the Unpublish tab.
About the Newsletters BPN emails a number of weekly digests containing new posts from the previous week. Announcements and events are published in two of BPN's newsletters:
- The Announcements newsletter is mailed every Friday and includes all *new* announcements received during the past week, as well as upcoming events for the next week. Note the newsletter does not include all posts that are currently published on the website. It includes only the new announcements received during the previous week, along with upcoming events (next 10 days).
- Your announcement will be included in the next newsletter after you post, but not in subsequent newsletters, because the newsletter only includes new announcements.
Your event will be published on the website immediately after it is approved, but it will not appear in the newsletter until the week before the event date.
- The Parents of Teens newsletter, mailed every Monday, contains new announcements and upcoming events of interest to parents of teens and preteens. If your event or announcement targets this age group, you'll have the option to include it in the next Parents of Teens newsletter in addition to the Announcements newsletter.
If you want your announcement included in the next Announcements or Teens newsletter, post before Friday so the moderators have time to review it before mailing the newsletter.
You can ask parents who have direct experience with your school, business, or organization to post a review of you on BPN. It is free for local parents to subscribe to BPN and post reviews. Give them the link to your profile page or they can use "Search BPN" on our website to find you. If they are logged in as a parent subscriber, they will see a 'Post a review' button on your profile page which they can click to post a review of you.
Policies for reviews: [more info]
Only parent subscribers can post advice and reviews on BPN, not businesses, schools, or other paid subscribers.
Parents must be posting advice and reviews as a parent who has first-hand experience with the school or business they are reviewing, and no relationship to the business. Reviews are not accepted from friends or family of the business. Professional advice and colleague referrals are not accepted on BPN.
All reviews are moderated to make sure they follow BPN's rules and policies. For example, the same person cannot post more than one review of the same business, and negative reviews are only accepted when responding to a question from another parent, not when posting directly to a profile page.
In addition to posting announcements and events, some who have purchased the business subscription also have access to other means of publicizing their business:
Tutor Businesses, Music/Art Businesses, College Advisors who have subscribed as a business can also submit a post to the Tutor/Teacher Listing. Click 'Post a message' and choose 'Tutors & Teachers'. Your post remains in the listing for the duration of your subscription. For more information about this listing see the FAQ for Tutors & Teachers.
Daycares, Childcare Centers & Preschools can contact parents who have posted to the Childcare listing seeking childcare. You can find these posts in the weekly Childcare newsletter and also on the website under the "Childcare & Preschools" link in the main menu on each page (choose "Parents Seeking Childcare"). To send a message to a parent, click the title on their post to view it, and scroll to the end and click the Contact link.
- Childcare Referral Agencies can also post to the Childcare listing under "Nannies and Sitters Offering Care." Choose the Post Type "Childcare Referral Services."