How to Publicize Your Programs & Services on BPN

If you have subscribed to BPN as a business, organization, school, or childcare facility, you can publicize your programs and services on BPN.  (If you are not a subscriber, find out how to subscribe here!) 

  1. Update your profile page
  2. Post an announcement or event
  3. Ask parents to post reviews of you

See also: Additional options for childcare referral agencies, daycares & preschools, tutor & music businesses, and college advisors.

Update your profile page

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 update 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" - Type in a description of your programs or services here
      • Phone number, email address, and website
      • Other fields depending on the type of subscription you have. For example preschools can edit their hours, tuition, languages spoken, ages served, and more.
    • 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 current announcements and events.  
    • 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. See "Ask parents to post reviews of you."
    • Databases: If you are a school, preschool, class, or camp, then information from your profile page is used for one of BPN's searchable databases:  (1) Childcare & Preschools, (2) K-12 Schools, and (3) 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 ("Category Listings"): All profile pages are arranged into categories in the Advice Archive, which is made up of thousands of pages of advice and reviews posted by parents. Browse the Advice Archive by clicking Browse Advice in the main menu.  Your profile page will appear in one or more categories of the archive. If you want to change your primary category, or you think there are additional categories you should be included in, please contact us.

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:  Advice & Reviews › Activities & Events & Places To Go › Activities Indoors › Libraries ›

 Post an announcement or event

You can submit an announcement every 30 days, plus up to 3 events (kid-friendly outings, open houses and tours). Announcements expire after 30 days and then you can post again. Events expire after the event date has passed. All posts must describe activities for the school or business that is subscribed, and must be specifically for parents or children. 

  • 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.
  • Announcement vs Event:
    • Current openings at your school, preschool, daycare, camp, etc. ==> Announcement
    • Upcoming classes, camps, teams, etc. for parents or kids ==> Announcement
    • Support groups and workshops you offer specifically for parents or kids ==> Announcement
    • Services you provide for parents, families, or kids ==> Announcement
    • Open house, tour, or informational session about your programs & services ==> Event
    • Kid-friendly events you host, such as a performance or a carnival ==> Event
    • Job openings at your business of interest to BPN subscribers ==> 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.
  • Where your post will be published:
    1. On your profile page
    2. In a listing on the BPN website such as "Parenting Classes & Workshops"
    3. In a weekly email newsletter.  See About the Newsletters below.
  • When to post
    • Announcements: Post before Friday for this week's newsletter! The newsletter is mailed on Fridays, usually in the evening. Just before mailing the newsletter, the moderator will review all pending posts. The newsletter that she mails will automatically include all posts that were submitted during the past 7 days that have been approved. This means that if you submit your post around the same time the moderator is preparing and mailing the newsletter, or if the moderator rejected your post and asked you to make corrections, your post might not be approved in time.  If you are timing your announcement for next week, wait until you receive the newsletter on Friday and then post.
    • Parents of Teens:  Post before Friday for this Monday's newsletter!  If your announcement is relevant for teens, and you check the "Include in Teens" box, it will be automatically included in Monday's Teens newsletter once it is approved. However, you need to post before Friday to get it into the following Monday's newsletter.
    • Events: The newsletter only includes events happening in the next 10 days. So if you post about an event that's more than 10 days in the future, you won't see your post in a newsletter until later. All events, once approved, are immediately published on the website in the Events listing, so it's a good idea to post with as much advance notice as you can.
  • When your post will be published, and for how long.  All posts are reviewed by a moderator before being published which typically takes few days, so please plan accordingly. 
    • Announcements Your post will be included in the next newsletter that's mailed, but not in subsequent newsletters. It will be published for 30 days in the listing you posted to, such as "Services for Families".
    • Events Your event will be immediately added to the Events listing on BPN's website. It will be included in the newsletter that's mailed the week before your event date, but not before that.
    • See also: About the Newsletters below.
  • How often you can post:  
  • 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. NOTE!  We ask that you not unpublish a post before its expiration date in order to increase the frequency that your posts appear in a newsletter. This isn't fair to other subscribers who are following the rules, it makes the newsletters too long, and it's confusing to parents who click your link in a newsletter that is a week or two old, since they will see an error page as your post is no longer published.
  • How to edit a post:  Unpublish your post per above, and then post a new one.

About the Newsletters 

BPN emails a number of weekly digests containing new posts from the preceding 7 days. Announcements and events are published in two of BPN's newsletters:

  1. The Announcements newsletter is mailed every Friday, usually in the afternoon or evening.  It automatically includes all *new* announcements received during the past 7 days that were approved. It also includes upcoming events for the upcoming 10 days.  Note the newsletter does not include all posts that are currently published on the website. It includes only the past week's new announcements along with upcoming events for 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.
  2. The Parents of Teens newsletter, mailed every Monday morning, 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 this 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.  

Parent reviews

Reviews on your profile page from parent subscribers makes your program more attractive to parents who haven't heard of your program.  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

  1. Only parent subscribers can post advice and reviews on BPN, not businesses, schools, or other paid subscribers.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Additional options for certain types of subscriptions

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."