COVID-19 Reporting and Information • HEERF I & II

Digital Signage

Managing Announcements: Media Library

On December 14, 2020, REACH rolled out an update to their Announcements area. The original Announcements module went away, replaced by two new areas: Media Library and Playlists.

If you missed out on participating in the open trainings in December, or would like additional training on these areas, feel free to sign up for training!

In this guide, we'll go over the Media Library module. A guide for the Playlist module is also available for your reference.

If you have any questions about the update, please feel free to contact us using the form below!

Announcements vs. Media Library and Playlists

Previously, Announcements served both to organize playlists and as the place where announcement posts were created. The December 2020 update separates those two functions and makes them more convenient to manage. You’ll still be able to do all the things you can currently do in Reach; it’ll only change how you go about it a little. You’ll upload and organize content in your Media Library, and you’ll publish content from the Media Library in the Playlists view.

Media Library

The Media Library is where you’ll upload content, create announcements, and organize your announcements. It’ll be easier than ever to keep track of what you’ve uploaded and keep them organized. It also simplifies the way you upload content; where previously, you had several methods of uploading content depending on the type of content you were uploading, the Media Library streamlines that process.

At the top of the page in the Media Library section, there are two buttons: “Create Announcement” and “Upload Files”.

Create Announcement

Creating an announcement allows you build an announcement within Reach itself. However, the templates currently available in Reach are not sized to fit our screens. There is a work-around for this, however. Let’s say you want to make use of one of Reach’s templates, such as one of their social media templates. Select a horizontal or vertical template (depending on the orientation of the screen you’ll be using it on) and hit “OK” even though the size is currently incorrect.

Create Announcement: Edit View

You’ll be brought to Reach’s new announcement editing screen. You’ll see five options on the left-hand side: Canvas, Zoom, Shape, Image, and Text. The options in the center of the screen will change depending on which of these you have selected. On the right, you’ll see a set of toolbars, similar to Photoshop.

Reach Edit View

To make this template a size that’ll work on our screens, you’ll want to be on the first option, Canvas. In the center of your window, you’ll see the current size of the template. If you chose a horizontal template, it will say “1920” in the first box and “1080” in the second, along with an option to change the fill color, and an option to add a background image. Obviously, this size isn’t going to work. Type “900” in the second box, replacing “1080.” You should see the template immediately shrink.

Edit View Tools

Obviously, this cut off the background image, and some of the template items may be cut off, too. Don’t worry; it’s an easy fix. Go down to the Image option, and then select the background layer from the Item List in the toolbars on the right-hand size. You should see, in the Geometry box, that its fields populate with the size of the background image.

Click the little link icon in the top right-hand corner of the Geometry box. This will allow you to change the size of the background layer and “squish” it. Obviously, if the background layer is an image, you don’t want to do this, ever. It would be better to simply move the image around to a suitable position. But if the background is a graphic, this will work for us just fine.

Once the link appears broken, click into the “H:” field and change the size to “900”, just as we did with the canvas size earlier. You should immediately see the size of the background image change to match the new canvas size!

Resized Announcement

Now our background fits, but the rest of the template still needs work. You can move the items by simply clicking them; when a red dashed outline appears, hover your mouse over the item until you see a four-arrow move arrow. When you do, simply click and drag to move the item anywhere you like. Here’s the same template after moving the items around:

Resized Announcement with Moved Items

Now it’s time to update the template so it works for you. Obviously, you don’t need Reach’s social media on your screen; you need yours! To edit a text box, simply click the box, then click once more. You’ll be able to change the text, font, font size, font color, and more!

Hint: If you’d like to use the official Tennessee Tech colors but aren’t sure what they’d be in RGB (the default way Reach chooses colors in its editor) don’t worry; the editor accepted hex codes! Simply erase the RGB color out of the box and type in the hex code instead. The hex codes for the Tennessee Tech colors are #4F2384 (Tech Purple), #FFDD00 (Tech Gold), #3F4444 (Tech Gray), and #000000 (Black) and #FFFFFF (White). You can also see the color palettes, along with what they would be as RGB, CMYK, or PMS in the Marketing Toolkit.

If you’d like a full step-by-step walkthrough of what you can do with the editor, feel free to schedule a Reach training! We’d be happy to give you an in-depth look at this feature. You can also watch Reach’s tutorial videos, available in the Support section.

Upload Files

Uploading files into Reach has been streamlined! You no longer have to go to several different places to upload your files. Simply click “Upload Files” and a dialogue box will pop up. You can browse for the files you’d like to upload, or drag and drop them into the dialogue box.

Upload Dialogue Box

The accepted file types are now: JPG, PNG, and PDF, as well as video files, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher. However, as before, you should not use the Microsoft file types; always export as a PDF or create your announcements as image files. For video files, Reach now supports Vimeo, and video files can also be uploaded directly from your computer. YouTube videos, however, are no longer advisable to use. YouTube now has ads playing on all videos; it's important to remember that your video cannot be a monetized video, as your sign will be streaming the video directly from YouTube, and any ads will automatically play. We cannot play unapproved ads on TN Tech signage.

As your file(s) upload, you’ll see a progress bar as they process. When their status reads “Finished,” you can click “OK.” You’ll now see the files you uploaded in your Media Library! If you uploaded a PDF with multiple pages, you can click the little + icon on its preview to see all of the pages listed separately.

Next: Read our guide on the Playlist module!


Need assistance?

If you have any questions about the new REACH update, or would like an in-depth walkthrough, we’d be happy to help! Feel free to contact us using the form below with any questions, or book a REACH Mini-Training if you can’t attend the open trainings but you’d still like to go over the update together.

Web & Digital Media