Entering Opportunities: Six Steps to Getting Started
Print this out to refer to as you enter your organizations short-term mission opportunities.
1.Get a feel for what your information is going to look like.
Find one or two examples of descriptions you like and identify the elements that make them stand out to you. Use these descriptions to pattern your descriptions after.
The hardest part of entering an opportunity is writing an attractive “brief description”. The “brief description” is what appears in the search results. It is designed to be short and to the point. The idea is to catch the reader’s interest so that they will go on to look at the full description. This brings us to the second hardest part of entering an opportunity – writing the “detailed description”. This is a longer description of the opportunity that appears on the “full information” page. The full description should fully explain what the reader could expect to see, hear, smell, experience, and do if he were to go on the opportunity being described.
2. Make a Word file.
To make the process of entering information go quickly and smoothly, create a Word file with a 3 line (200 characters) brief description of the trip and another more complete description. You may have one already on your web site or in your brochures or literature. By putting it in a Word file you can easily spell check it and it is easier to read and edit. In the same file put a sentence describing the first application steps a person would take, (i.e. “Call us at 800-676-7837 or email us at [email protected]!”) You are now ready to cut and paste this information into the opportunity information form.
The doctrinal statement as well as the mission or vision statement can be cut and pasted from your agency website.
3. Log into your Account Control Panel (ACP) and go to the Contacts Tab
Begin by entering information on the people who will receive the inquiries about your opportunities. This information will be used to direct e-mails and phone calls directly to them as people apply for your trips or request more information. Later, as you enter the details of your opportunities in the Trip Manager section you will have to select one of these contacts.
4. Go to the Trip Manager section to edit or enter new opportunities
To enter information about a new opportunity, click on the blue “Add New Trip” button. All that is left to do is fill out the form. You can enter as much or as little information as you would like, though it is best to err on the “more” rather than “less” side. (Some descriptions now have a limit on words used.) For specific tips on entering details be sure to read Entering Opportunities: Helpful Tips.
5. “Save and Continue Editing”
Click the “Save Trip and Continue Editing” button at the bottom of the page. Remember you don’t have to fill out the form all at once, you can always return to edit it.
6. “Save and Preview” / See how it appears
Click on the “Save and return to trip manager” button, then click on the icon “eye” to see how your opportunity information will be displayed. When you have finished entering the details on all your opportunities, we recommend that you go back to the search page and search by your agency name and then by each country or region to make sure your opportunities come up as you expected and that all the information was recorded correctly. Also search by a couple key words naming the activities they will be involved in. Often there are a couple of details that don’t turn out as you expected! Or you may discover you didn’t mark all the countries or you left out a key word in your description.
Make sure you have “published” your trip for it to show on the public side of the website.