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Creating a Letter to the Editor Form

Introduce a Private Way to Elicit Feedback from Readers

By CMN Staff

Published: Monday, June 15, 2009

Updated: Monday, August 30, 2010

Many newspaper websites like to create the option of a private forum for readers to contact newspaper staff for reader editorials, news tips or general feedback.  On the CP5 platform, the ability to create 'Letter to the Editor' form is possible by following the steps below.

However, the adherence to the steps is critical for success.  The form code responds to a specific script on our mail server to bounce web submissions to the desired destination.

Attached, you find code in a pdf.  This code will create a very general form that you can add descriptions to, but it is a standard set of variables that cannot be changed.  The form will follow your site's styles and not need further markup for design.

Instructions for deployment:

  1. Download the form HTML PDF (right) and paste the code into an HTML element anywhere on your site (preferably in the main content area because of width).
     
  2. The code will produce (without your CSS styles) something similar to the image to right. To change the copy, you must change the portions of the code that are highlighted in yellow in the form HTML PDF.
     
  3. To select which email address or distribution list to which the web submissions are sent, change the text highlighted in green (youremail@example.com) to your specified address. The form contents will be emailed to the email address specified.
     
  4. This code directs the endā€user to a thank you page upon submission. In order to have this work properly, you must set up a "thank you" page on your site. Simply create a regular sub page named "Thank You" and remember to set it as "hide in navigation".  Then copy the URL of the "thank you" page into the code where highlighted in pink.
     
  5. Testing the form? Be sure to use a valid e-mail address when completing the form.
  6. SPECIAL NOTE: E-mail address is a required field. Removing that input will prevent the form from working. Also note: Inputs, asifde from the e-mail field, may be removed, but name attributes of inputs may not be altered.

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