How to Send a Public Notification via ETN and Social Media

This article describes the process for sending a public notification through Emergency Telephone Notification (ETN) and social media channels.

What is ETN?

Emergency Telephone Notification (ETN) is geo-targeted public notification by phone call to landlines and public subscribers.

How Does ETN Work?

  • Administrators select an area on the ESRI map of the affected area, and AlertSense compiles a list of phone numbers from data sources, such as jurisdictional e911 or MSAG data, national database of home and business landlines, and public subscribers for the jurisdiction.
  • Distinctions Between Alert Channels: Public Subscriber Messaging targets only public subscribers and does not make phone calls.  Social Media posts to your pre-configured social media accounts.
  • Public Alerts can be sent to subscribers and non-subscribers (landlines only) in the AlertSense system.  Emergency Telephone Notification (ETN) uses a mapping tool to geo-target and notify home and business landlines in the specified area and any public subscribers.  Subscribers will be contacted for emergencies by phone call and any other contact method they have chosen.

Accessing ETN

  1. In the AlertSense system, click the Send Public Alert navigation button.
  2. Click the Send Voice Alert (ETN) checkbox. Select the additional boxes if you want to send a public notification to public subscribers or post to social media.
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Creating an Alert

Note: This form allows for multi-modal communication.  ETN (geo-targeted), public notification to subscribers only, and posting to your Social Media accounts (Facebook and Twitter). 

  1. To begin your alert, you can fill out the form or select a pre-saved template from the Use Template: Predefined Scenario card.

Note: The Sender and Message Subject section of the Alert form is the same for all notifications and will default based on the login used to access the system but can be changed before your alert is sent.

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Selecting Recipients

Note: The Open Map link will only appear after you select Send Voice Alert (ETN) to geo-targeted residents and subscribers from the Select Alert Type card at the top of the page.

    1. Click the Open Map link. This will open a new window to the Map Selection Tool.
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    2. To draw an area on the map, select the Polygon Drawing Tools icon 2021-10-01 (1) for the ESRI map. Drawing an area on the map will capture the landline and public subscriber phone numbers in the area you draw on the map.

      Note: The border outline is your alerting boundary, and you cannot send a message outside that boundary.

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      Build Message

      Note: Use the Text to Speech Best Practices guide when creating your alert for delivery in the Build Message section.

        1. Enter two message types. The first will be sent via voice, email, and mobile app. The second will be sent via text. 

          Note: Pay attention to the character length for text.  If you exceed the limit, type the text you want the subscriber to see in the Additional Public Alert Details section. 

          2.   Make sure to click the Include Link to Message checkbox under the text message box to include a link that AlertSense provides to a webpage with additional details.  You can paste images and links to other websites, and even format the text.


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          3. Additional details that you want to include on a page should be written in the rich text editor. Text can also be formatted in the rich text editor.

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          Posting to Social Media

          Note: The Social Media card will only appear after you have selected Post to social media from the Select Alert Type card at the top of the page.

          1. Before posting to social media, make sure your accounts are set up in the system under Social Media Accounts.  
          2. Once set up, simply select the social media accounts you’d like to post the alert to, and write your message in the corresponding box. You can make each message different if desired or attach photos to the Facebook post.

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          ETN Authorization Code and Sending Alert

          Note: Only those who are authorized to send live ETN Alerts should know the Authorization Code. An ETN alert cannot be sent without the authorization code.

          Knowledge Base_ETN Social Media_Image 6

          1. Once you click Submit and Yes, the alert will be sent, and you can check the Alert History for progress or click View this Alert’s Status Report once you have submitted the Alert.

          Public alerts are sent via Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) unless someone opts in to receive alerts by texting their zip code to AlertSense's short code. Alerts are sent to these users via Short Message Service (SMS).


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          Cancelling a Callout

          1. If you need to cancel the callout at any time, just click the Cancel button in the Alert History section. 
          2. You can also call the 24/7 help line (1-877-840-2041) and the technical team will be happy to stop the callout for you.

          Resending an Alert

          1. Click on Alert History from the Navigation to see results and access the Resend Feature to send the alert to the same area with a follow-up message later if needed.