Wildlife Rescuers will soon be transitioning to Slack as an alternative for Facebook Messenger to communicate real time with volunteers.

We have already been testing with our phone team and have had some learnings about the experience.

Using Slack consolidates our communications to a single workspace. We will have different “channels” for different purposes :

  • #rescues – this is the primary channel for looking for volunteers and accepting cases. This channel is the primary channel for coordinating rescues. Rules apply for this channel, see below.
  • #general – this is a place for you to share your stories about rescues and ask questions of your colleagues. The content should be directly related to WLR
  • #random – here is our “off topic” channel. You can post interesting links, articles or other random wildlife – related things here
  • #phoneteam – used by our phone operators only. You will only be in this channel if you are one of our phone operators.

We may create further channels in future as we learn and evolve the experience.

You will be sent an invitation to join the WLR Slack Workspace by email. Accept the invitation to join, download the app on your mobile device and you’re in.

Here are some key points about how we expect to use Slack in WLR. For the basics – check out Slack 101.

If you experience difficulties using Slack, please contact us.

What are the rules for #rescues?

To ensure a streamlined approach to coordinating volunteers to attend to a case and to ensure we all respect each other the following rules apply to #rescues :

  • All member may post requesting assistance with an animal.
  • Requests for assistance posted should start with the suburb, then species then situation. For example:
    • DOREEN Magpie broken wing, or
    • WATTLEGLEN Ringtail transport to Mt Evelyn.
  • Requests should be succinct and posted in one message – not over multiple messages.
  • If you CANNOT attend, do not reply.
  • If you CAN attend, reply with YES, and you will be contacted by private message with the case details.
  • You must NOT accept cases for which you are not trained (e.g. kangaroos, wombats) or which you are not adequately vaccinated (bats).
  • If you need more information on a case, or have additional information to share about a case (e.g. you are aware another group has received notification of the case, or you were directly contacted), send it via a private message to the concerned party.
  • Do not use the message reactions – this results in additional unnecessary notifications
  • We take privacy seriously: do not share rescue case information or case statuses with other rescue groups not affiliated with The Wildlife Rescuers. Do not accept cases from Wildlife Rescuers and pass details on to persons un-authorised to receive the information.

These rules are designed to avoid confusion, reduce “noise” from multiple notifications and ensure everyone has clear visibility of cases needing attention.

Why are we using Slack?

While Facebook Messenger has been easy to use over the years, we’ve found it increasingly difficult to administer.

Facebook Messenger changed the way we add new volunteers to our Rapid chat, meaning we can no longer use a direct link for users to join. We have to manually search each person on Facebook, hope we find the right profile and add them in.

Over the years we’ve had feedback from prospective volunteers that they do not use Facebook or Messenger, and don’t want to. Therefore we are limiting potential volunteers from assisting with rescues.

Using Slack also means volunteers can separate their personal lives – with separate profiles that are not linked to their personal Facebook profiles – maintaining their privacy and separation.

Can I make calls through Slack?

Yes! You can call other volunteers through Slack. Start a Direct Message with the other volunteer, and press the Call button at the top right. Note: this uses your data for calling.

I’m getting too many, or not enough notifications

Notifications can be set for the whole app as well as for each channel individually. You can also configure Do Not Disturb (Notification Schedule) times so you can silence notifications automatically between certain times every day.

App notifications

App notifications are found in the You tab. It’s recommended you set the following to ensure you are notified immediately for messages:

On Mobile, notify me about… All new messages

Notify me on mobile… Always, even when I’m active.

Notification Schedule

You can choose to pause notifications during specific times (e.g. at night). If you want to receive notifications all day every day, set Notification Schedule to ‘Every day’ with the start and end times being 12 AM

Channel Notifications

You can mute individual channels or reduce the notifications you receive. For example, you may want to turn off notifications for the #random or #general channels.

From the Home tab, select the channel you want to change. Press the i icon at the top, and set your notification preferences for that channel.

Other Troubleshooting

If you’re still having problems with receiving notifications, try the Notification Troubleshooting option on the You tab > Notifications.

Android Users – some devices put Slack to sleep from time to time. Refer to Slack support pages to see if you can whitelist or exempt Slack from Battery Optimisation.

How do I change my display name and picture?

Slack has both a Display Name field and Full Name field. Edit your profile by selecting the You tab at the bottom of the screen, and then press on the display picture at the top.

Note: Admin will maintain the Full Name – please do not change this. We will use this to include volunteers’ rescue capabilities (e.g. Roo, Bat etc).

You can change the Display Name to anything you like (appropriately). While you’re there – add in a display picture! You can also add you phone number if you like. Don’t forget to hit Save at the top when you’re done!

Can I edit or delete a message?

You can edit your own message within 5 minutes of sending or delete the message at any time. To edit or delete your message, press and hold on the message and select ‘Edit message’ or ‘Delete message’.

How do I reply to a message?

You can reply to a message by pressing on the message you want to reply to and press “Reply in thread”. If a reply already exists you can add to the thread.

Replying to a message in a thread means notifications are only sent to the original poster, and anyone else who has replied in the thread.

Can I use WLR Slack if I use Slack for work?

Yes! Slack makes it easy to switch between different workspaces. To switch between WLR and your work workspace, go to the Home tab and press the workspace logo at the top left on your mobile app. You will then be able to switch to the other workspace.

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