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

The test will begin with the WLR Phone Team to communicate updates, ask and answer questions.

Using Slack consolidates our communications to a single workspace. We can have multiple channels for different topics – we will start with a closed ‘Phone Team’ channel and an open ‘General’ channel. Open channels will be available for any volunteer, whereas the closed channels will only be visible to those who have been added to the channel. If we roll this out beyond the test, we will have a ‘Rescues’ channel, and may consider species specific channels (e.g. Macropods, Bats, etc).

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.

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. 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. This may be useful if you don’t want to be notified for every message in the General channel, for example.

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.