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Email & ULink Announcement Procedures

The Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) distributes a variety of mass internal communications including, but not limited to: the University’s mission, vision, values and strategic plan; emergency, urgent or time sensitive messages; and University news, events, and recognition.

It is the policy of the University that all mass internal communication, including messages for the digital boards around campus, go through the OCM. This reduces overall communication and allows OCM staff to plan and streamline internal communication accordingly.

As such, all staff, faculty, students and campus groups must adhere to the following guidelines. Colleges and departments that send mass emails to students within stated areas should observe them as well.

In order to consider your message for distribution, it must meet the criteria below and adhere to the following procedures.

Criteria

Brief

Messages should be concise and not exceed 150 words.

University or College-Related

The event, activity, or message must be University or college-related or sponsored by a college-affiliated club or organization. Message should be related to the mission or business of the University and of significant interest to a large segment of the University community.

Allowed Messages

  • Health and safety notices, and emergency updates
  • Notification of campus network or other computer related events, including service outages and campus closures
  • Timely communication with direct impact on University community members
  • Discounts managed through the University and its affiliates

Messages Not Allowed

  • Personal notices, e.g., items for sale, lost or found
  • Employment postings or retirement announcements
  • Messages of a commercial, political, or lobbying nature
  • Messages that solicit support (financial or otherwise) for charity, personal gain, or special causes not connected with an official University effort
  • Discounts not affiliated with University

Website Inclusion

Message requests should include a link to a webpage with additional details.

Messages must be posted on the office, department, college, center, or program’s website. This does the following:

  • informs those who may not see the message, but visit your website;
  • provides an avenue to include more information than can be provided in a mass announcement;
  • increases traffic to your website; and
  • creates searchable content on the University’s website.

Work with your department’s web ambassador to have the message posted on your website. View a list of web ambassadors by website.

Writing Website Content

If you would like a refresher course regarding writing content for your website, refer to the web writing workshop presentation.

Learn more about adding content to your website.

Graphics or Attachments

Messages containing HTML, graphics or attachments cannot be included in emails or ULink (portal) announcements. Instead, upload your attachments to a website and include a link to the documents in the message.

Events

Generally, events will not be posted as announcements. Instead, events on a college, department, or organization level should be placed on the sponsor's University website and displayed on the University's calendar. Learn how to publicize and promote your event. 

Events on a University Website

If the office, department, college, center, or program has a website on a University-branded template, events added to the calendar on its website will automatically appear on the University’s main calendar and in an event feed on ULink’s homepage.

Events on a Non-University Website

If the office, department, college, center, or program does not have a website on a University-branded template, send us your event and we'll include it on the University's calendar. Once on the University’s calendar, it will appear in an event feed on ULink’s homepage.

Non-University Events

The OCM cannot promote events or fundraising endeavors that are not University-directed or for the benefit of the University.

Branding

All messages must follow the University’s brand. The University’s Brand Guide and Graphics Standards Manual provides standards for approved name and logo usage. View the manual.

Process

Make a Request

Requests must be received at least seven (7) working days in advance of the preferred distribution date. Requests for surveys must be sent ten (10) days in advance. This allows communications staff time to draft, approve, plan, and send the message.

The request should contain the following:

  • preferred release date;
  • intended audience: all students, all juniors, all faculty, all staff, all employees, and/or retirees;
  • name and email address of the sender of the message, which will be included at the end of the message unless a “for more information” contact is otherwise provided;
  • suggested subject line for the email message; and
  • the message in plain text, not exceeding 150 words; and
  • a website link for more information.

Complete the form to request a university-wide broadcast message.

Message Dissemination

ULink Required & General Announcements

The primary means of communication for mass internal communications is posting an announcement on ULink (portal) in either the Required Announcements section or the General Announcements section, which appear on the ULink homepage.

The Required Announcements section is reserved for announcements that are mission-critical, urgent, and must be read because they affect a student’s ability to attend the University or a person’s employment. Messages in the General Announcements section are good to know, but do not critically affect a person’s job or ability to attend UL Lafayette.

Email

Emails are very selective and only sent when required or necessary.

Weather alerts, timely warnings for the Clery Act*, and emergency notifications will be emailed and posted as announcements on ULink.

*The Jeanne Clery Act is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to report campus crime data, support victims of violence, and publicly outline the policies and procedures established to improve campus safety.

Listservs

The OCM understands there are some offices such as First Year Experience, Transportation Services, and the Graduate School that maintain listservs and may send large announcements to targeted groups. These offices should work closely with the OCM when sending mass emails to their internal audiences.

The OCM must be copied on all communications sent to a listserv of 500 or more people.

Maintaining a Listserv

If you are maintaining a listserv, you must check with the OCM annually regarding the following:

  • included groups or recipients;
  • number of recipients;
  • types of messages sent;
  • timing and frequency of messages; and the
  • list removal process.

Unsubscribe Requests

An official method of communication to University employees and students is via their University-issued @Louisiana.edu email accounts. As such, current students and employees are not able to unsubscribe from announcements in ULink or the University’s email lists. The OCM endeavors to keep mass communications to a minimum so as to not overburden employees and students.

Review of Your Request

The OCM reserves the right to:

  • Edit submissions. Approval may be obtained from the author for significant changes prior to message distribution.
  • Limit the number of times one message is sent or posted.
  • Send messages at non-peak times (e.g., after hours), an alternate date or aggregated when possible.
  • Deny message requests that are inappropriate or contain information that could be communicated through a different channel.

During an emergency, non-emergency mass emails will be suspended. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety may send emails, text messages, and voicemails relative to the emergency through the Emergency Notification System (ENS).

For assistance, contact the OCM at communications@louisiana.edu or 482-6393.