The Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) distributes a variety of mass internal communications, such as the University’s mission, vision, values, and strategic plan; emergency, urgent, or time sensitive messages; and University news, events, and recognition.
The University's Internal Mass Communications Policy governs mass internal communication, including the requirement that these types of communication, such as mass emails and messages for the campus digital boards, go through the OCM. This reduces overall communication and allows the OCM staff to plan and streamline internal communication accordingly.
As such, all employees, 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.
Mass Email and ULink Announcement Procedures
In order to consider your message for distribution, it must meet the criteria below and adhere to the following procedures.
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. The message should be related to the mission or business of the University and of significant interest to a large segment of the University community.
Below is a sampling of the types of messages that are allowed and not allowed. All messages are at the discretion of the president. Reminder messages will not be posted or sent because events should be on the events calendar and announcement posts on ULink will still be accessible.
- Health and safety notices
- Emergency updates and alerts
- Notification of campus network or other computer related events, including service outages
- Campus and holiday closures
- Messages that solicit support for an official University effort, or at the president's request. Examples of approved official University efforts include the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Foundation, the Annual Fund, and the United Way of Acadiana. The vice president for university advancement and the advancement leadership team will review requests to add fundraising solicitation efforts to the approved list and present any revisions to the University Council.
- Discounts managed through the University and its affiliates
Messages Not Allowed
- Personal notices, e.g., items for sale or rent; lost or found; baby, wedding, promotions, or retirement announcements
- Employment postings (direct to the Office of Human Resources)
- 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 the University
- Events, except at the President’s request or in unique circumstances, e.g., employee appreciation week.
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.
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.
Generally, events will not be posted as announcements. Instead, events on a college, department, or organization level should be placed on the corresponding 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.
The OCM cannot promote events or fundraising endeavors that are not University-directed or for the benefit of the University.
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.
Make a Request
To request a university-wide broadcast message, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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/review, approve, plan, and send the message.
The request should contain:
- preferred release date;
- intended audience: all students, all juniors, 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;
- message in plain text, not exceeding 150 words; and
- a website link for more information.
The OCM will help decide the best ways to communicate the requested message, e.g., campus digital signs, social media, etc.
ULink Required & General Announcements
The primary means of University communication for all students and employees is posting an announcement on ULink. There are two sections, required and general announcements.
The required announcements section is reserved for announcements that are mission-critical, urgent, and must be read because they affect a person’s employment or a student’s ability to attend the University. Required announcements will also be determined at the President’s discretion. Examples of required announcements include messages regarding payroll, new or revised policies, and academic calendar deadlines.
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. Examples of general announcements include department/major specific messages, safety messages, special offers and discounts, academic opportunities, and reminders of service.
Emails are very selective and only sent when necessary. Required announcements, 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.
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.
Advancement Services manages list servs of alumni and donors. The Office of Information Technology manages lists of employees and students.
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.
List servs that include alumni, donors, and other external publics must be given the opportunity to unsubscribe from University communications.
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. Only emails, text messages, and voicemails relative to the emergency will be sent through the Emergency Notification System (ENS).
For assistance, contact the OCM at email@example.com or 482-6393.