The College of Arts and Architecture Communications Office has developed the following procedures to assist you in establishing unit-level electronic newsletters for alumni and friends. In addition to creating a template and developing content, the process involves ordering alumni data from central records and establishing a distribution schedule in coordination with the Communications Office and the other college units that are sending e-newsletters.
If your unit wants to start an e-newsletter, please contact Brad Fisher, web communications manager, 6–8 weeks before you plan to send the first issue. Brad will inform Joyce Hoffman, director of alumni relations and communications, and Amy Milgrub Marshall, writer/editor, of your plans. All three will be involved in the process in some way.
Each unit is responsible for designing an e-mail template in HTML. Brad will direct the units toward resources for designing a template and guide each unit through the process. Downloading and configuring an existing HTML template file will make this process much easier, and there are plenty available on the web. Dreamweaver or another text-based editor may be used to make changes to this template file. Training will be provided for adhering to the standards of HTML e-mail styling. Any images that will be used in the e-mail must be uploaded to the college server before the e-mail is sent. In order to simplify the process of uploading images, each unit’s Drupal website is equipped with a file browser for easy uploading of any file. Additional Drupal training will be provided if needed. Due to the ongoing changes in ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) policies, it is recommended that you do not use PDFs to present your content. If you absolutely must use a PDF for your content, you must also provide a link to an HTML version of the file.
During your initial discussion with Brad, you should address the following:
- WHO? (do you want to send the newsletter to alumni only, or also include “friends,” industry contacts, etc.)
- WHAT? (type of content, how much content)
- WHEN? (when you want to send the first issue)
- HOW OFTEN? (frequency of distribution)
Keep in mind that the general e-newsletter for the college is distributed bimonthly, (November 2011, January 2012, March 2012, May 2012, etc.). Because that e-newsletter goes college-wide, we need to space the units’ newsletters so alumni are not bombarded with information from the college. Ideally, unit newsletters would be sent in the beginning of the month preceding OR following the college e-news. We recommend that units do not publish more frequently than once a month. Example of distribution schedule:
November 1: Stuckeman E-News
November 20: College E-News
December 10: Music E-News
January 20: College E-News
We will allow a 3–5-day window if your newsletter is not ready on your scheduled distribution date. After that time, you will need to wait until your next scheduled distribution date. Please be sure to establish a distribution schedule that is realistic in terms of your staff’s workload, the amount of news you have, and the frequency with which your alumni want/need to hear from you.
Alumni addresses for e-newsletter distribution must be ordered through Joyce Hoffman and will come from central alumni data services. Please contact Joyce 7–10 days before your scheduled distribution date so she can order the e-mail download. The charge assessed by alumni data services for the e-mail download will be passed back to the unit for payment. The charge for e-mail downloads is $15 per 1,000 names. Payment request information will be provided to the unit, and the payment may be made via IDCC.
While the bulk of the mailing list will consist of alumni/friend e-mail addresses acquired through alumni data services, you may make additions to the e-mail address file. For instance, a unit may have contacts at peer academic institutions, or press contacts to add, or a unit may wish to include its faculty and/or student body in the mailing. Add-on addresses must be sent to Brad Fisher in a .csv file at least one day before the e-news scheduled distribution date. Unsubscribe requests from anyone on an ancillary list will be sent back to the sending unit, and the unit must remove that e-mail address from its list.
A week to 10 days before your scheduled distribution date, you also need to send a draft of your e-newsletter to Brad, who will check to make sure that your template is formatted correctly for HTML e-mail and help you correct any technical errors. At this time, Amy will also provide the editorial review.
E-newsletters may not be used as fundraising solicitation vehicles unless specifically authorized by the college’s development office.
We encourage your questions and will do our best to assist you with a schedule and process that are manageable for your unit.
Brad Fisher (Technical questions)
Joyce Hoffman (Address list questions)
Amy Milgrub Marshall (Content and editorial questions)