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Guideline: University of Minnesota Duluth
Use of Email Google Groups
UMD provides two large Google groups for broadcasting messages to the campus:
- email@example.com for sharing events, facilities notices, etc.
- firstname.lastname@example.org for posting furniture and other free items
Google groups with large subscriptions have the potential to inconvenience a large number of people when they are misused. Please review and use these guidelines to help reduce inconvenience and annoyance.
Choose Your Distribution Groups
The Business Announce (email@example.com) and Free to Departments (firstname.lastname@example.org) Google groups are for current university employees. Access is requested by contacting Robert Borden (email@example.com).
Use the Campus Events Calendar
Before broadcasting an announcement of an open-to-the-public event via email, make sure it is in our Campus Events Calendar. Contact Cheryl Reitan in University Marketing and Public Relations for information about entering information into the calendar.
Minimize Repeated Messages
Avoid sending the same message out many times. Limit yourself to one early announcement and one a day or two before the event. If your event is not open to the public, make that clear in the text and send only two messages at the most.
HTML Email and Attachments
Not everyone uses the same email programs and software. Include a web link for all html email and include a text version, or web version, of the message when using attachments.
Fundraising Is Limited and Requires Approval
Fundraising by individuals and organizations is discouraged on the UMD email system through umdbiz or free2depts or individually to all employees through UMD campus email. If every campus unit and organization sent one solicitation each year, we would all get hundreds of solicitations per year. This distracts many people from the primary business of the campus.
Some fundraising activities are central to the mission of the campus, including the United Community Campaign and Development Office fundraising activities. If you have a fundraising event that you believe is central to UMD's mission, you may request permission to solicit from the Chancellor's Office, but please recognize that only a limited few will be approved. Please send email requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or written requests to the Chancellor's Office, 515 Darland Administration Building.
Organizations wishing to participate in the United Community Campaign should contact Human Resources about the proper procedures to be certified by the state.
No Personal Sales or Announcements
No announcements that are of personal benefit to the sender are allowed. This includes sale of personal property, requests for assistance in personal matters, and dissemination of personal opinion.
No Non-University Advertising or Announcements
Do not use campus lists to announce events or announce activities for organizations that are external to the University, no matter how good the cause. In this way, we preserve our academic independence and integrity and avoid a proliferation of announcements unrelated to our work.
Avoid Group Replies
Most email programs make it easy to reply to all recipients of a message. Nearly always, the reply is only of interest to the original sender. Please take special care to ensure that your response goes to the sender only when responding to a message that was sent to a large group.
Have a Descriptive Subject Line
The subject line should allow people to know exactly what the message is about. People should be able to tell whether the message content would be of interest to them without opening the message.
Check and Recheck Before Sending
Get it right the first time you send a message to a large group. It is very annoying to get one or more corrections to a broadcast message. Ask someone else to review your message before you send it out. Departments may want to designate a single individual to send email to umdbiz or free2depts. This person should be a good communicator and be familiar with these guidelines.
Don't be a Spammer
Don't add to our existing load of spam (unwanted messages) by becoming a spammer yourself. Ask yourself who really needs to see your message. Don't make a large number of people read and process a message that only affects a small number. Use a smaller Google group to reach smaller groups.
Sign Your Message
Make sure the recipients know who you are and what your role is. Make sure to sign your message and provide contact information for those who wish to follow up.
Keep It Short
If you want to get your message across, keep it short. If you need to deliver more detailed information, consider putting it on a web page and including a link to the web page in your message.
Take Care with Attachments
Announcing events can definitely be enhanced with a picture or other attachment. Nevertheless, when you send a large photo to the 1,160+ recipients on umdbiz and free2depts, it uses gigabytes of data on our mail servers and slows down all email delivery. Two options would help us deliver the mail more efficiently:
- significantly reduce the resolution of the image before sending it in email, or
- post the picture on a web site and use your email to point people to the web site, rather than sending the photo by email!
- Last reviewed: 9.13.18