Questions and Answers

Questions:
1.   How does the Daily Announcement Process Work?
2.   What if after I submit an announcement I decide I don’t want it to appear any more?
3.   Why can’t a departmental administrator retract any announcement submitted for their department?
4.   Do I have to have a Daily Announcement account to submit an announcement?
5.   How does the search work?
6.   How do I get people’s attention if I can’t use special fonts anymore?
7.   What if I really need to notify people more than three times over the course of a month or so?
8.   What if I don’t want to receive daily announcements?
9.   Is there any way I can tailor the announcements so I don’t have to look at things that don’t apply to me?
10.   Why are name, phone number, department, and email required fields?
11.   How do I make suggestions for improvements in the new system?
12.   How do you delete items so you can save the rest in an email folder?
13.   What's my deadline for posting a message for the following work day?
14. What are the browser requirements for the new Daily Announcements application?
15. How do I transfer Daily Announcement information to the Events Calendar?.


Answers:
1.   How does the Daily Announcement Process Work?

Like other computer-based applications at UTMB, to use the Daily Announcements to publish information, you must obtain access to the application. Administrators within departments and workgroups make these requests on behalf of the department. The application owner, the Office of University Advancement, approves the request. The first time a new publisher uses the application, they will be presented with a set of guidelines to which they must agree to follow. That accomplished, an approved person uses their email password to access a web page to type or cut & paste information for their announcement. Publishers are expected to categorize the announcement by Target Audience and Announcement Type and complete required information such as name, department, phone number, and email address so readers may follow up or provide feedback. The submitter has a chance to preview the formatted announcement and make corrections before it is submitted. (Submitters are encouraged to keep a printed copy to help resolve any problems that might occur.) The announcements are published in a standard format and font. Publishers who wish to utilize graphics, special effects, response forms, or the like may provide an optional URL that a reader can use to gain more information.

At 10:55 p.m. each day (Sunday - Thursday), all messages are collected and formatted in HTML to be published for the next workday, and sent to all email account owners. The HTML format permits universal availability of hyperlinks to facilitate efficient reading.

If a publisher realizes they have made an error before 10:55 p.m. on the work day before an announcement would be published, they can use the web to retract the message. Only the person who submitted an announcement can retract it. Readers do not have to save announcements, reducing the need for duplicative storage across systems at UTMB. The announcements are retained in a database that can be searched based on one or more key elements of announcements.

2.   What if after I submit an announcement I decide I don’t want it to appear any more?

Provided you access the daily announcement web page prior to 10:55 p.m. the day before (Friday for Monday's announcements) your announcement is to be published, you can retract it using the retraction link on the main page. Only the person who submitted an announcement can retract it.

3.   Why can’t a departmental administrator retract any announcement submitted for their department?

Presently, the automated system does not maintain a record of any hierarchy of responsibility for a department nor exactly for what department a submitter is authorized. Therefore, there is no way to support this feature at this time.

4.   Do I have to have a Daily Announcement account to submit an announcement?

No. If you have only occasional need to submit an announcement, you should approach your departmental administrator for assistance. Someone in your department should be able to make the submission in your behalf.

5.   How does the search work?

The search permits you to select one or more characteristics of an announcement to filter the database records. If you can remember anything about a previous announcement, you should have no trouble finding it.

6.   How do I get people’s attention if I can’t use special fonts anymore?

Most of the feedback received by the Office of University Advancement and Information Services has been displeasure at the use of large fonts and expansive displays of information. Generally, they are viewed as substitutes for useful information. To get people’s attention, you should put a lot of care and thought into the subject you give to your announcement. The subject is your first point-of-sale to your target audience. You should try to put yourself in their shoes and determine what relevant fact will get their attention. You are marketing an idea. Secondly, you should make your announcement brief, to the point, and complete. Just putting something in the announcements does not absolve you of responsibility. It is only one way to communicate. Third, select your target audience from the list carefully. One way to turn people off in the future is to select every category when only one or two really applies. Finally, plan for how you will handle questions and responses to your announcement.

7.   What if I really need to notify people more than three times over the course of a month or so?

Select the dates for publication thoughtfully. Will your readers likely be around on the dates you choose? Are there other events going on that might detract from your announcement. Since there is a search tool, one of the things you can do is search for future dates to see what announcements might already be in the cue for those dates. If you feel your message needs more than three exposures, think about constructing different ways of stating the issues. The guidelines prohibit you from duplicating the same announcement more than three times. If you need to communicate more than three times, you must make substantive changes to the subject, form, and content of your announcement.

8.   What if I don’t want to receive daily announcements?

We are doing everything we can to make the announcements useful to the larger community at UTMB, to balance the need to communicate to a wide and diverse audience and the desire not to be bothered by non-applicable information. We are encouraging communicators to use distribution lists to target specific audiences leaving Daily Announcements to widely applicable audiences. In the future, we hope to allow you to tailor the announcements based on the Target Audience and Announcement Types. We hope we will be able to put items classified as Events into a calendar. Still, if you don’t want to be bothered, you can add a rule to your email to delete any daily announcement as it arrives. You will have the option of going to the web to see today’s announcements or do a search on previous ones you may have missed.

9.   Is there any way I can tailor the announcements so I don’t have to look at things that don’t apply to me?

We think that is a good idea. The new automated system is laying a foundation for such a capability.

10.   Why are name, phone number, department, and email required fields?

If an announcement contains important information, the submitter needs to be willing to identify the source of the information, to deal with requests for more information, and be responsive to complaints. With the privilege of taking up lots of peoples time reading announcements comes the responsibility for being attentive to the readers needs.

11.   How do I make suggestions for improvements in the new system?

You can send suggestions to OUA's Office of Public Affairs, public.affairs@utmb.edu.

12.   How do you delete items so you can save the rest in an email folder?

Before August, 2000, the Daily Announcements were manually cut and pasted into Word Documents and emailed as Word Documents. People who utilized Word as their email editor were able to take advantage of the hyperlinks and also to delete unwanted information and save the rest into email folders. Now, the automated process creates a HTML document. It is much more difficult to delete unwanted information using the "Edit Document" from the window that is displayed with a right click in the text area.
We are looking into whether or not we can alter the HTML document to make it easier to delete information. (8/27/00)

13.   What's my deadline for posting a message for the following work day?

The deadline is 10:55 p.m. for a message to be published the next work day. 

14. What are the browser requirements for the new Daily Announcements application?

The new Daily Announcements application (introduced in March 2012) supports all Windows and MacOS versions with the common browsers (Internet Explorer 7+, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari).

15. How do I transfer Daily Announcement information to the Events Calendar?

Once an announcement has been successfully submitted, you will see a confirmation page. At the bottom of that page is a new link, "Export to Events Calendar." Just click the link, and the title and text of your message, along with the selected audience and other pertinent information, will appear in the Events Calendar submission form, in a new browser window. All you'll need to do is complete the form and click the "Submit" button, and your event will appear in the Events Calendar!

The "Export to Events Calendar" link is also available from the "View" link, which you see when you've logged in to the Daily Announcements application.


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