OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

OTS Policies
 

All-Campus E-mail Messages Guidelines
 

Electronic mail at Towson University has become an essential part of how the university communicates and how it conducts business.  The use of mass electronic mail messages can be a vital tool in providing important information to the entire university community.  But this medium needs to be used with a certain sensitivity to the appropriateness of the message to all faculty and staff.  If the audience of an electronic mail message is a limited number of people on campus, then a mass electronic mail message may not be an appropriate choice.  In fact, people become tired or irritated with electronic mail messages that are not relevant to how they perform their job.  Messages for a limited number of users should be mailed directly to the specific people and not the entire campus.  Perhaps the information can be disseminated through another communication medium, such as Daily Digest.


Procedure for Requesting E-mail to be Sent to All Campus Users
Electronic mail messages to be sent to all campus users must be forwarded to and approved by your respective vice president.  The electronic mail message will be sent by the vice president on your behalf if the message is approved for all campus electronic mail users.


Formatting Suggestions

The all-faculty/staff campus distribution list has been updated. You can now send to that particular list using any message format (Plain Text, Rich Text or HTML), can send attachments up to approximately 250 KB (kilobytes) in size, and can set a Reply-To address so that a specific individual can receive responses to the message. Here are suggested guidelines for formatting messages to other campus distribution lists (such as the all-students list, all-faculty list and all-staff list):

  1. Use a Plain Text format.
    HTML cannot be read by Outlook-For-Mac or PINE users.
     
  2. Only send attachments when necessary; they may be no larger than 100 KB (kilobytes) in total size.
    Attachments larger than 100 KB will cause your message to be blocked and not delivered. Large amounts of information cause quota problems for e-mail users. If necessary, create a Web page with the information you wish to convey and include a link to this Web page in your announcement. As long as the link is complete (including the http:// at the beginning of the Web address), then Outlook-For-Mac users will be able to use it.
     
  3. Do not use TABS to move or align your text.
    Once the message passes through the mail hub, the tab stops will not be recognized. Each tab in your message will be replaced with a single space.

    Test the message format first by sending it to an off-campus Internet address.
    Plain Text often requires short sentence lengths and other limitations. Although the message might look good on your screen, or even when you send it to your own EXCHANGE account, it could change when the message goes through the mail hub. By reading the message from an Internet Service such as Yahoo or HotMail, you can make sure that your word wrapping and alignment is as you intended.
     
  4. Include a subject line that is short, but accurately describes the intent of your message.
     
  5. Proofread the message for spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure.
    Regardless of who the message is being sent on behalf of, it is up to the sender to assure it meets normal professional standards.
     
  6. Include contact information for more information.
    This should include the contact person's name, phone number and e-mail address.
     




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