NYIT Office of Strategic Communications & External Affairs: Editorial Services and Communications
Updated: January 2013
Bulk, or all-in-one email, by definition is unsolicited email sent quickly in large quantities, and is recognized as an efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly use of technology for facilitating communication within the NYIT community. The following policies and procedures provide guidance for the appropriate use of bulk email at NYIT, and when necessary, for the approval to send bulk email through the enterprise NYIT bulk email system.
All-in-one emails are communications to the NYIT community at large or segments of the NYIT community (i.e., specific schools/campuses/populations), sent out by the Office of Strategic Communications and External Affairs (SCEA) or in the case of presidential communication, by the Office of the President. Email addresses within the enterprise system, which are broken down by campus, school, and audience, are updated daily via the Office of Information Technology and Infrastructure's (ITI) Data Warehouse.
Generally speaking, bulk email is appropriate for:
- Messages that relate to carrying out the business of the university (operational and emergency).
- Messages that relate to changes in university policy or time-sensitive issues.
- Messages that inform a select group of people (faculty, staff, students, members of a specific school, department, campus, etc.) of an announcement (i.e., reporting requirements).
Inappropriate use of bulk email includes but is not limited to:
- Messages that are not in line with the NYIT mission, vision, or values.
- Messages that are personal in nature or contain personal opinions.
- Messages that are commercial in nature, with the exception of messages in support of university business that are approved by the stipulations defined in this policy.
Sending/Requesting Bulk Email to Internal Recipients
To promote institutional operating efficiency and network security, the following guidelines are intended to prevent degrading of email services during working hours:
- A maximum of ONE bulk message will be sent by SCEA per day, so requests should be made as early as possible to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- SCEA is not responsible for the directives contained in the message but reserves the right to edit for clarity, consistency, and style, upon which it will seek approval of the requestor.
- It is the responsibility of the office requesting the bulk email to ensure that what is being communicated will not disrupt critical university business for any departments or individuals directly affected.
- The message should be self-explanatory, clear, and concise, and should only be used for important messages relevant to all recipients.
- Frequent or repeated messages are discouraged. SCEA will send an email containing the same or similar information no less than two weeks apart.
- Attachments are discouraged as they take up more disk space and degrade server performance. A link to a website (URL) is preferred. If it is necessary to send attachments, the total message size should be under 5 MB.
- In order to maintain the design standards of NYIT, messaging containing any design elements must be reviewed by SCEA, which maintains the right to request or assist with a redesign. For those who anticipate needing SCEA design assistance, a minimum of 2–3 weeks must be allowed (although 6 weeks is preferred).
Authorizations and Approvals for Internal Bulk Mail
Authorization to send bulk email is automatically granted in the following three cases:
- Local Authority
Schools and academic departments are authorized to send messages to their students, faculty, or staff, without additional approvals.
- Official University Announcements
Certain administrative departments that need to make periodic announcements to members of the NYIT community are granted authority to send bulk email via the bulk email system for matters of university business. The following offices have been granted this authority:
Target Groups (University-wide) Authorized Offices Students Office of the President, Provost, IT (including Service Central, Security, and Facilities), SCEA, Student Affairs, SSC, Registrar Faculty Office of the President, Provost, IT (including Service Central, Security, and Facilities), Human Resources, SCEA Staff Office of the President, Chief of Staff, IT (including Service Central, Security, and Facilities), Human Resources, SCEA Alumni Office of the President, Development/Alumni, SCEA Parents Office of the President, Development/Alumni, Student Affairs, SSC, SCEA
During an NYIT community-wide or campus-wide emergency, the NYIT Emergency Communications Plan protocols are followed. In short, messaging is pre-developed and is initiated upon presidential approval after the recommendation of VP of IT, the Chief of Staff, and/or Provost.
Requests to send out bulk email that do not fall under the three (1–3) cases outlined above must be approved by the President (or by the Chief of Staff in his absence). No one may request bulk email lists from Data Warehouse directly, but may request lists for his/her specific unit/division/school.
In an effort to prevent the proliferation of unrequested email to students, the following guidelines will be used when a request is made to send bulk email to students:
- The bulk email capability will not be used to advertise or market campus programs, activities, or events. Other mechanisms are available for this purpose (send requests to email@example.com for placement on digital signs, Web, e-newsletters).
- The bulk email capability will seldom be used to distribute surveys to all students. However, students, faculty, and staff wishing to distribute surveys to students should consult the Department of Institutional Research and Assessment to determine policies and procedures for sending surveys to students. NYIT's institutional survey program does not use the NYIT bulk email system.
- Electronic mail addresses are never made available to persons or organizations outside of NYIT.
The Provost's Office has the responsibility of screening requests to send bulk email to all faculty members. Bulk email to faculty should be used primarily for announcements by the central administration regarding matters of university policy, changes in procedures, etc. (i.e., requests for grants, provost initiatives). Requests will generally not be granted to send messages that are essentially advertisements for lectures, seminars, or other similar programs.
Only NYIT employees may request that a bulk email be sent to staff. Access to bulk email is made available on a university-wide or unit-wide basis, as the purpose requires. Email addresses are not made available to persons or organizations outside of NYIT. Selected notices and announcements of broad interest, usefulness, or need among staff are acceptable uses of bulk email.
Alternate Forms of Communications to NYIT Audiences
Announcements that do not meet these criteria of urgency and/or critical university information should be relayed through other methods/channels, the online Web calendar, Web announcements for their particular area, Weekly/Student Updates, social media such as Facebook or Twitter, and digital signage. Requests should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bulk Email to External Constituents
The NYIT community is expected to use an email vendor for all email blasts (aka bulk email) including evites to non-NYIT audiences for these reasons:
When sent internally by SCEA, bulk emailing to non-NYIT audiences is a manual process that is prone to error. Providing this service internally has also caused NYIT servers to be labeled as spammers. This is naturally unacceptable, and has led to institution-wide service problems that have had to be addressed by NYIT IT.
A dedicated email vendor provides a robust value-added solution for minimal cost ($10–$20/month) or often for free. They offer:
- Statistics on email delivery and open rates (NYIT does not offer the capability to do any of this)
- Automated sign-up and email management such as opt-in, bouncebacks, etc. (NYIT does not offer the capability to do this nor does it have the resources to do so manually)
- Integration with social media
- Allow more frequent emails than SCEA can support
Some email marketing companies enjoy excellent reputations with the major Internet Service Providers, while others are often black-listed as spammers. SCEA recommends these vendors:
- Campaign Monitor
- establishes a relationship with an online vendor.
- uploads email address list to vendor website and/or uses an online sign-up form provided by vendor.
- sets up email and sends it through vendor service (if an invitation, best practices call for 3 or less times not less than a week apart; SCEA strongly recommends this practice be adhered to in order to maintain audience interest and participation).
- uses the statistics provided to inform future email marketing.
- provides email templates
- provides RSVP form on NYIT.edu