Creating News and Events

What are News Items and Events?

News items and events are your way of generating free publicity for your department, and reaching the campus community of thousands.  News items and events are shown to students via their 'My UMinfo' pages, and to staff via the EMemo.  They also appear on the Science homepage, and other units' homepages when you cross-post to those units.

The current news system relies on a group of trained News Information Providers (News IPs) in the various faculties and departments to post items of interest on the system.  But the key to all this is getting news and events into the system.  That's where YOU come in...

Who Can Write Up News Items or Events?

Anyone!  If you have news or events of interest to your department, the Faculty or the Campus at large, and it isn't already on the news system, please write it up!  Note that there are some guidelines on what can and cannot be posted.

Who Can Post News Items or Events?

The following Science staff have taken News IP training:

Send your news and events to your departmental News IP, even if they will also be posted in other departments or units.  Make sure to include all the information listed below, or it won't be able to be posted.  If you don't see a News IP for your department, you can submit items to the Computing Coordinator.  It will just take a bit longer.

Should it be a News Item or an Event?

News items tend to talk about things that have already happened.  Events are things that will be happening in the future.  In a nutshell - if it has a start time, it's an event.  If it doesn't, it's probably a news item.

How to Write Up a News item or Event

The requirements of the news system are finicky very precise.  It needs the following minimum set of information:

  • A title and description*
  • For events: A start date, time, location and duration (and a repeat interval if applicable)
  • The item's contact person, their address, job title, department/unit name, telephone and e-mail address (all of these are required), and fax number if available
  • Whether this item should go on the EMemo (to all faculty and staff), and if so, what date (NOTE - it can only go on the EMemo once)
  • Names of other departments or university units that you want to display this item (cross-posts)

The following are optional but can enhance the news or event item:

  • A maximum 250-letter summary*
  • A URL for the event (can be in place of a description)
  • Any relevant internal or external links (URLs, with descriptive captions)
  • A Location URL (e.g., a graphic or webpage with a map or directions to the location)
  • A relevant image and thumbnail-sized version in GIF or JPEG format (with captions)
* A few notes on Summary vs. Description

The summary is the only text shown on the EMemo sent to all Faculty and Staff.  However, anyone clicking on the item (either in the EMemo or in the Science news section on the web) will get the full posting with its description.  You can have a summary that is different from the full description, and you can choose to display or not display the summary with the full posting as you see fit (just make sure to indicate this).  Naturally, if you choose to display the summary along with the full posting, it is best to avoid duplication in their contents.

A Final Note on Sending In News or Events

Information on your event should be sent in a format that is easy to transfer to the web.  Plain-text e-mails are very much preferred over attached files (regardless of type) or web links; your posting gets done faster with plain text.