myAnnouncement Composer user guide

myAnnouncement Composer is a self-service email composer available through Muse for the sharing of information relating to University business. Announcements are moderated by the internal communications team. 

To help you with your email announcements, we've put together this quick user guide. Please also read the myAnnouncement Composer policy (PDF 66.6KB)

Timing and distribution: Submit your message at least three working days before you would like it to be distributed. For urgent questions or queries please call Rachel Hughes on x28013

Important points before you start

Emails to students

Our guidelines are tailored towards sending messages to staff, so please direct enquiries about your student message to the student communications team

If you want to send a staff message and send the same message to students, you will have to submit the message to myAnnouncement Composer twice, once for staff and then go back into the composer again to select students (PGT and PGR students are part of the student list not the staff list). If you are sending a copy of the same email to both students and staff, be clear to distinguish what the key message is for each audience.

Mailing List Manager – myLists

Please note, this is a different email distribution system from myAnnouncement Composer. It is most useful for internal departmental lists or groups of similar interest members.

Mailing List Manager can also be used to send emails to the lists moderated by internal communications (announce@lists.shef.ac.uk, staff@lists.shef.ac.uk, volunteers@lists.shef.ac.uk) and it is useful as it allows you to send HTML emails. If you're sending an HTML email please test your email first as we cannot be held responsible for incorrect HTML code. 

Unless you need to send HTML emails, please try to use myAnnouncement Composer rather than Mailing List Manager; it is much easier to edit and format emails this way.

Note about HTML emails: we suggest using these sparingly. If you'd like to explore this option contact Lee Johnstone L.Johnstone@sheffield.ac.uk at Print and Design Solutions. Lee will design and test your email. You can then send it directly to announce@lists.shef.ac.uk for approval and distribution.

Reminder emails:  We won't be able to approve reminder or follow-up emails about the same thing, so please bear this in mind when you choose when you send it.

Essentials for using the composer

You’ll find myAnnouncement Composer in MUSE > View All Services when you log in with your staff username and password.

Once you submit a message using myAnnouncements composer and click submit it will await moderation by the internal communications team. We reserve the right to proofread your messages or make suggestions about style, tone or a more appropriate channel for your message before we approve them.

When we've approved your email you will get an email from internalcommunications@sheffield.ac.uk to confirm this. The system sends approved emails every 15 minutes unless you have selected a specific time and date.

You won't be able to edit your message in myAnnouncement Composer once you've submitted it.

Formatting

myAnnouncement Composer only allows you to compose plain text emails

Type your message directly into the composer. If you are copying it from a Word document it's best to paste it in to Notepad first to strip out any formatting. The composer is not compatible with the following features:

  • Font styles: bold, italic, colour, sizes, typefaces
  • Underline
  • Bullet points
  • Special items: tables, images
  • Attachments

Don't use accents on words or symbols in your message including £, $, % or &, as the system does not recognise them and will insert random characters into your message when it's sent. GBP is a good alternative: 'Win an amazon voucher worth 25 GBP'

The myAnnouncements Composer does not allow you to attach documents, but there are alternatives. You can either link to a website or add a link to a shared Google doc.

When you add links in the body of the message or the web link field they won't show up as hyperlinks when you're composing the message but they will become hyperlinked when the email sends. You can't add a hyperlink to your copy, you must paste in your URL. 

Watch out: If you use the web link field in the composer be careful your link isn't too long as it will cut off and won't work when people receive your message. To check, preview your message and if it's cutting the end off use a URL shortener such as Bitly. 

Email lists

myAnnouncement Composer has three email distribution lists as well as a tool for targeting a more specific audience for your message.

Announce@lists.shef.ac.uk: for messages relevant to the majority of colleagues.

Volunteers@lists.shef.ac.uk: for recruiting participants or volunteers for your survey or study. 

Staff@lists.shef.ac.uk: appropriate in a small number of cases only to share critical messages everyone at the University needs to receive. We reserve the right to change all staff email to announce emails. 

Please note the distinction between the all staff list and the announce list: whilst there is an option to unsubscribe from Announce list, everyone at the University stays on the all staff list. The Announce list remains an effective way to reach the majority of staff for general, important but non-critical updates.

How to use lists and targeting on the composer

To select a list (all staff, announce or volunteers)

Select staff in the dropdown menu. The next menu will default to ‘no staff’ and ‘all faculties and reporting departments’. Leave this as it is and then select either announce@lists.shef.ac.uk or volunteers@lists.shef.ac.uk from the next dropdown menu.

On occasions where all staff is necessary, simply select all staff in the first group and leave ‘all faculties and reporting departments’ selected.

Step one

To target all staff in a particular faculty or faculties

Tick all staff, then tick 'Select by faculty' which will expand a list of faculties below. Tick those that apply and leave the staff listname blank.

Step two

To select all the staff in specific departments across faculties

Leave all staff ticked and then tick 'Select by reporting department.' Tick all the departments that apply. Leave the list name dropdown blank.

step three

To select by staff group

Does your message only apply to a certain group of staff? 

Tick 'Select by groups' to expand the menu and tick all the staff groups that apply, leaving the list dropdown blank again.

And if you wish to then select specific staff groups within a faculty or department, make your staff group selection as above, and then tick ‘In faculty or reporting department' to make your selections in that menu.

step four