Reader Settings for UM Today

Readers may set their preferences for daily UM Today emails:

Format and Delivery Options

Daily Email Format (affects both announcements and events)
The Standard format includes the titles and summaries for all listed announcements and events.
Headlines Only suppresses the summaries for all listed announcements and events.
Selecting None disables the daily email. Note that UMT Express emails will continue to be delivered.
Announcement Options (affects only announcements)
The Standard option here allows all announcements that are still active to be included in the daily email.
New Items Only suppresses all items that have been included in a previous daily email, allowing only the new ones to be shown.
Event Options (affects only events)
Today and Tomorrow includes just the events for the current day and the next.
Next 7 Days includes events occurring over the next week.
The None option prevents events from being included in the daily email.

How to Use UMT

Navigation: Through the interface, you can return to the home screen by clicking the title "UM Today Console." Additional navigation backward and forward within certain areas is available through the green buttons at the top of the screens. The dark blue rectangular buttons process from one screen to the next.

The new UM Today has enough changes that even seasoned pros ought to take a few moments to familiarize themselves with them. Let's start with three fundamental concepts:

Our Example

sample program cover
Macbeth is coming to the Ford Center and we need to put it on the calendar and ask for volunteers to help with the audience. We need 1 event, 1 announcement to promote that event, and 1 announcement requesting volunteers.
Let’s say that Ole Miss Theatre is going to stage four performances of Macbeth in the Ford Center three months from now. Volunteer helpers will be needed at each performance, and they need to let the theatre contact know of their willingness ASAP so plans can be made early. And when it is two weeks before the first performance, you want to start promoting the show on the UM homepage and elsewhere.

This situation calls for the creation of an event so the performances can be added to the UM Calendar. But it also requires an announcement to ask for volunteers by a certain deadline. Here’s how UM Today can handle all of this.

Create New Event

Let's walk through creating the example event from above.

  1. Dates and Locations
    1. Enter the Begin Date and Time.
    2. The End Date is not necessary because each performance occurs on a single day.
    3. The End Time is also optional if you aren’t sure how long each performance will last.
    4. Building and Room allows you to select the campus, building and room number where the performance will be held.
    5. Location Details can be added if there are particulars about getting access to the building and room you selected (above) or if the location is off campus.
    6. Parking Info can be added if you think attendees would need this information.
    7. Save Dates and Location. Once the specifics of the first performance are saved, use the Back link (not your browser’s Back button!) to add specifics for the other three performances. Once all of those are saved, continue to Basics.
  2. Basics

    This information is what you want people to know about the overall event, not the individual performances. Avoid repeating date and location information here because you’ve already included those in the previous step. And remember that this information will be displayed on the UM Calendar from now until the event is over, so don’t use language like "In three months…" because it won’t always be three months away.

    1. Title is the name you give to the event. Think of it as a headline. In our example "Ole Miss Theatre Presents Shakespeare's Macbeth" would be appropriate.
    2. Summary is a brief description of the event.
    3. Sender is the contact email that people will use if they have questions about the event.
    4. Event Type helps categorize the event. For our example, Arts & Culture would be a good choice.
    5. Contact Name, Email, and Phone fields allow you to enter contact information for people who may need assistance related to a disability.
    6. The Checkboxes:
      1. Select Open to the Public if everyone is allowed to attend.
      2. Select Registration Required if attendees must register in some way before attending.
      3. Select Ticket Required if attendees must pay to enter.
      4. Select Ongoing Exhibit if this event will span more than a few days. This allows it to persist in the footer of the UM Calendar instead of occupying space on each day for a year.
      5. Select Request to be Featured on UM Calendar to recommend this event to the campus webmaster to be promoted on the UM homepage and the UM Calendar.
    7. Full Details is where you can type as much as you need to describe the event in detail. Although this field is optional, readers prefer to see all of the details here rather than having to download a PDF or other type of attachment.
    8. Tag Organization allows you to mention your own and other offices that might be involved with this event. In the future, tagging an organization will be a means of posting this event on the organization’s website for even greater exposure.
    9. Sponsors may be indicated if they have contributed in some way that you want to mention them.
  3. Links and Files

    Full Details is the easiest way for your readers to learn all about your event. However, if you want to provide even more information, you may want to include links to other sites or upload documents and images to the event. Links and files are treated similarly.

    1. The URL (for links) is the full web address for the page you want to link to.
    2. The File (for files) is the file you select to upload to the event. The following file types are accepted:
    3. Link Name is the natural name you want to give to the link or the file. This should be something a human finds easy to read, like "Brochure" or "Theatre Website" for our example.
    4. Caption is optional, but it will appear as "hover text" when someone puts their mouse over the Link Name listed on the event.
  4. Review

    By this point, the event has been saved and can be found later in your Saved & Favorites area on the home screen. Review the content on this screen and even preview the event as it will look to others. You may go ahead and select "Yes" for the question "Is this event ready to be marked as ‘complete’ and displayed on the UM Calendar" if you are ready. If not, you can find the event in your Saved & Favorites and edit it to complete it at a later time.

Create New Announcement

Announcements are intended to provide information for others to act upon. In our example, we need to create two announcements: one to promote the event so people will know about it, and another to ask for volunteers to help with an event. The one for volunteers should run earlier so those plans can be worked out. Not all announcements should be related to events, but for our example it is helpful to potential volunteers if we connected the announcement to that event.

  1. Basics

    Similar to events, announcements have many of the same fields to fill out.

    1. Title is the name you give to the announcement. For our example, we could use "Volunteers Needed for Macbeth."
    2. Summary is a brief statement of the gist of the announcement. "Extra credit available for students willing to help seat the audience for three shows in March."
    3. Sender is the contact email that people will use if they have questions.
    4. Announcement Type helps categorize the announcement. For our example, even though we used Arts & Culture for the event, we might use Invitation for this announcement because we are inviting students to help us.
    5. Full Details is where you can completely explain what you want to say.
    6. Tag Organization allows you to mention your own and other offices that might be represented by this announcement. In the future, tagging an organization will be a means of posting this announcement on the organization’s website for even greater exposure.
    7. Related Event gives you the option of connecting this announcement to an event on the Event Calendar. The event must have already been marked as "complete" in order to link to it. For our example, select the event that you created in the previous steps.
  2. Settings

    Because not all UMT admins have the same permissions, you may not see all of these options available to you.

    1. Require Acknowledgement forces readers to confirm that they have read the announcement when they sign into myOleMiss.
    2. Set Acknowledgement Frequency lets you specify the number of days until the user is prompted to acknowledge again. (e.g. must respond every 90 days)
    3. Select Is this announcement private? if you want the announcement’s contents from being displayed in the daily UM Today email.
    4. Select Recommend for promotion on UM homepage? if you would like to see if in the list of announcements on the university’s homepage.
    5. Select Mark as a favorite? if this will be a message you want to return to again later. The Saved & Favorites area makes it easy to display just the favorites out of the dozens of other announcements you may create.
  3. Links and Files

    Full Details is the easiest way for your readers to learn everything you want them to know. However, if you want to provide even more information, you may include links to other sites or upload documents and images to the event. Links and files are treated similarly.

    1. The URL (for links) is the full web address for the page you want to link to.
    2. The File (for files) is the file you select to upload to the event. The following file types are accepted:
    3. Link Name is the natural name you want to give to the link or the file. This should be something a human finds easy to read, like "Brochure" or "Theatre Website" for our example.
    4. Caption is optional, but it will appear as "hover text" when someone puts their mouse over the Link Name listed on the event.
  4. Review

    By this point, the announcement has been saved and can be found later in the Saved & Favorites area on the home screen. Review the content on this screen and even preview the announcement as it will look to others. You may go back to edit any part of it.

    Following our example, these steps would create the announcement just for the call for volunteers. You can repeat the announcement steps to create one that will simply promote the event for attendees.

Post an Announcement

In order for any announcement to be seen, it must be posted. Because our example requires two announcements, we’ll follow just the one calling for volunteers in these instructions.

  1. Audience

    Some of the audience selections are not available to all UMT admins. Most audience groups allow you to pool all the members of that group and then refine/filter the list based on certain group aspects.

    Audience Pools

    CC List - All groups except Everyone and WebIDs allow you to enter additional WebIDs of people who you want to send a copy of the announcement to. These would be people who couldn't be included in the selection.

    Audience Filters

    Most groups allow you to filter out people who don't match certain criteria. Here are all of the possible filters.

  2. Recipient Review

    This step will reveal to you the number of people you have targeted with your announcement and display up to 5,000 of them. If the total is fewer than 5,000, it will allow you to deselect any that you don’t want to receive the announcement for some reason.

  3. Post

    Some post options are not available to all UMT admins.

    1. First Day should be the earliest date you want this announcement to be available. In our example, you might want to set today’s date if you want to get people to consider volunteering ahead of time.
    2. Last Day would be the last date you want this announcement to be available. In our example, you might suggest a deadline for the latest you can accept volunteer assistance.
    3. Select Send express email right now? only if the announcement is urgent or of great importance. Abuse of this option may result in the loss of privileges.
    4. Select Send text message right now? if you want to send the summary of the announcement as a text message immediately. This is authorized for instructors and advisors communicating with their students, but it is strongly discouraged for large groups due to the strain on system resources and costs associated with text messaging services. To send a text to larger groups, use 2SMS. Contact Telecommunications (telcom@olemiss.edu) for details.
    5. When ready, select Post Announcement to post it.

    Following our example, this would create the post asking for volunteers. Complete the Post and Announcement steps again to promote the event using a shorter display time frame. Remember that you can repost an announcement, so you might want to create a promotion announcement to post early, and then post it again closer to the show times.

Quick Post

Sometimes you need to send a message to a group of people that you deal with often. The Quick Post option creates and posts an announcement in one step. The announcement is limited in that links and attachments are not allowed, and it can be either emailed or texted immediately to only a limited group of recipients. This is useful when instructors might need to cancel one or more of their classes, for instance. Or when you want to send an email to just a few people with a record of it in UM Today.

Send summary as a text message?
Use this option to send only the 140 character summary as a text message. Remember that you will not be identified as the sender and there will be no title, so be sure the summary contains enough information for recipients to understand what you are are saying.
Send immediate email?
This is the default option for a Quick Post message. It sends the title as the email subject and the Summary as its message. If you choose to add any full details, there will be a link to them in the message. Note: Full details optional and are not included in the email.

Saved and Favorites

All announcements and events that you have created, or that were created by someone with the same "sender address list" as you, are saved. Those that you've tagged as "favorites" can be filtered so you can find them quickly. The only way to remove one of the list items is to delete it.

Privileges

Different people have different privileges within the UM Today system, depending on their roles and duties at the university. In addition to the permissions you have with the system, the Privileges area shows you a recap of how many messages you've created, and how many people you've targeted with them.

Helpdesk Tools

The IT Helpdesk (915-5222) manages admin permissions for UM Today. Faculty and advisors automatically have administration privileges so they may contact their students and advisees. Other employees may request access.

Authorizations

Employees
Select the employee from the list
UM Today Express
Enables user to send express emails.
SMS Text Messages
Enables user to send text messages.
Acknowledgements
Enables user to require acknowledgements that recipients have read an announcement.
Helpdesk
Enables user to have Helpdesk-level access.
Super Admin
Enables user to have Super Admin access.
Review Bulletin Board Requests
Enables users to review and approve requests for announcements to be featured on the UM homepage and other locations.
Review Featured Event Requests
Enables users to review and approve requests for events to be featured on the UM homepage, Event Calendar, and other locations.

From Addresses

UM Today admins can send either from their own email addresses or from others as assigned.

Types

The types of announcements and events a UM Today admin may use is dependent on their function within the university. Some types are reserved for certain departments and offices.