Communicating with the Williams Community

Academic and administrative departments use a variety of tools to share news and events with the college community. This page outlines some options and considerations for those seeking to communicate regularly with a Williams audience.

General Advice and Caveats

The Daily Message system and public events calendar are the preferred ways to make announcements and spread the word about upcoming events. If, however, you feel your department, office, or program needs more regular communication with a specific audience, then a listserv or an e-newsletter may be the way to go. But be aware that building a list of subscribers and sending them timely, compelling content requires a significant investment of time and effort.

Check out this list of Williams public newsletters to see what’s available now.

College-Supported Mailing Lists (aka LISTSERV)

OIT licenses and supports mailing list software known as LISTSERV. You may use this software in a variety of ways, including interactive group email lists and for disseminating an e-newsletter.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Free
  • Supported by the college

Cons:

  • Dated interface can be challenging for some users

LISTSERV documentation

Cloud-based Email Platforms (eg MailChimp)

There are a number of very good cloud email/newsletter services available. MailChimp and ConstantContact are two being used successfully by college departments.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Usually provide attractive email templates
  • Good documentation
  • User sign-up form can be embedded in web pages

Cons:

  • Mail could be marked as spam and could even be blocked by some systems, contact OIT for help in properly identifying your cloud-based newsletter as legitimate Williams email.
  • Not supported by the college
  • May cost money at some usage levels

E-Communication FAQ

Q: How do I send an email to all faculty/staff/students?

A: The college maintains a variety of official email lists for use by the Williams community. These lists are moderated and all messages must be approved by the office charged with managing the list. Contact the appropriate office if you believe you need to use one of the lists below. Please be advised, however, that in most cases a Daily Message is a more appropriate communication channel than a broadcast email.

  • Williams-ALL: Communications
  • Williams-FACULTY: Dean of Faculty
  • Williams-PERSONNEL: HR
  • Williams-STAFF: HR
  • Williams-STUDENTS: Dean of the College and Office of Campus Life
  • Williams-NONSTUDENTS: Communications

Q: I am faculty/staff, how can I get a list of Williams emails for a targeted mailing?

A: Individuals can be found via our online “people” directory. If you need list of students, faculty, or staff matching a specific criteria (e.g., history majors or assistant professors), contact the appropriate office below. Use of such lists is subject to approval by the stewards of that data.

  • Registrar: student data
  • Dean of Faculty: faculty data
  • Human Resources: employee data

Q: How do I create and manage a mailing list/listserv/google group?

A: Detailed listserv documentation is available on the OIT site. If you have any questions, please contact Desktop Systems at [email protected] or x4090.

Q: How do I send a Daily Message?

A:  Start at the Daily Messages login page. Once logged in, you will be presented with a form into which you may enter your message.

Q: Is there a Williams listserv or bulletin board like Craigslist for buying and selling stuff?

A: Yes! The college offers a Williams-only online community — named Switchboard — where you can connect with employees, students, and alumni. Learn more about this service or proceed directly to the Williams Switchboard site.