Guide

Creating an announcement

Updated on 23 April 2022

Guidance for CMS editors on how to write and publish announcement content on the University website

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Announcement content type 

You should use the announcement content type if you need to:

  • provide an update to staff and students about University services
  • publish a University statement

Don’t use the announcement content type if you need to:

  • publish a personal view, insight, or account (use Story)
  • publish a feature length article (use Story)
  • publish content related to a content marketing strategy (use Story)
  • publish a press release for journalists (use Story)
  • explain how someone attends an event (use Event)
  • publish guidance or instructions (use Guide)

Don’t create an announcement for:

  • content that only exists to link to a page outside of the University website
  • content that duplicates other content on the University website
  • content that is already provided in more detail by another organisation or website

Writing an announcement title

Announcement titles should:

  • be informative and give the reader a sense of what the content is about
  • make sense out of context, this helps the reader understand the content when it’s presented in search engine results

Announcement titles should not:

  • include the word ‘announcement’
  • be puns or teasing (this makes the content hard to find)

Writing an announcement summary

The summary should help the reader understand the main point of the content and identify individuals or groups in the content. Aim for a sentence, however if that’s difficult then two sentences are ok. Remember, the summary is the first sentence of the content so should make sense when it's read continuously with the rest of the article.

Example
Title
Covid-19 update for students
Summary
Information for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students confirming the latest learning and teaching, accommodation, and travel arrangements due to the Covid-19 restrictions

Writing announcement content

  • don't repeat the summary
  • use clear, straightforward language
  • avoid walls of text and break the content up with headings to make it easier to scan
  • avoid long sentences
  • use bullet points 
  • break up content with images
  • follow the guidelines outlined in the University content style guide 

Article length

Announcements don’t have a lower word limit but you should question the value of the content if it’s less than 140 words. If the content is short, consider whether it would have greater impact if it was posted on social media.

Add value to other content

When writing the content for an announcement, consider the actions that we want the user to take after reading the content. For example, if the announcement relates a staff achievement or an award then provide a link to the person’s profile and use the person taxonomy to tag them too.

Taxonomies for announcement content

We use taxonomies in content types to organise content, publish it to different locations, and give it meaning so people can find it easily. Taxonomies take the form of assignable categories or tags.  

Below are the announcement taxonomies that an editor should use.

Featured group

‘Featured groups’ allows the editor to associate content with different parts of the University’s organisational structure. This association takes the form of a parent and child relationship. School and Directorates represent the parents and the departments and services that come under these represent children.

If an editor associates an announcement with a group then a summary will be published on the group’s website. For example, selecting both the ‘School of Science and Engineering’ and ‘Physics’ would publish content on both of these sites. Children cannot be selected without first selecting the associated parent.

Announcement category

The announcement category taxonomy assigns one or more broad categories to the content so that it can be displayed on other areas of the website such as landing pages. Assigning a category also creates a link at the bottom of the content so the reader can view all pages that are associated with a category. 

People

Announcements can also be associated with one or more people. This will give us the option in future updates to the CMS to automatically publish a link to the announcement on the staff member’s profile page.

Resources for writing announcement content

The University content style guide provides guidance for editors to ensure consistency of style across all University of Dundee content. It includes information about:

Enquiries

Web Services

help4u@dundee.ac.uk