UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS MEDICAL CENTER GUIDELINES

INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS - CRITICAL INFORMATION EMAIL

The University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) strives to keep its employees informed through several channels, including use of Critical Information email. Due to the high volume of email messages, it is important to exercise discretion when using Critical Information because the messages are sent to all KUMC faculty and staff. To maintain the integrity and implied importance of Critical Information emails, all messages sent out via this channel should adhere to the following guidelines and must be approved through the Office of Communications. Please allow at least a 48-hour turnaround period to allow time for questions, revisions, and any necessary approvals. Exception: Time-sensitive information does not have to wait for Public Affairs' approval.

Critical Information Email
These emails should be reserved for messages that advise the KUMC community of:

  • Current or imminent situations that might require some action on their part.
  • Current or imminent situations that might inconvenience them.
  • Current or imminent situations that might require their increased vigilance for non-violent crime but which do not involve major disruptions (including potential disruptions) of regular activities or threats to the health and well-being of faculty, staff, or students.
  • Significant changes in University policy, procedure, or operations of general interest and broad potential impact.

Critical Information examples include:

  • The Inclement Weather Policy has been invoked.
  • A burst water line has required the shutdown of water service to a building.
  • We will be shutting off power to a building in 45 minutes to replace a failing transformer.
  • New, dangerous computer virus: delete all emails with the subject "whatever."
  • Several thefts have taken place in a specific location in the last 24 hours.
  • The individual whose picture is attached is suspected of breaking into cars in a parking lot.

Messages sent under Critical Information must note a contact. The contact is the person who can answer questions or provide additional information if a reader requests it. This is especially important since the Critical Information mailbox is not monitored for responses.

The disclaimer (below) will be included at the bottom of Critical Information messages to help discourage employees from replying directly to the message.

Disclaimer: Do not reply to this message. This email was sent through the broadcast email system and is not monitored. If you have questions, please call or email the contact provided in the email.

Additional guidelines for email broadcasts:
If you are using the Critical Information distribution list (all KUMC faculty and staff), the message needs to be sent out under Critical Information and not under your personal name. Messages sent out under Critical Information should apply to all or a majority of employees. If your message does not, please consider a more targeted email distribution or alternate method of communication. Overuse of Critical Information messages dilutes the importance of these messages. In order to preserve the integrity and priority status of Critical Information messages, these should be used judiciously. Contact Carrie Brown, internal communications manager, for communications options.

Below is a message template to use as a checklist to make sure you include all relevant details.

Message Template

Who:          Critical Information messages should apply to all faculty and staff.

What:         Provide enough details about the topic or event so readers can easily sense the importance and/or 
                  urgency. 

When:        Note the date and time if applicable. Be clear on any deadlines.

Where:       Note the location if applicable.

Why:          Note the reason(s) audience should care or reason(s) your message is important.

How:          Note any action the audience will need to take.

Contact:     Person who can answer questions or provide more information.  

Last modified: Jan 14, 2013
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