Creating an Announcement
How to create an Announcement to notify users about a news story, service update or press release.
When to create an Announcement
Create an Announcement to:
- publicise an upcoming event or campaign
- provide a service update
- publish a University news story
- provide newsworthy updates on our research
- publish a press release for journalists
Don't create an Announcement for:
- events that have passed
- content that exists only to link to an off-site news story
- content that is duplicating other outlets’ news stories
- information that is better provided by another organisation or website (UCAS, BBC Weather)
- information that is not self-contained or could affect other content when it is deleted
- content that is relevant for a longer period of time – it could better fit a different content type (like a Project or Campaign)
- content that describes an event and how to attend it – create an Event instead
- a story that is longer, more detailed and more personal – create a Case Study instead
Before you create a new piece of content, search the website to see if it already exists and talk to other people who could be responsible for it. We do not want to duplicate content on the website as this can be confusing for users.
Naming your Announcement
Write a title that is clear to understand and tells the user the story in a few words.
The title for your Announcement should:
- be easy to understand - use simple English and avoid using technical terms if possible
- use active language rather than passive ('University hosts international conference', not 'International conference held on campus')
- be informative - include enough detail to give the user a sense of what the story is about ('Research to help blind people' is not as informative as 'Research helps blind people see photos')
- make sense when read out of context - this will help users find your content through search engines
- be limited to 65 characters if possible so users can read it in entirety on search results
Your title should not:
- include the words 'Announcement', 'News story', 'Press release' or 'Service update' (these are automatically displayed on the page)
- be a question ('Can Team Bath repeat netball success?')
- contain commas or dashes as this will create confusing URLs - use a colon instead if you need to separate phrases ('Planned industrial action: latest')
Writing an Announcement summary
Use the summary to explain what has happened and why it is important, for example:
Title: Psychologists: mental health ‘labels’ can do more harm than good
Summary: University researchers say diagnosing patients with medical labels such as ‘personality disorder’ can lead to less effective treatments.
The summary should be no more than 160 characters.
Writing Announcement content
Things to keep in mind when writing your Announcement
- write in plain English to make your content as understandable as possible
- structure your content so that the most important information is at the top
- break content up into sections that are easy to read
- use headings to structure the content and help users to navigate
- consider breaking up long sentences or paragraphs with a lot of information into bulleted lists
- make sure your headings follow the same principles as when writing the title
- include technical terms in headings unless unavoidable - and then only if you’ve already explained them on the page
- use generic or needless headings ('Further information' or 'Introduction') - users don’t want an introduction, they want the most important information
Resources to help you write your Announcement
The University's style guide will help you make sure you're using the same terminology, style and tone as the rest of the website. This is important so that website users can understand us easily through the consistency of our content.
Our formatting guide will help you create appropriate headers, links, lists and other formatting for your page. This is important because it makes the information we provide clearer to website users.
Adding a call to action
A call to action is the next thing you want the user to do after reading your content. The Content Publisher has special fields for entering a call to action.
Make sure your call to action:
- is active ('Find out more about...', 'Contact the...', not 'More information is available…')
- makes the destination of the link clear to the user
- does not end in a full stop
Your call to action can be a link to a web page, an email address or a phone number.
If your content doesn't have a call to action, choose 'No call to action' and enter a good reason for not having one in the 'Reason for no call to action' box below.
You should always try to think of the next step for the user.
Adding responsible organisations and groups
After you have added all your content - including any images, media and contact details - you will able to select an owner or associated group for your page. This allocates permissions for who in the organisation is able to maintain the content.
A guide for adding responsible organisations and groups is available to help you do this.