Communication Strategy: Tools and Tips

Tool #1: Section and Roundtable Discussion Lists

Every SAA section and roundtable has two dedicated email lists, one for use by group leaders (e.g., section and roundtable steering committee members) and one for use by all group members and list participants (i.e., discussion lists). Discussion lists have been configured to serve two purposes:

  • To provide leaders with a method of sending official announcements (e.g., election news, availability of newsletters, etc.) to all group members and list participants; and
  • To provide members and list participants with a discussion forum.

Roundtable and Section members are automatically subscribed to group discussion lists and by default receive posts by email. Subscribers can change their subscription mode by visiting:

For important announcements, group leaders have the option of using a “bypass code”—a special email address that overrides subscriber preferences and sends to ALL members of your group. SAA staff provides group leaders with a bypass code for electronic announcements of official business. For more information, please contact SAA Web and IT Services Administrator Matt Black (

Tool #2: Group Websites and Online Communications

Every component group has an official “microsite” on the SAA website. Basic information populated on every SAA microsite includes:

  • The group’s official charge;
  • The group’s official leader and/or member roster(s);
  • The group’s social medial site(s), if applicable; and
  • The group’s basic description.

Microsites may be administered by authorized group leaders via SAA’s content management system (Drupal). Instructions for using this application, “Drupal Manual,” may be downloaded at . If you have questions or problems with your group’s microsite, contact Matt Black (

Tool #3: Auxiliary Group Websites, Wikis, Email Lists, Etc.

Component groups need not obtain prior approval to establish an auxiliary website or start a social media account. Note, however, that all auxiliary sites must be linked from the group’s official Drupal microsite.  See SAA’s Uniform Guidelines for SAA Websites and Online Communications.


Communication Task Force Tips

In August 2013, the SAA Communications Task Force presented a final report to the Council that included recommendations for section and roundtable communications. See the entire final report and recommendations at

Given your role as a section or roundtable leader, you may be particularly interested in Appendix E, in which the task force presents “Communication Strategy Recommendations for Sections and Roundtables.” The Council did not choose to pursue development of communications best practices for sections and roundtables at this time, but the appendix reproduced below provides a wealth of information and ideas about how individual groups may wish to enhance their communication efforts.