You can provide your own distribution list(s) for use in the Broadcast Message System. This might be a list that you manage locally, or obtain from a database, or purchase. To send messages in this context, the recipients do not have to be part of the BU community. (Please note that you can also send to specific mailing lists from Outlook or a similar mail client, as described on our Mailing Lists pages.)

Once you have a list that you are ready to use, the IT Help Center will import it into the Broadcast Message System and use it to send out your message.

The Process

  1. Write and format your message. A basic BU template is available to you through use of the system and you can write to specmail@bu.edu if you would like a copy of it. However, most likely you will want to work with a template you already have, or develop one.
  2. Typically, locally-managed lists come in an Excel spreadsheet and, if so, you should supply just the column of email addresses (each address in its own row). No other detail is needed in the spreadsheet. Obviously, when supplying the list, you’ll want to be sure that email addresses are current.
  3. Authorization to send the message must be secured in advance. If you are authorized to send the message to the target population, that’s fine and you will simply be asked to state that in a message. However, if a higher level of authorization is required (e.g. your Director or Department Chair) you’ll want to supply that. It might be helpful to refer to the Target Constituencies page for information on wider target populations and those required approval sources, although these authorization requirements may not apply to your situation.
  4. Next, follow the steps outlined on The Sending Process page.