Public Affairs

Basecamp Conventions

Use templates to start projects when possible: AF, ADM, and Blank. Reunions, Orientation, and Commencement have templates as well.

Project Names

  • Begin project names with the abbreviated name of the group followed by a colon. (PA: for public affairs, AF: for Annual Fund, ADM: for admission.)
  • Include the year. This is useful for annual/recurring projects when you need to research last year’s project. To keep names easy to scan, don’t include apostrophes or the full year. When you need to indicate the semester, add before the year. (ADM: junior visit day 18, CEP: convocation 19, SL: SE gray fund calendar fall 19)
  • Use lowercase to increase readability. (ADM: viewbook 17)


  • Make your discussion thread title informative and concise. (“Alumni website update” not “website” and “First proof: postcard” not “postcard”)
  • Include date-specific action items within the body of your discussion. (“Please proofread this copy and return it to me by next Friday.” “Confirm as soon as possible that you want 12 buttons on your website.”)
  • Use names of address. Typically, other recipients are looped into the discussion, so it’s important to know who’s being addressed and who needs to follow up.
  • New topic? Start a new thread. Try to avoid long meandering discussion threads.
  • New file? Start a new thread. Try to avoid adding the newest version of a file to a long discussion thread that already contains files. (“Here is version 16 of the postcard (file attached) with your most recent changes included.”)


  • Public affairs lists begin with “PRODUCTION:” and the type of deliverable ONLY if there is more than one deliverable in that project.
  • Do not include the name of the project in the to-do list title; the user is already in the project. If the user is looking at an email reminder for a specific task, they will see project identifiers.  (PRODUCTION: poster”; “PRODUCTION: trifold”)
  • Begin listed items (to-dos) with the name of the project followed by the action item. (“ADM: visit pc—content to designer” not “edit the copy and send to designer”)
  • Always assign a person and due date. It’s the only way we can look up or get notified about our tasks.


  • Microsoft Word, PDF, excel, Indesign, Google Drive—all files work.
  • Label to ensure version control and clarify use (“For Ray”; “Original”; “FINAL FILE”)
  • Delete files when necessary for clarity of communication. 

Text Documents

  • Remember that text documents have wiki-style editing (one person edits and saves, then another person can access the document, edit, and save); it is not live editing.
  • Label briefs BRIEF, copy COPY, and specs SPECS. If more than one deliverable in a project, label accordingly BRIEF email, BRIEF pc, COPY web, etc.
Archiving Projects
  • Archive or delete inactive projects. Archived projects don’t count against our project number limit (although files in them do count toward our file storage limit). Everything stays just as you left it, and you can unarchive a project at any time if you need to modify it or reactivate it. From your project dashboard, scroll to the bottom of your project and click "project settings."