Federal Communicators Network Listserv

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Our Federal Communicators Network (FCN) listserv is open to government communicators from any level of U.S. Government (federal, state, local, and tribal). Since the purpose of this group is to exchange ideas among those of us who are in these roles, we do not admit private individuals, or contractors without a valid government email address. Learn more about the Federal Communicators Network.

How to Join the Listserv

Subscribe to this list via email. Remember, you must have a valid U.S. government email address to join.
  • Address an email message to listserv@listserv.gsa.gov
  • Leave the subject line empty (NO subject)
  • Type only the following text in the body of the email: subscribe FCN
  • Remove any additional text from the body of your message, including signature blocks
You will then receive a confirmation email message—to complete your subscription, click the confirmation link in that email message.

How to Send a Message

Any listserv member can send a message to the group by using this email address: FCN@listserv.gsa.gov. Once you send the message, you'll be asked to verify your original message before it's distributed to the list. This is to reduce viruses and other unwanted emails being sent to the listserv.
To verify a message for distribution:
  1. REPLY to the confirmation email message
  2. Type the word "OK"—without the quotes—in the body of the message
  3. Leave off any other text in the body of the message, including signature blocks
  1. Click the link provided in the email message. The link will appear similar to the following screen shot below:
Screen shot of text and link to approve a listserv message.

General Etiquette

When sending a message to the entire listserv, consider that your message is going to several hundred individuals on the list. If you have a suggestion or a response to the person who sent the original message, you should email that person directly rather than sending your message to the entire list. But if your message or question is intended for the full community—by all means—send it to the full list. We want to keep the listserv manageable and relevant. But we also don't want to stifle frank, open conversation, which is what the listserv is all about.

"Out of Office" Messages

Think of the listserv when you are setting your "out of office" messages. Remember to create a rule to not send the "out of office" message to listserv groups or only to people who've sent you a personal email. Ask your IT folks if you are unsure of how to do this.
If you do get "Out of Office" messages from people who forget, you can set up your email software to filter out messages that have "Out of Office" in the subject line. You should consult with your IT support staff to see how to filter these messages, since it will depend on the email program.

Common Listserv Commands

Following are some of the common commands you can use as a subscriber of this listserv. When using these commands, always:

  • Send the command in an email message addressed to listserv@listserv.gsa.gov
  • Type the command in the body of the message on one line, not in the subject line (the subject line should be left empty)
  • Remove any other text from the body of your message, including signature blocks
Action Command Line
Remove yourself from the list signoff FCN
Receive a daily digest of plain text posts; recommended for users with plain text email systems* set FCN digest
Receive digest in MIME format; recommended for Lotus Notes users set FCN digest mime nohtml
Receive digest in HTML format; recommended for MS Outlook users set FCN digest html
Receive messages one-by-one as they are posted; recommended for all users set FCN nodigest
* Each day after midnight, you'll get an email with a list of each of the messages that has been generated the previous day, grouped by topic. Depending on your mail client, you can either click on topics to read them or read by scrolling through the digest.
As a subscriber, you will receive a copy of your own posts to the listserv (this is the default setting). Some prefer to only receive messages from others and a short message from the server indicating that their own message was distributed to the list. To turn off receipt of your own messages and just receive an acknowledgement:
Action Command Line
Turn off receipt of own messages, receive acknowledgement set FCN ack,norepro
To restore default setting set FCN repro,noack

How to Access the Listserv Archive  

Members of the FCN listserv can access a searchable, browseable online archive of previous messages, and also modify their listserv settings. To access the listserv archives, first register a password. After you register, you will receive an auto-confirm email. Follow the instructions in that email to complete your registration and receive a password.
Once you have your password, you can login to the archive to search the listserv archives by keyword, browse the listserv archives by month, or modify your listserv subscription settings.

Listserv Questions?

Please email Mark Kaprow or Rachel Flagg, listserv managers.

Content Lead: Rachel Flagg
Page Reviewed/Updated: September 27, 2013

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