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Stay Engaged

Communication Objectives

PrairieCat staff and members strive for effective communication to meet the following objectives:

•     Inform. Ensure that appropriate RAILS and member staff are current and knowledgeable on PrairieCat projects, events, policies and procedures.

•     Engage. Encourage PrairieCat member staff to participate in PrairieCat meetings and projects. Promote and facilitate collaboration within PrairieCat.

•     Be transparent. Establish trust between PrairieCat members, governing bodies and staff by openly sharing meeting and project information.

•     Manage expectations. Clearly define services and projects so that member staff knows what PrairieCat staff and the consortium can and cannot do. Also clearly define member responsibilities.

•     Support effective teamwork.  Good communication is a cornerstone to good teams.


PrairieCat has seven categories of communications that define the level of urgency and the general content of the message, particularly used for email communications. The PrairieCat Email Subject Categories document is available here.

  • Critical:  system-wide, unplanned, critical issues
  • Alert:  system-wide, planned issues
  • Update:  report on an ongoing issue or project (critical or non-critical)
  • News:  member news, general announcements
  • Training: announcements of new training sessions, reminders about upcoming training, Tips & Tricks
  • Reports:  announcement when reports are added to the website, with action steps
  • Brief:  executive summaries from governance and committee meetings

Mailman Listservs

PrairieCat maintains a number of Mailman listservs that are used to communicate with members. Members are welcome to subscribe themselves to the open listservsused for general communication.  There are also a number of closed listservs which staff manage on behalf of PrairieCat members. If you are interested in being subscribed to a closed mailing list, please contact Judy HutchinsonJohn Slanicky or Elizabeth Smith.


PrairieCat uses this one-way instant messaging software to communicate about systemwide emergencies. Install NetSupportNotify on your workstation and log in every day to receive emergency alerts when they are broadcast.

Meeting Documents

All meeting agendas, packets, accompanying documents and minutes are posted in the Meeting Documents area of the PrairieCat support website.

Other Ways to Stay Informed 

Contact PrairieCat Staff

Visit the staff list for email addresses and direct phone numbers.