A comprehensive, proactive community association communications program will contribute to productive meetings, satisfied homeowners, balanced budgets, informed consultants, supportive residents, cooperative tenants, eager buyers, low delinquencies—and more. A monthly newsletter and a dynamic website are excellent places to start.
Volunteer spotlight: Give appreciation and recognition to individual volunteers. This lets then know they’re valued by the community.
Contacts: Print the name, address and phone number of the manager or appropriate contact person. Include emergency numbers.
Bad news: It’s best to deal with bad news head-on. Announcing it immediately gives you the advantage of getting the facts out before rumors and misinformation can circulate.
Member surveys: Online polls are a quick and inexpensive way to sample member opinion on issues like how your residents feel about putting in speed bumps.
Forms: Cut down on management processes by posting your forms online and allow residents to submit them electronically.
Local news: Area news that affects residents, such as taxation issues or zoning changes, can make a strong contribution to your newsletter.
Marketing: Include photos and information on units for sale and sell advertising.
Letters: Publishing letters to the editor or board gives residents a voice. Give due consid- eration to all letters, and publish a mix of view- points. Get the sender’s permission first.
Community interaction: Message boards and chat rooms facilitate resident communication.
Message from the board: Ask a board member to write a message for each issue.
Committee reports: Keep owners informed and aware of the association’s actions.
Rule reminders: Rules can be highlighted and explained in a regular column or department.
Here are some ideas on what to include:
Free newsletter articles: This free-to-members service from CAI is a collection of more than 100 articles on community association living that associations can customize for use in their newsletters and on their websites. For more information, see below.
Status reports: How’s that repair project coming? When will the roof be finished?
Financial reports: Keep to the bottom line. Financial reports can sometimes be dull, so use graphs and charts whenever possible.
Personnel notes: Identify new employees, acknowledge promotions and recognize resident accomplishments.
Welcome newcomers: Just remember to get their permission before printing their names.
Archives: Put your old newsletters, meeting minutes and annual reports online.
Minutes: Meeting minutes or recaps keep the community up to date on the business of the as- sociation and remove any mystery about the board’s actions.
Events: Publish a two- or three-month event calendar, including meeting notices.
Published by Community Associations Institute (CAI)
CAI’s copyright-free articles for newsletters and websites are indexed and can be downloaded by CAI members on our website