Here's 8 principles that improve your communications strategy:
1. Develop a strategy. Planning your communication will save you time and prevent potential PR crises. Determine how to accomplish this, including building a solid content publishing calendar. Be sure to stick to a single topic and keep it brief when considering residents' concerns. And it doesn't hurt to keep a positive tone! All communication should be positive and rooted in your community's values.
2. Prioritize your messaging. Ideally, you want to inform residents about issues that affect them. However, if you have limited resources, focus on high-priority content, like meeting notices, financial information and policy changes.
3. Be transparent. Open communication establishes trust, encourages participation and facilitates compliance but, to be safe, some boards avoid giving out too much information. On the other hand, this approach could raise suspicions. If you need to communicate bad news, speak honestly about the process that led the board to its decision and how it will ultimately benefit the community.
4. Communicate often. Homeowners and management companies appreciate a steady flow of information. Without it, they may fill the void with misinformation or rumors. Consider using the help of a committee to establish a newsletter or social media account to publish accurate updates regularly.
5. Use multiple channels. Different people have different communication preferences. So, as a board, if it's your goal to have information readily available, consider using various marketing resources. That includes email, a website, newsletter, text messaging, phone calls and social media.
6. Communication is a two-way street. Residents need the opportunity to voice their concerns. Set aside some time for open discussions during board meetings or distribute surveys to find out what matters to your community. But remind them of the rules: the board only takes action during meetings and only regarding agenda items.
7. Renters need communication, too! Any news worth sharing with a homeowner should also be communicated with renters. Be sure to get their contact information upon move in, and give them access to your association's governing documents. Don't assume their landlords are communicating your policies or emergency procedures.
8. Select a management company that values communication. A great management company should relieve you of developing and sending resident notifications. Regular contact shouldn't only contain unpleasant news. It starts at the moment a prospective resident becomes a proud association member! Creating welcome packets with everything from community events and policies to contact information makes it easier to provide the support every resident needs to feel right at home.
There's no question that communication plays a major role in your association's success, but getting it just right is no easy task. Take control of your community connections by developing a plan that's right for you.
You talk, we listen. Download the 2019 Communication Survey Report today.