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April 6, 2018
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Molly Blake

HOA Newsletters? Yes, please!

A colleague recently asked if I was a journalist? “A good old-fashioned journalist,” he said. "Wow, you don’t see many of those these days.” I guess I’m like an elusive snow leopard or maybe big foot. He wasn’t wrong though. Writing is a great skill to have, but putting words onto paper is not everyone’s cup of tea. It occurred to me that some of you may still be mailing good old-fashioned newsletters as a way to communicate. 

And we’re talking printed, snail mailed or even emailed through an external third-party provider. Bravo! Congrats to those of you who are sending newsletters. It’s a great way for HOAs and PMCs to communicate with residents, keep everyone informed, and getting an email or printed newsletter keeps the spotlight on your website and all the value you’re delivering. 

Some of you, however, may be relying on social media channels, like Facebook, to communicate important information to your residents. Unfortunately, Facebook has changed their algorithm so that unless your followers are actively seeking out your page or your page is so unbelievably active that it’s made it to the level of ‘meaningful interactions,’ they’re likely to miss your posts.  

That’s why I’m a big fan of newsletters or bulletins.  Here are a few tips that you can use to make sure your information, notices, and newsletters are beneficial.  

  1. Send them regularly. Once a month to start. That way, residents begin to expect regular communication from you.  Encourage folks to ping you with ideas and share resources. 

  2. Engage. Consider including for sale items, landscaping tips, neighborhood information, trash schedule reminders, etc. Ask local business owners to let you know if they have job openings or special offers. 

  3. Question? Think about the questions you have fielded over the past month. Did you answer the same one over and over? Consider a small FAQ section and populate it with those very questions and answers.

  4. Font is important. Remember the debacle at the Oscars when the wrong winner was announced? The blame partially lies with font size. Avoid cursive and flowery fonts in favor of clean ones and stick with size 10 or larger! Making people strain their eyes is no good!

  5. Images are a great addition. For emailed newsletters, try and shrink the image otherwise it will overwhelm people’s inboxes. Most of the programs like constant contact and mailchimp have an editing function where you can make images smaller. 

  6. Have fun with it! The serious information needs to be included but don’t forget to make it interesting and entertaining. 

And if you are using email, there may be a few hold outs, so be sure and print a few copies out and hand deliver them.

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