Homeowners may be different people from home to home, but one thing that most homeowners have in common is the need to be kept in the know about their community and their HOA board. The tried and true HOA newsletter may come in print or circulated via email or be sent through social media updates, but regardless of its form, it’s still a valuable commodity that HOA’s should continue investing in.
But when it comes time to write a newsletter, be it weekly, monthly, or quarterly, there are some things that need to be included and some things that need to be avoided. Here are some tips for HOA’s in how they can best pursue this valuable asset to community communication.
Be Informative and Direct
An HOA newsletter should include valuable, need-to-know information about the members, the association, and local community. Announcements can range from notices about events planned in the community, new family additions, planned maintenance, or times and topics of meetings.
It’s important to be factual and careful not to include any personal information of community members or cross the line when it comes to editorializing certain entries. Some may take it as an invasion of privacy or, in some cases, slander. This would be an extreme situation, but it’s still important to look out for and guard against. While using common sense when creating a newsletter can protect an HOA from possible claims, having HOA insurance options in place, such as directors and officers liability, can help provide the resources needed when it comes to legal issues.
It may be a simple concept, but something that definitely shouldn’t be taken advantage of. While having great character and voice helps to craft the personality of a newsletter, those who are writing it should still have a firm grasp of how to craft a newsletter.
The text should help readers understand what the subject of the newsletter is and what topics are being discussed. As mentioned above, it helps to just be straightforward and give people the bullet points so they can stay informed yet not be overloaded with information. When it comes to the information being discussed, it should be proofread and fact-checked so that the correct information is being sent out. This means that everyone on an HOA board should have a good look at the newsletter before it goes out just to make sure everyone has included their input and can verify the information.
Don’t Include Personal Information
It’s within an HOA’s legal rights to include a list of members who are delinquent on their fines or assessments, but it’s probably not the best look the HOA to do so. This can help to keep the peace among members in the community while also respecting their well-being. If there are issues such as fines and fees that need to be paid, this should be handled directly with the member in the community instead of put out in the open for everyone to see.
Don’t Create Uncomfortable Situations Through a Newsletter
A newsletter that includes rules and warning and sanctions will not help build a readership. In fact, it can be seen as more of a rules list than a newsletter that’s supposed to be informative and communal in nature. A newsletter should be made to bring a community together and offer up opportunities for members to stay informed and provide their own input.