A lack of communication leads to conflict and upset in any situation. People like to be kept aware of what is happening but are inundated with messages every day. Cut through the clutter and improve communication with your HOA members by implementing the following five tools and tips:
A well-designed website is a must when it comes to communicating with members. A strong website is easy to navigate and is the central communication point to which others communicate and navigate to social media, email, newsletters, and contact information. All of these channels link to the website for more information. While quality photography and video are important components of a website, functionality is the top priority. Make downloadable forms, posted meeting minutes, and newsletters easy to find and open and seek feedback on how to improve the website for better communication.
2. Social Media
With a multitude of social media channels available, it's best to choose a few and do them well than to try to do them all. No matter what channels you choose, it's best to develop a social media policy. A policy sets a foundation for expectations when for such activities as posting photos and responding to possible negative comments. Several social media channels offer the opportunity for live streaming which is a great tool for broadcasting meetings or special events. Develop a strategy
3. Email Communication
There's no doubt most of us are drowning in email messages. Despite the average person receiving upward of 100 emails a day, email remains an effective communication tool. Key considerations in developing an email that will get noticed, opened, and read are:
- Specific subject lines
Short listsof key information
- No abbreviations. Spell out what you are saying and double-check your grammar before hitting send.
Newsletters are a convenient way to communicate with members via their inboxes, and they are just part of the reason email remains a strong communication tool. A newsletter delivers information to members and saves members time from searching for the information themselves. For example, suppose a member is wondering about the recent changes to the bylaws or wants to know the date of the next association event. Newsletters also provide useful measurement tools that allow you to track opens and clicks, the information you can use to improve future newsletters.
There's a lot to be said for verbal communication. While it's certainly impossible to communicate mass information individually, a simple "hello and how are you" remains a great form of communication. Interpersonal communication skills are especially important in clarifying a miscommunication or addressing a concern. Verbal communication includes tone of voice and inflection of voice, something not communicated via non-verbal communication. Whether addressing a large group of members or a single member, it is always important to remember to think before you speak.
You can send messages through the five suggestions above and still not reach all members. Some members simply choose not to participate or to engage in communication. Establishing a strong communication strategy protects you from those who might say "they didn't know" and it provides a place to direct members for information. The majority will appreciate having sources of information and the time these sources save them from doing their own search. Our professional staff has years of experience in creating outstanding customer service, including communication, for HOAs. For more information about improving communication with your HOA, contact us today.