neighborhood communications

Failure to Communicate Really Stinks

By Communications

At the end of the day last Wednesday, it was clear that our usual trash pick up wasn’t happening. An email from the homeowners association confirmed that a) our trash pickup day had changed to Friday and b) this would also be the quarterly “large trash pick up day.”

The HOA leadership had failed to get the newsletter with this information mailed before the change. The email user group delivered the information on Wednesday, while all of us dutifully had our trash at the curb. It was 89 degrees.

The HOA implored us to “tell our neighbors” since only about 50 percent of the community subscribes to the user group. A week later, it’s clear that neighbors don’t really talk to neighbors since about half of the trash cans were dragged to the curb two days early. Again.

A better approach would have been to:

  1. Send a postcard to each residence announcing the change at least two weeks in advance.
  2. Include the information in the newsletter and GET IT OUT ON TIME.
  3. Use the email user group to inform the residents of the change in advance, multiple times.
  4. Use the Facebook page (which exists and is under used) to communicate and capture those not paying attention to other channels.
  5. Post signage in the neighborhood.

All in all, this seemed to me like a terrific failure to communicate, and a stinky one at that. Now, to be fair, I’m not volunteering to help my HOA with communications, so it’s not fair for me to criticize too much, but if they decide to take my advice, I’d be really grateful.