The thing about condo newsletters is that lots of folks like to read them, lots of condo Boards would like to write them, and even more condo boards would like their property manager to write them. But it could be argued that managers should be managing, not writing newsletters and since the role of a Board Director is volunteer, quite often the time commitment required to publish a newsletter is simply too much to ask.
The dictionary says a newsletter is “a bulletin issued periodically to the members of a society, business, or organization”. So if your board wants a newsletter, a digital elevator screen could be the best solution for you. It’s like a condo newsletter on steroids, especially when your screen supplier provides a notice creation service, too. Have an upcoming project coming up? Screens keep residents in the loop. Have some patio rules that people need to brush up on? The screen will share the reminders. Having a BBQ party? Spread the word by screen. The best part about using the screens as a digital newsletter is that they are dynamic, constantly updating so that the information is relevant all the time. Paper newsletters and even e-newsletters have a shelf life, especially when they are only published quarterly. A quarterly newsletter published in March that wishes residents a belated Happy Valentine’s Day along with a leprechaun heralding St. Patrick’s Day just seems… not quite right.
Some of the best “newsletter-style” notices I’ve seen have both shared pertinent information, along with attaining measurable results. A monthly “Games Night” notice posted on-screen garnered so many more attendees that it became a bi-monthly event instead. A clarion call for pet registration resulted in a major influx of visits to one manager’s office. A last-minute change to a condo’s BBQ party got the word out just in time. (You can hear more about that here: just jump ahead to the 4:39 mark)
Part of the work I do at the Toronto Chapter of the Canadian Condo Institute (CCI-T) involves helping to judge the submissions for the Condo Newsletter of the Year award, and every year, several condo corporations submit samples of their newsletters, hoping to be the winner. Some of the things taken into consideration are overall look and feel, value of information, type of info offered, layout, tone and style of the writing and (to me) one of the most important elements of all, the use of pictures to break up copy and make it visually appealing to (and thus actually read by) its intended audience. The beauty of a digital elevator screen is that it makes it very easy to incorporate all of these elements into each and every piece of information, while at the same time showcasing each item to its full potential for maximum impact. Hmm, maybe next year CCI-T can entertain a “digital” category, like they do at the CLIOs. Mad men in Condoland, indeed!