Frank Rathbun in Board Operations on July 13, 2012
Can some residents be unresponsive? Yes! Irresponsible? Absolutely! So why give them added credence by taking the functional equivalent of the Fifth. If you've made sound decisions — if you've acted in good faith to meet your fiduciary responsibility to your residents — you should be able to support your actions with facts and perspective. Critics are more than happy to speak up, in some cases pushing the limits of credibility.
Faced with even the possibility of negative media coverage, you need to plan a thoughtful response:
Yes, there are risks. You may be misquoted. Your statements may be taken out of context. And you'll be lucky to get equal space or airtime. But, more often than not, you'll get something. Most importantly, you've tried. If nothing else, in the eyes of your residents and general public — not to mention public policy leaders — you were willing to stand behind your actions, your board and your community.
As Woody Allen once said, half of life is just showing up.
Frank Rathbun is Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the Community Associations Institute. This is adapted from his article at the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers' (NBC-CAM) "CMCA Corner Blog."
Illustration by Marcellus Hall
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