Not surprising that in a random sample of newspaper and TV stories focusing on HOAs and condo associations, 13 of 16 stories were about disputes and controversies. Only 3 stories were positive.

Little has changed since that informal survey last July. Just the other day, for example, a story about dog poop DNA testing creating a “stink in one community” was headline news.

The news media love controversies. And why wouldn’t they? Controversies attract readers and viewers like poop attracts flies. So you can bet if there’s some controversy brewing in your association, a newspaper or TV reporter just might come knocking on your door. And it’s not fun when that happens.

Can you do anything to stay out of the headlines?

These three words summarize what might help. Anticipate! Anticipate! Anticipate! When you anticipate what might ignite controversies, you can try to deal with them proactively.

Anticipating controversies, issues and problems can be uncomfortable because you have to think about them as honestly and objectively as possible.

Even if you have to grit your teeth and cringe, getting a handle on things that might go wrong can be extremely helpful. When you identify potential problems, maybe you can do something about them before they become headline news. And even if they can’t be fully resolved, at least maybe something can be done.

So… take a deep breath and grit your teeth. Because a little anticipation can go a long way.

Harvey Radin

Harvey Radin

Harvey is retired from Bank of America as senior vice president in charge of corporate communications and media relations where he Developed communications strategy and messaging on such key company/industry issues as fees, financial privacy, unit consolidations/mergers & acquisitions.He has also served on HOA boards and is the author of At Least Some PR, a booklet about homeowner association communication and PR. His articles about public opinion and PR have been published in Business Insider, American Banker and regional newspapers.
Harvey Radin

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