People who live at the lake have a lot of pride in their properties. The privileges and life style that lake living offers is a compliment to their success in life. It can also be honored as a benefit of a legacy handed down from several or many family generations. Lake associations and coalitions of lake associations can nurture a beneficial relationship to assist lake property owners to be conscientious stewards of their lakes. Communications to lake property owners from these and other organizations is an important element in establishing and maintaining this relationship.
The nature of communications between lake organizations and property owners can be established for numerous purposes. These may include providing information and education on prevention of aquatic invasive species (AIS), water quality and state and county regulations. Being able to connect with lake property owners is also important to advise them of organization programs, meetings and events. There are several forms of communication media that are currently being used.
The advent of social media has provided an opportunity for lake organizations to tap into platforms that have become widely popular. These platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and others. Social media formats can and are being used but have inherent components that are not relatively desirable. Not formatted specifically for organizational communication, they include a lot of clutter from advertisements and unassociated material. More universally common are traditional media including newsletters, emails and even post cards. These can also can be seamlessly integrated together to accomplish a myriad of objectives.
Newsletters are normally created and published on a regular interval and sent to subscribers who have indicated a desire to receive them. Printed newsletters sent through the postal system is still being done by some but is being replaced by email E-Newsletters. The cost of creating, printing and sending printed newsletters is becoming relatively prohibitive. The personality of newsletters reflects the nature of the organization and the interests of the subscribers. See COLA/Lake Association Newsletters. There are several commercial email newsletter applications such as Constant Contact and Mail Chimp that offer templates and reporting functions. A method of generating no-cost E-Newsletters has been developed by www.lakeadmin.org. Contact [email protected] for information. E-Newsletters provide the opportunity to accommodate a variety of communications integration scenarios.
Traditional email is the most common format used to communicate with lake property owners. Emails can be created separately or can be produced in bulk by Microsoft WORD using the Mail Merge function with connection to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. An integrated communications process including emails can be very useful in appropriate scenarios.
This scenario involves wanting to contact lake property owners when more laborious, costly methods like letters, meetings or personal visitation of beach captains have been eliminated. Postcard campaigns are used when email addresses are not available. Successful campaigns have used postcards to include a web link address to a website page where information or additional links are provided.
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For an in-depth description and examples of how Integrated Communications accommodate these scenarios see:
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