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ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTERS

Associations can and should regularly publish newsletters to keep members informed about events in the association, board meetings, rules and regulations, and other items of general interest. Following is a list of writing tips for your newsletters.

Who Controls The Newsletter. Unless the board delegates control of the newsletter to the manager of some other person, control of the newsletter remains with the Board. 

President's Column. It is not unusual for the president to write a column for the newsletter. When election time rolls around, the president should be careful to stick to reporting general matters. However, "if any candidate or member advocating a point of view is provided access to association . . . newsletters . . . during a campaign, for purposes that are reasonably related to that election, equal access shall be provided to all candidates and members advocating a point of view." (Civ. Code § 5105(a)(1).)

Letters to the Editor. If associations publish letters to the editor in their newsletter, the editor has the right to decide which letters get published. As with local newspapers, members cannot demand that their opinions be published in the newspaper. Members have other social media avenues for making their views known. If, however, any candidate or member is allowed to publish something in the association's newsletter during a campaign, then equal access must be given to all candidates and members advocating a point of view on the issue.

Unauthorized Newsletters.  Members have the right to publish their own newsletters if they so choose. When it comes to private letters, newsletters, and websites, the materials cannot mislead members into thinking they are communications from the association. For that reason, the association’s name and logo should only be used by the association. It should always be clear to recipients that the private missive is just that, a private missive. When individuals seek to confuse and deceive, they open themselves to litigation.

NEWSLETTER DOS & DON'TS  by William Safire:

  • Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
  • Don't use no double negatives.
  •  Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't.
  • Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
  • Do not put statements in the negative form.
  • Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  • No sentence fragments.
  • Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  • If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  • Steer clear of incorrect verb forms that have snuck into the language.
  • Take the bull by the hand in leading away from mixed metaphors.
  • Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
  • Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  • Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
  • I must have told you a million times to resist hyperbole.
  • Also, avoid awkward and affected alliteration.
  • "Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks" ' ".
  • Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
  • A writer must not shift your point of view.
  • And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
  • Don't overuse exclamation marks!!!!!
  • Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of ten or more words, to their antecedents.
  • Write all adverbial forms correct.
  • Avoid un-necessary hyphenation.
  • When dangling, watch your participles.
  • It is incumbent on us to avoid archaic phrases.
  • Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
  • It's hard to imagine a phrase when you will have needed the future perfect.
  • Unqualified superlatives are the worst.
  • Last but not least, avoid clich├ęs like the plague.

 

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC