by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
A very thoughtful message from a widely-known industry leader is quoted below.
It was sent in response to a recently produced finance-focused video.
That writer’s comments equaled a page and a half of text, so what follows is just a snippet from the message, a section that by itself won’t reveal the writer or what part of the industry that person is in.
Words between the … are edited out comments … that could have tipped off who the writer was, here’s that pro’s spotlighted commentary.
“I sincerely believe that our national association could skip past the ‘fact-finding portion’ of this [MHI] initiative and use the funds that would be spent on researching ‘the problem’ on an integrated public relations effort…
…to dispel the most common myths / misconceptions and stereotypes that:
1) keep buyers from considering the product,
2) discourage banks, credit unions and other lenders from financing the product, and
3) encourage cities and towns to restrict/prohibit the placement of our homes within their jurisdictions.”
The writer then said:
"This commentary IS NOT anti-MHI.."
The words on the end of the quote above should not be construed as negative or harsh towards MHProNews, because the letter begins, reads, and ends with thoughtful and encouraging words on our industry work, and generally interesting commentary. Rather, it was simply the writer’s emphasis that the person isn’t attacking the association, they are QUESTIONING the wisdom of an MHI policy/program.
That last line - "This commentary IS NOT anti-MHI..- "is going to be a key jumping off point for me.
Because those words - "This commentary IS NOT anti-MHI.." – would be widely embraced by others or myself regarding public comments on issues that involve MHI. We’ve worked hard to focus on people at MHI acting in error, or policy errors, rather than attacking the organization per-se.
A properly functioning MHI, or something like it, is potentially valuable to the industry.
Much of what that writer stated, I’d also concur with; again, including that part quoted about not being anti-MHI.
Now, let’s dive into the three points the writer above wanted to focus on.
1) Buyers considering the product.
2) Discourage banks, credit unions and other lenders from financing the product.
3) Encourage cities and towns [not] to restrict/prohibit the placement of our homes within their jurisdictions.
Is there more needed? Yes, we think so, and you can bet that the anonymous letter writer noted above would too.
For example, when a piece of seriously erroneous ‘news’ comes out, we set about crafting a story that corrects the record.
Or when there are also the ‘positive facts’ that frankly, some have previously overlooked as a source for good news about manufactured housing, we want to bring those into focus too.
Or when the industry members do or say positive things, we want to spotlight those efforts.
Dozens of others examples like those above spotlight how we as an industry advance. We can refute the bad facts with good ones. We can synergistically spotlight good news stories. Repeat both often, until the public fully gets it.
We as industry professionals must learn how to collaborate and work together cohesively at telling in ever-better and more compelling ways the truths about manufactured housing and our manufactured home communities.
We even learn to tell that truth about our evolution from trailer houses, to mobile homes to manufactured homes, spotlighting past problems with current realities.
We as publishers and service providers are pro-industry, and pro-association. It’s very fair to say that the letter writer above quoted in brown, is too.
Marty Lavin was in the MH association world for many years - and holds dearly an MHI award - but Lavin is QUESTIONING – as does Rolfe, the writer above and others - MHI’s communications and planned “study.”
Be it they, or us in articles and editorials, we all share in this in common. We’re raising concerns for the sake of industry advancement. The issues allegedly caused by top staffers at MHI will be addressed, one way or another.
The Alleged Jennison/Gooch (MHI senior staffers) and MHProNews “fued”
So, as publisher of MHProNews/MHLivingNews, I totally reject the notion that we are anti-MHI. Rather, we are pro-industry, pro-ethical, best- practices and pro-truth. When MHI is correct, great. When some there are in the wrong or fail to perform, they should be held accountable.
That’s life, and that’s pro-industry trade journalism.
I completely understand why many won’t speak out in public. There are a variety of reasons. But in America, silence doesn’t always mean consent.
Some don’t say a word about the problems, but rather, forge ahead with their pro-industry efforts. One such example is linked below.
It should be noted again that when editorializing by me or anyone else
is published, such editorials may not represent the views of our sponsors.
Sponsors are here in part because we have the largest industry audience.
The Road Ahead
The videos and articles fueled by the MH Alliance/Partners in Progress concept are so common sense, and it’s working for those who are fully engaged in the process.
Because this works, and sparked by the video below – the anonymous writer above’s 3-point commentary above comes into play – as one of many examples of how this can and does work.
Beyond the MH Alliance/Partners in Progress
Beyond these examples are a crying need for national association leadership that is effective.
The videos and stories that we do would be so much more impactful if a national association was collaborating with us, instead of working against us.
As another March 2017, Featured Article reveals, MHI has over a $3 million-dollar annual budget. That’s roughly 6 to 7+ times the size of MHARR’s budget. That’s not counting MHI’s PAC.
We won’t dive into a full SWOT analysis, because
a) we’re paid for SWOT analysis work,
b) as another article this month clearly states, those involved in the SWOT must want an objective view and are willing to act upon it, or the work is done in vain.
But we will note what our Daily Business News writing team of RC Williams and Matthew Silver periodically cover. There are current and potential ‘threats’ to manufactured housing. As MHARR has wisely said, we’re sitting on an historic opportunity.
Will the industry take advantage of it?
MHARR, MHI and the States
Editorially, we’ve routinely understated MHARR in doing MHI Analysis, because some may misread or unwisely dismiss MHARR’s commentary without thinking it through.
That said, let me state for the record my professional view that MHARR has often been spot on with issues. Their viewpoint and concerns deserve a full and fair hearing, along side MHI’s and any others that are thoughtfully put forth.
And yes, those concerns raised by MHARR should be taken up impartially at MHI too. The same is true in reverse, each party should consider the perspectives of the other. How else can consensus or compromise ever possibly be reached?
One more point about MHARR. Given their modest budget, MHARR does an amazing job of getting another thoughtful perspective out on industry issues and they do so rapidly. Imagine, what could MHARR be do if they had the larger national association budget?
We at MHProNews ask:
As we’ve carefully documented above and elsewhere numerous times, other pro-industry professionals – as well as our own operation’s team - are asking serious questions.
Because after years of MHI doing the same things, the same ways, industry pros are tired of getting the same results in D.C.
Not changing in the face of repeated mistakes is the popular definition of insanity.
There are only a few possible logical options.
In conclusion. More of the same? Or time for a cool change? Each reader makes that decision, moment by moment and day by day.
“We Provide, You Decide.” © ##
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