Communication Breakdown

Communication Breakdown

It happens to all of us.

Breakdowns in communication just happen. Hey, we're human.

What is unfortunate, however, is how these "breakdowns" affect our relationships, both business and personal. I want first to apologize to all of our advertisers and readers for our show-floor absence at the recent SSA show in Las Vegas. I realize many of you expected to find Inside Self-Storage represented in the tradeshow. We hope this did not cause anyone any inconvenience--we do take our responsibility to our vendors and readers very seriously.

We have had a working relationship with the Self Storage Association ever since the inception of Inside Self-Storage back in July 1991. During the course of the past eight years, there have been many promises made regarding cooperation amongst the organizations. We have been supportive of the SSA, inviting them to participate in our Expos, as well as contributing our presence to theirs. We have publicized information about the association in our pages. It was hoped that this relationship would be symbiotic, but it appears this is not the case.

From meetings that were scheduled but never took place, to conflicts in the dates and locations of tradeshows (which was witnessed just in these past few months), breakdowns have been happening in the lines of communication. This is a sad event for us, and for the SSA--but more so for the attendees and vendors who are unjustly placed in the crossfire. The members of this industry should not be forced to choose between assisting parties, but should be free to benefit from all available resources. This cannot happen where communication fails, as it did this year, as it has in the past.

The new administration for the SSA argued for its relocation to Washington, D.C., supposedly for the purposes of lobbying, of having a greater representation for the self-storage industry when it comes time for the passing of legislation that affects us. But while the members of SSA are paying for the association's presence in a high cost-of-living area, what benefits are they reaping from that arrangement? What are SSA members gaining?

Also, the SSA has made clear its alliance with the Mini-Storage Messenger, naming it the "Official Publication of the Self Storage Association." But in choosing to employ only one publication as its voice, the SSA necessarily estranges us. There has been plenty of talk about expanding that alliance to include ISS, and yet action is never taken. Why is this?

Our supporters have made evident their desire to see the working relationship between ISS and the SSA bolstered. Anyone who can offer any suggestions as to how to bridge this gap in communication is encouraged to share his ideas. At this juncture, let's not allow breakdowns to interfere with all of the success being witnessed today in this industry.

Best regards,

Troy Bix
[email protected]

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