This is a recent response from our Executive Director regarding the postcard and email requests to update membership information.
Just wanted to clarify a few things so you fully understand what is going on with this project.
We partnered with Publishing Concepts (PCI) on this project as they produce publications for hundreds of military and veteran associations, specialty organizations, colleges and universities, high schools, and Greek organizations. We are using this to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the sport and they are working on our behalf to collect stories from our members. Here is an example of book they created for Purdue University - https://content.publishingconcepts.com/pubhub/PurdueAlumni/index.html
In addition to creating the book, they are also helping to verify and clean up our membership data when they have members on the phone. Since moving to a new membership database in January, we’ve noticed a lot of our member data is not accurate. The majority of our members do not interact with us on a timely basis; therefore, verifying their information is important as well.
I apologize if you feel this project is unprofessional. We simply want you to verify your data and more importantly have you (and all members) share your story for the book. There is no purchase necessary to be included in the publication although the operator will pitch you at the end. Full disclosure, USA-WSWS does receive a small revenue share from each book sold ($10 or so) but fundraising is not the intention of this project at all. We benefit from having a keepsake book celebrating the 100th anniversary of the sport and from crowd sourcing all of the member stories which we’ll use later for member spotlights on the website, magazine and social media platforms. For us getting this content is the real value.
The postcards and emails they are sending to promote the program (although approved by us) – are their standard templates that they’ve used in other projects and have conducted A/B testing on to determine which messages get the most calls/member stories. I agree they do have somewhat of a phishing feel to them, but we didn’t have much leeway on the MKT messages as they know what works for their business.
As an FYI, this project was communicated to membership via an email on 5/31 letting everyone know that you may be receiving an additional email and/or postcard and that the project is legitimate. It was also posted on the website - https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Water-Ski/PCI-Oral-History-Project-FAQs. We did our best to give everyone a heads up.
Have a great day!
Office: 863-508-2095 | Cell: 216-410-2906