Your Story Helps American Mensa Write Its History
- Aug 3, 2021
Updated Dec. 14
Oral History Project Update from AMC Chairperson Timmy King
I would like to give you an update on the Oral History Project. Last week PCI (the vendor managing the project) sent out the last email/postcards. There is nothing else scheduled for a couple of months. Near the end of March, a final reminder will be sent out for the last call to participate. After that, PCI will compile the collected stories and send us the manuscript to review. Once we approve the content, the book will be printed and sent to all members who purchased it.
The project has had a significant positive impact for American Mensa.
- There were 11,390 respondents with 9,119 total stories told
- More than 9,000 members have updated contact information
- 214 former members rejoined to participate in the project
Unfortunately, the project clearly came with significant unintended consequences. Communications from PCI were not what we anticipated. The methods and phrasing were unexpected, did not clearly explain the purpose, and frustrated and confused members. That wasn’t our intent. We are actively working to make things better. Some changes are already being made by our National Office staff; others may come from policy updates by our Board of Directors (AMC).
American Mensa has partnered with Publishing Concepts (PCI) to collect member stories and produce an oral history, which will take the form of print and audio and ultimately be published in a book. It will be a monthslong project that will let us hear your personal stories about how Mensa has shaped your lives.
How does it work?
Members whose communication preferences allow it will receive postcards and matching emails from PCI with brief information on the project and inviting them to call in with updated member information and to participate. These postcards and emails are scheduled to start on Sept. 24. Reminder notices will follow unless you decline or opt out of the offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
- I received an email/postcard asking me to update my contact information for the Oral History Project. Is this legitimate?
- Yes. To kick off the project, PCI is helping us make sure our members’ contact information is accurate and up to date. If your information is correct, there is no need to update. We still welcome you to share your story with PCI for the project, however.
- Do I have to participate?
- No, participation is completely optional. Opt out of the Mensa Oral History Project mailing list, and you won’t be contacted about the project.
- Why should I participate?
- You’ll be able to share how American Mensa has impacted your life and will be able to read about the experiences of other members, too. Lapsed members will be able to reconnect with the organization. The stories will be part of an oral history that helps American Mensa preserve its past.
- Do I have to purchase anything to be able to participate?
- No. There is no obligation to purchase anything; near the project’s conclusion, a book containing select members’ stories will be available. should you wish to purchase a copy.
- My membership has lapsed, can I participate?
- We certainly hope you will, but the finished oral history will contain only those stories provided by active members. We’d love for you to renew your membership.
- Will my information be safe?
- Yes. It’s your story to tell in the way you want. PCI retains no personal member data.
- How else does Mensa benefit?
- Your participation provides Mensa with updated member data and meaningful member stories, which Mensa will completely own and which can be used to elevate our brand by spotlighting member stories across media platforms. The stories provide an attractive invitation for lapsed members to rejoin.
- What’s the financial impact on Mensa?
- There is none. PCI underwrites the project and makes the outreach. Members may purchase the oral history book (print and audio) that PCI will publish with the stories that are provided.
If you have a specific question not covered in this overview, please email OralHistoryProject@americanmensa.org.