Team Room members and SOFREP readers, you folks have made our website the most incredible online community I’ve ever had the honor to be a part of. When Brandon, Jack and I first conceived of SOFREP we had our goals and targets, but I’m not sure we ever realized that YOU would make this such a great experience for us!
(Pausing 17 seconds for hats off and big round of applause to y’all…..)
So I wanted to follow up on the events of this past week, just to keep you in the loop and let you know what’s going on.
First, we had an article by a guest author that posted on May 30. We received Comms Checks from some stalwart readers wondering what this article indicated about our content direction, and I asked you for your opinions. You responded in a huge way, and I have results to post for you. It was a good time to check in and hear from our ‘advisory board’ about the state of our content direction.
Then we had some comment moderation issues, so I questioned you about that, and again, you responded right away and let us know your thoughts. I have results to post for you on that as well, probably on Thursday.
Finally, and most importantly, we told you that it was time to ask USAA to renew their sponsorship of SOFREP and that we needed your help. We asked you to tell us a little bit about yourselves so we’d know whether ‘The SOFREP Reader’ is a good match for USAA’s membership efforts. MASSIVE RESPONSE from Team Room and from our newsletter subscribers! And we appreciate that so much!
Then on Monday evening things got a little weird. We ran a breaking post about Kristin, and then we heard a few things, one thing lead to another, and then Brandon made a comment within that ‘Kristin’ comment section that SOFREP might forego sponsorship and turn to a subscription model so that sponsors can’t influence our content.
That’s when the shit show began.
Here at SOFREP, we know that our content is our opinion, and sponsors put their ads next to our content trusting that it’s not going to sully their reputations. We don’t want them telling us what or how to write, but we completely understand that they have their livelihoods at stake, and if we write stuff that goes against their company charters, it’s their right to say something about it and even pull out. That’s just business. But that’s not where Brandon was going with his comment – he was just thinking online, getting some informal feedback from the readers.
Now, we never named names or outed any of our sponsors as ‘bad guys’, because honestly, we only accept sponsorship from organizations with integrity and good intentions. And USAA, as we’ve stated before – well, we love those guys! They do GREAT WORK for the community! And they’ve had nothing but great things to say to us about our website and the work we do. But a few, let’s just say over zealous, SOFREP readers made some ‘angry’ phone calls and sent some ‘strongly worded’ notes to the good folks at USAA, basically saying ‘continue to sponsor SOFREP or I’ll take my account elsewhere.’
So please, gentle SOFREP readers, be kind and moderate 🙂 There’s no need to go on the offensive over this. We’re very fortunate to have worked with USAA, we are members and use their services, and if they choose to end the sponsorship it will be due to some valid business reason. But there’s been no indication of that, and no indication of anything weird or wrong. They have a great organization filled with good people, and we like the think that we have a great organization (with a super Advisory Board!) too. We will continue to use and promote USAA regardless of sponsorship. We do hope that you can let USAA know that you appreciate them helping us to bring you the videos that they sponsor, but please do it with a positive ‘thank you.’ They do want and need to hear that their marketing dollars are reaching the right people.
Thank you for your time on SOFREP, and thank you for your support. It means a lot to us!
(Featured Image Courtesy: DVIDS)