KMPI has done a few presentations and there are common questions that we get asked often (so often that we should maybe add a FAQs page to our site!). One of the questions is how we've lasted in the field since 2005. There are other groups that have lasted much longer than us but even more groups that have ended after only a year or two. What's the secret?
There really is no hidden secret. Maintaining a group is hard work and I think many groups break up because the effort to stay together just becomes too much. We had a rocky time about 1 1/2 - 2 years ago but we were dedicated to making it work and are now a much stronger group. We realized what was holding us back and are very glad that those problems are now gone. Many groups don't survive those hard times, though.
There are really many reasons to a group's success but we were just discussing two of them, so I thought I would post about them here.
The first reason is related to a blog I read by Portland Ghosts. You can see the blog here: http://portlandghosts.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/intent/ I think this post is very well written and brings up some interesting points that many people overlook. We at KMPI believe in integrity. We try to maintain integrity in all that we do. All of our members go in to investigations with the proper intent. We treat clients (and the spirits as well!) with dignity and respect and try to stay as professional as possible. Because of this, we have built a fairly good reputation. We have many clients who have not hesitated to invite us back or recommend us to other people.
Many groups do not operate like this. Word travels in the paranormal community, so believe me when I say that we (and other long-standing groups like ours) know the groups who we believe are giving the paranormal community a bad name. Recently, we've discussed other such groups with other more respected groups. There are groups out there that are only interested in furthering their own fame to the detriment of their group and also the clients they serve. They go into investigations in a very unprofessional manner, sensationalizing things (like saying they feel demons or evil energy constantly), breaking things or leaving garbage lying all over, or treat the clients like they should be honored to be chosen by the group as a place to investigate. We've even heard about these groups from the CLIENTS themselves. Often, we have to convince a client to let us in because they have been burned by a bad group before.
These groups do a huge disservice to the paranormal community. The only thing we can do is distance ourselves as far away from them as possible and spread the word to other groups to do the same. Then we hope that the bad groups will burn bright and fizzle out, never to be heard from again.
Which brings up the second part that we've been recently discussing - oversaturating the "market." I think this is another mistake that some groups make. They come into the field like a firestorm: contacting the media to always stay in the paper, trying to get as many "likes" on Facebook as possible, and thinking up projects that will make them the "next big things," whether those are books, articles, television shows, or ghost tours.
Let me stop and say there ARE good groups out there that have books, television shows, or public ghost tours. But many of these groups built up to that. They didn't start in the field with this grand idea. I wanted to make it clear that I am not bashing groups who have the above things. KMPI has done public ghost tours before and we also are no stranger to media attention, but we've treated all of these things with integrity as mentioned above.
Anyways, back to the oversaturation of the market. Groups who do this eventually annoy the people around them. The community doesn't want to hear about it anymore and the group dies out. It's similar to a one-hit wonder in the music industry. That band or singer may become very popular for a short time but then it's done. It's better to be the group that slowly gains fans and in turn is around for years and years.
KMPI has not only worked hard to present ourselves with integrity but also to become a group that slowly grows. We'd rather be around for another 5, 10, maybe even 20 years instead of having 2,000 fans on Facebook.
On a sidenote, if anyone reading this is wanting an investigation but isn't overly close to us, please contact us and we will give you a good recommendation for a reputable paranormal group. We network and have connections throughout Wisconsin and also in some other states. We want to make sure any future clients have a good experience with a good group so that we can avoid more bad experiences bringing down the whole paranormal community.