Virtually everyone has used Internet Explorer (IE) at some point in their online life. Some cringe at the very mention of it from the nightmares the browser has made them deal with. Others are quite content with the browser and perhaps have never known nothing else. No matter what side of the fence you sit on, you’ve no doubt had an experience with the internet browser. Today those experiences may be cut short as Microsoft has made some large announcements concerning the future of the company’s browser. Continue reading →
As 2015 comes to an end, we look back and reflect on things that have happened over the course of a year – and my what a year it has been! If someone were to ask our strategy team some of the biggest things that came to light this past year in the funeral profession and what funeral homes should be aware of in the online world, they’d probably say that the online world has opened a funeral homes door to more than just those in their community – they’ve been exposed to the web. While that is a great thing for their business and they get more business from this, it is also a scary thing if a funeral home isn’t on it’s A-game, knowing how their firm looks online. It’s time for Funeral Homes to watch their obituaries online and know who, what, when and why companies take their obituaries and treat them like their own. It’s a practice that has surfaced in 2015 and is only going to get worse. Continue reading →
It’s almost that time of the year again! The time where thousands of funeral professionals from around the world gather in one place to learn what they need to do to take their business to a new level and see the latest products and services available to them on the expo floor; all while catching up with old friends that they may not have seen since the year before. Last year, it all happened in Nashville, TN – a favorite to MANY who I spoke to! And this year, we’re gearing up for Indianapolis, IN with about a month to go!
For those who have not been to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) annual convention and expo, it’s an event that’s just as fun as it is educational. With this particular year, there is so much to take in so here’s a little guide from someone who has been going to this national show for many, many years! Continue reading →
Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a cremation presentation at the New York State Funeral Directors Association Convention. The title of the presentation was “All Cremations DO NOT Have to be DIRECT” by Mike Nicodemus; VP of Cremation Services with the National Funeral Directors Association, and let me tell you it was just as educational for me as it was entertaining. For those of you who have sat in on a presentation with Mike, it’s hard not to have a good laugh in there at some point. Or, as one of my colleagues who was with me, Jules Green said, “even for a squirrel like me, that was very, very interesting and I stayed focused. Who would have thought?”
It’s always great being on the other end of these presentations. Usually, I am the one at the front of the room teaching funeral directors, but this time I was there to learn and it was so nice to take some time to just listen to some incredible stats and listen and watch funeral directors in the room share their insights on such a growing topic.
I always say that you can use the Internet to get a message out to the masses, instead of just 100 people in a room. So, what a perfect opportunity to write a blog post on some of the things that I heard during the session and chuckled about (as some of it was quite comical). Let’s do a little recap of some of the major points that I personally thought were pretty important:
Next month marks FrontRunner’s one-year anniversary in our brand new offices. It is hard to believe that we have already been at our new location for almost one year, but where it has come is truly unbelievable.When we first started looking to expand to a larger location, it was a task that seemed next to impossible. At the time, our team was split between two offices and it lost it’s “FrontRunner team” feel. We knew that we had to bring everyone back under one roof. So, we looked and looked and looked. Finally, a beautiful 6,500 square foot commercial condo right on Kingston’s waterfront came on the market and we saw the perfect opportunity to not only have the best office space, but also to build a Technology Center for clients and funeral professionals to be able to come and learn about using technology and marketing to truly grow their business. Continue reading →
Facebook marketing for Funeral Homes is definitely one area of marketing that is being adopted more and more each and every day in our profession. While many Funeral Homes struggle to see the value in social media marketing, others are quickly realizing what a great tool social media has become for their business.
I spend many, probably too many, hours each week watching funeral homes on Facebook and I will tell you one thing that I see them doing all wrong: they are posting their obituaries to Facebook and only obituaries to Facebook. Don’t get me wrong – posting obituaries to Facebook is absolutely huge for getting more exposure, more revenue and staying top of mind with consumers, but every marketing strategy needs just that: a strategy, and just posting obituaries completely misses the boat on what Facebook is used for.
Where is one place you can escape the cold, meet funeral professionals from all over, put your feet up and relax and learn more in one week than you ever thought possible? Past funeral technology and marketing cruisers would tell you that the annual FrontRunner workshop cruise is exactly that.
I’ll admit – we took a year off from our annual workshop cruise this past year. A lot of work goes into planning this event and with our company growth, we just needed a small break from the cruise. We had more phone calls than ever last year from funeral professionals asking how they could book the cruise (isn’t that the way it always happens?). So, we were very happy to tell them that 2015 was a no-go for the cruise but to be ready for 2016 because it is back on!
Technology is often feared in our profession because it is unfamiliar territory. As a result, it is not implemented despite the absolutely incredible things it can for your business. It can provide newfound conveniences and services for your community to drive long-term loyalty. It can streamline your business with a single point of data entry for every call, eliminating hours of tedious work. It can give you the portability to work wherever your families need you to be. And, it can give you new ways to attract more families to your firm.
Unfortunately, it can also cost your company everything if not taken seriously. There are companies out there trying to access your valuable data, obituaries, visitor traffic, and online revenues. Putting your technology and data in the hands of the wrong company or simply
avoiding technology altogether can have serious repercussions.
Most funeral homes don’t have a PR department, or even a dedicated person to handle their communications. Therefore, it is not always as easy for funeral directors to build relationships with the local media because a funeral home owner must wear so many different hats.
That doesn’t make connecting with writers and reporters any less important. In fact, in some cases, effective media relations can help funeral homes generate publicity and be a complement to advertising campaigns, so your relationship with your local newspapers and radio stations deserve some attention.
Here are ten excellent suggestions for funeral homes that want to build strong media relationships, but don’t have the dedicated personnel to spend a great deal of time on it. Continue reading →