Obituaries are a top performer for newspapers, yet many funeral homes don’t feel like they are treated like top clients. Funeral homes and newspapers both benefit from strengthening their ties to one another to deliver the best to the communities they mutually serve. As with any real relationships, there are no easy tricks or magic wands that change things overnight. The progress comes from each phone call, email, formal visit, or chance social meeting. Those daily interactions over time build the positive momentum to strengthen the partnerships. In our conversations with funeral homes, we came up with three focus areas that are core to improving your funeral home partnerships:
1. Invest the time to strengthen your relationships. Reach out to your funeral home partners and increase your communication with them in one small way this quarter. Funeral Homes are one of your biggest classified advertisers, and investing your time in building a better working relationship with them is key to growing your mutual success.
2. Be a good partner. Advocate for your funeral home partners, provide them with the best product, communicate changes and upgrades to them, and get feedback from them. Are you treating your funeral homes as well as you treat other classified advertisers? If the answer is no, think of ways you can show them your appreciation – a little bit can go a long way.
3. Understand your funeral homes’ value. Funeral homes are the ones who communicate directly with the family of the deceased and support them during their time of grief. They have the powerful face-to-face interactions with the bereaved families. What impact do they have on your business today? How could they become your strongest supporter? How can you better serve their families?
Funeral homes and newspapers serve their community best by working together. Funeral homes are often the first to receive the obituary, but newspapers and the Legacy network help that obituary reach many more people than a funeral home could reach alone and provide an array of services not possible individually. It seems trite, but focusing on building gratitude and respect grows the relationships between you and your funeral homes, and leads to continued success for both partners.