At this year’s NFDA International Convention and Expo, we enjoyed connecting with our funeral service partners and bringing our newspaper partners to the show for the first time, so they can join us in supporting your vital work. Here’s four highlights and fun happenings:
1.) Supporting the Future of Funeral Service For the last four years, Legacy.com has pledged a $22,500 donation match for the Funeral Service Foundation’s Fund ’45 Campaign. This year, Legacy joined forces with LOCALiQ – part of media network Gannett Co., Inc – to double the contribution with a dollar for dollar match to the first $45,000 in donations. It was a challenge everyone at the convention was eager to meet, and we’re proud to announce we reached our $90,000 goal by day three.
I have the pleasure of working with our newspaper and funeral service friends every day. It was great to see our partners come together like this to educate the next generation of funeral service providers and make a difference for grieving families.
Legacy is proud to help the Foundation support funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and the communities it serves. Learn more about the Foundation ’45 Awards and the Foundation’s Youth & Funerals Initiative at FuneralServiceFoundation.org.
2.) The Legacy Advisor Network This year, we were particularly excited to offer demonstrations of the Legacy Advisor Network, our new digital leads solution.
“We’ve been listening to funeral homes tell us what they need,” says John Heald, Legacy.com’s senior vice president of channel development and himself a fourth-generation funeral director. “Being able to put new leads from household decision-makers straight into funeral directors’ hands is an incredible opportunity to help them.”And from the feedback we’ve received, funeral service providers are equally eager to grow their market share with this new resource:
“Directors really responded to the upcoming services and more branding,” says Andrew Greb, Legacy.com’s senior account manager. “Everyone’s seeing the power of the largest online audience in funeral service to promote their home and drive new leads.”
3.) Obituary State of the Union Town Hall Like all major milestone markers, the obituary has undergone a rapid transformation as more people manage their communication and share their lives online. In order to understand the profound ways these changes have impacted this vital category, Legacy was invited by Selected Independent Funeral Homes, a member-managed association for independent funeral home directors, to host a forum to discuss the future of the obituary prior to the NFDA conference in Salt Lake City. With participants from Gannett, GateHouse Media, Digital First Media, and the Utah Media Group, newspaper executives and funeral service providers had a detailed discussion about how to best support obituary category stakeholders. Both sides had a lot to say, so much so that prepared remarks were quickly abandoned to devote the full time to the sharing that was happening:
We just listened. And listened. And listened. What a great conversation!
And we’re acting on what we heard. Our new task force of industry experts is now synthesizing all the suggestions and ideas presented and developing plans with our funeral service partners to improve the placement experience and promote obituary growth. Stay tuned to learn more.
Fostering Connections Did you know that Legacy has a full editorial team committed to creating valuable end-of-life content for death planners and grievers? As part of our efforts to promote the importance of funeral service, we sent content producer John Maxwell onto the convention floor to record video interviews of funeral directors about their work.
Why did you become a funeral director? What sorts of questions do families always ask you? Who should think about pre-planning, and when? What was the most moving memorial service you ever attended?
The responses only reinforced what we’ve long known about funeral service providers:
What impressed me most about the answers I received, from funeral directors who had been in the business for decades to young directors just a couple of years into their careers, was the sincere desire to help families during their time of need.
As always, it was an honor to spend time with our partners at this important event. Thank you to everyone for a week of learning and connecting. We can’t wait to welcome everyone to Chicago next year!