October is Have the Talk of a Lifetime awareness month, and we’re looking forward to featuring the benefits of this wonderful program even more prominently on our blog and social media during this time. This important FAMIC campaign is designed to help families have conversations about their lives, so that they may remember and honor those lives in meaningful ways.
The campaign is all about sharing stories – and although it can take a little prompting at first, many people find they actually enjoy sharing their memories with their loved ones. Incorporating this program into your funeral home marketing activities can help families associate your funeral home with an experience that brought them comfort and joy and helped them form even closer bonds with the people who matter most to them. Here are a few ways you can use the campaign materials to jump-start this program in your community.
1. Present the program.
Because funeral professionals get to know families in your communities so well, you’re also in a position to know what resources will be beneficial to them. The Have the Talk of a Lifetime™ program works very well as a community presentation. The campaign materials include a PowerPoint file with all the slides you’ll need, plus notes to help you practice and guide you through the presentation. You can easily personalize the presentation with anecdotes about your own experiences with the benefits of planning ahead.
Hosting a presentation at your funeral home (or at other venues in your community) can be a great opportunity for you to meet even more families in a relaxed environment. Plus, attendees will be able to ask questions they may not have had the opportunity to ask before.
2. Update your website.
More and more funeral home websites include online libraries where families can find grief support materials and other resources related to end-of-life issues. FAMIC has provided several tools to help you promote the campaign on your funeral home website.
Video is a powerful way to share the program’s message, and the introduction video explains why loved ones should have the talk. This video can be embedded on your website or shared via a link in your online resource library. The program materials also include digital ads that you (or your website developer) can place on your website.
3. Offer resources to help start the conversation.
Although you can help share the benefits of this program, having the talk of a lifetime is a personal experience that needs to happen at the time, place and pace that works best for each family. You can provide take-home resources that will help guide them through this conversation when they’re ready.
FAMIC has created a brochure that explains the benefits of the program and why it’s important for families to participate. In addition, the organization created a workbook (which is also available as a fillable PDF) to facilitate the conversation. If you wish, you can order customized materials with your funeral home logo through the FAMIC website. Display these items at your funeral home and distribute them to local organizations that could benefit from these resources.
4. Generate media interest.
You can share Have the Talk of a Lifetime™ with a wider audience by contacting your local media outlets about the program. If the media wants to feature the program, you may have an opportunity to be interviewed about your funeral home’s involvement. The FAMIC resources contain materials to help you pitch the story to gain even more awareness.
Use the sample pitch letters to reach out to specific members of the media who you think might be interested in the story. This personalized approach will help demonstrate that this is an important topic that’s worth their attention. The materials also include a press release template, which explains more about the benefits of the program.
5. Get social.
Social media is an ideal way to share the message about this program, since these online platforms already help us tell the stories of our lives (in the moment). The first step to get involved with the program on social media is to follow the official campaign social media channels. You can share the posts from these pages on your funeral home’s social media accounts.
After hearing about the benefits of Have the Talk of a Lifetime, or after having these conversations with their loved ones, people in your community may want more information about funeral planning. Be sure to let families know your firm is prepared to help them with the “next steps” and can answer any questions they may have.