Create a Great Funeral Day is October 30. This year, 2014, is the 15th annual celebration of this “holiday” that encourages individuals to think about how they would like to be remembered and discuss their memorial service preferences with loved ones.
Here are several community outreach ideas for funeral homes and cemeteries related to Create a Great Funeral Day:
Host a Death Café at the funeral home or cemetery. Death Café events are sweeping the world. At these free events, people come together in a relaxed, confidential and safe setting to eat, drink and discuss mortality issues. Find out who is holding Death Café events in your market and learn the rules for hosting them at www.DeathCafe.com.
Hold a pre-Halloween open house or tour at your funeral home or cemetery. Here’s your chance to debunk the idea of funeral homes and cemeteries as scary places. Cemeteries can take advantage of sharing their histories and stories of residents buried there.
Host a Movie Night at the funeral home or cemetery chapel. Funny films or television shows related to funerals can attract an audience. Laughter allows people to loosen up and relax into discussions about anxiety-provoking topics related to end-of-life planning.
Comedies to consider showing are Death at a Funeral, Undertaking Betty, Elizabethtown, Bernie, and The Six Wives of Henry LeFay. Humorous TV shows can include Six Feet Under, Dead Like Me, the “Chuckles Bites the Dust” episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, and the “Stretch Cunningham, Goodbye” episode of All In the Family.
You can get DVDs of these films and TV shows from Netflix, your local library or other sources. Do a door prize drawing to collect leads for pre-need sales follow-up contacts. To legally show these films free to the public, you’ll need a license from the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (www.MPLC.org). Or bring Gail Rubin in to make presentations for you (she already has a license)!
Use radio to raise pre-need planning awareness. Consider using Mortality Minute radio spots in your local market. These are 60-second messages that provide an ear-catching collection of tips about the importance of pre-need planning and having a conversation TODAY. CLICK HERE to listen to examples and get detailed instructions on how to work with a radio station.
Place an opinion column in your local newspaper. Create a Great Funeral Day presents a great opportunity to raise awareness about advance planning within your community. It’s free to send in an opinion piece on the benefits of planning ahead to your local newspaper. Provided it’s sent in a few weeks in advance, you have a good chance of your essay being used.
For a template, download the 500-word opinion piece, “October 30 is Create a Great Funeral Day – Don’t Fear The Reaper.” It’s designed so you can sign your name and state your title and establishment. Feel free to edit and make the column unique to your community.
The column touches on Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations, how Create a Great Funeral Day was started, reasons people hesitate to discuss or do anything in advance about funeral planning, and encourages people to overcome their fears and act.
To download this opinion piece, enter your name, business name, location and email and you’ll have instant access! You have your choice of a Word document or a PDF.
Simply change the italicized information to your own, contact your local newspaper’s editorial department, ask how they prefer to receive an op-ed column, and send it in at least two weeks before October 30. Feel free to contact Gail Rubin, CT, at 505-265-7215 if you have questions about how to go about contacting your local media.