This FAMIC Campaign Could Change The Future of Funeral Service

In recent years, any time I read an article in a funeral service trade magazine about the challenges funeral directors are facing, the big topic seems to be the rising rate of cremation.

I don’t think it is cremation itself that has funeral directors worried. Rather, it is the rise in direct disposition that we have seen because consumers erroneously think cremation is a substitute for a funeral.

Funeral directors are also seeing less memorialization. Gone are the days when you arranged visitations from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., followed by the funeral service and committal at the cemetery.

You and other “experts” can sit around for days, exploring why this shift happened and talking about the ways it’s impacting your business. Or, you can actually do something about this issue – you can take action to change consumer attitudes toward memorialization.

Earlier this year, the Funeral and Memorial and Information Council (FAMIC) launched Have the Talk of a Lifetime, a national consumer education program designed to:

– Promote the value of memorialization
– Help consumers understand why funerals are important
– Remind consumers that everyone has a unique life story and that every life matters
– Encourage families to commemorate the lives of their loved ones in meaningful ways

Let me back up for a moment and explain what FAMIC is and why they are launching this campaign.


What Is Have the Talk of a Lifetime?

FAMIC is an umbrella organization comprised of 10 national funeral service associations representing nearly every aspect of funeral service. Together, these associations represent nearly 16,000 individuals and companies.

For years, funeral directors have been asking for a national campaign to educate the public about the importance of meaningful funerals … and I feel confident that Have the Talk of a Lifetime could be it.


… And Why It Matters

Because FAMIC is an umbrella organization that represents nearly every aspect of funeral service, it is the perfect organization to bring the profession together so that funeral professionals everywhere can speak to the public with one voice and inspire families to have conversations about the importance of funeral and memorial services.

I can’t remember a time when a group of diverse funeral service organizations united around a single cause like this and agreed to one message that underscores the importance of meaningful funerals and memorial services.

This unity wasn’t always easy. When the FAMIC campaign task force was developing Have the Talk of a Lifetime, its members didn’t always see eye-to-eye; but they persisted and were able to develop positive, relevant and relatable messages about the importance and value of funerals that everyone could agree upon.


How Can You Get Involved?

The Funeral Service Foundation provided the initial funding for Have the Talk of a Lifetime. The other FAMIC organizations matched the Foundation’s funding. That means if you’re a member of one of the FAMIC organizations, you “own” a piece of the Have the Talk of a Lifetime campaign. These are your dollars at work, and you should take advantage of this opportunity to join with your funeral service colleagues around the country to educate consumers about the value of meaningful funerals.

Have the Talk of a Lifetime is a grassroots effort. That simply means that each FAMIC organization is asking its members to join this national effort by sharing campaign materials and messages with funeral consumers in their community.

The Have the Talk of a Lifetime campaign materials include a brochure, a video, print ads, digital ads, social media tools and the Have the Talk of a Lifetime website. All of these materials are available on the FAMIC website, at no cost to you (you can also contact your national association for more information).

On the FAMIC website, you will find a downloadable brochure that explains all of the tools that are available for you and how to use them. There’s even a special guidebook for the social media tools, which is really helpful for those of you who may not be social media savvy.

We are at an exciting time in funeral service. Have the Talk of a Lifetime will help people in your community understand the value of talking with loved ones about life, the things that matter most, and how they want to be remembered when they die.

It is a campaign that will help people understand the value of meaningful funerals. for their loved ones, which has a direct impact on you, your business and your bottom line.

There are a lot of people out there – the media, consumer advocacy groups, clergy and hospice – that talk about funerals and what they should or shouldn’t be.  But you are the death care expert in your community and it’s your job to show the world why what we do is important, and why it’s valuable.

A true shift in the public’s understanding of the importance of funeral and memorial services will only happen when we unite together to spread the message about a meaningful funeral in every city and town throughout this country.

FAMIC can’t do it alone. NFDA can’t do it alone. You can’t do it alone. But together, we can begin to change consumer perceptions.

I urge you not to miss out on this historic opportunity.


Visit the FAMIC website today and encourage your people in your community to Have the Talk of a Lifetime.


Jessica Koth is NFDA’s public relations manager and has been on staff for more than six years; her career in public relations spans nearly 15 years. In addition to managing NFDA’s media relations efforts she serves as the staff liaison to the Pursuit of Excellence program, manages NFDA’s social media presence, edits the NFDA Bulletin, assists members with communication issues and coordinates many other communication projects for behalf of NFDA.

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