Hopeful Transitions News
Aftercare Certification Class Schedule
All classes are held on a Friday and Saturday. You will need to fly or drive to Louisville on the Thursday prior to class because classes begin at 9:00am. For more information about our Aftercare Certification Program click here.
No classes are scheduled at this time. If you are interested in certification contact Sherry at 502-777-4934.
Spring is on its way, at least we hope. This has been a pretty tough winter on all of us. The United States has had one of the snowiest winters ever and we are all ready for the sunshine. With the onset of March, we set aside time to honor the earth. Earth Day is March 22nd and it is a time everyone will be focusing on ways to keep our environment clean and be eco-friendly.
As you come out of your winter doldrums, why not think about ways to promote earth day. Many of you are now providing eco-friendly caskets and are promoting environmentally friendly paper products. Everyone is talking about going green and saving the world.
But as a funeral director, how can you really promote that concept. Many of you might feel uncomfortable advertising that you provide green funerals. It's not an easy topic to talk about. You can get in to all kinds of questions and some not very comfortable to answer like; what kinds of fluids you use, are the vaults and caskets eco-friendly, what do you do with human fluids and on and on. I don't blame you if you don't want to go there. However, there is something you can do that shows you promote a healthy environment.
Consider sponsoring a poster contest, essay contest or science/community project in your community. Go through your school system and get the science teachers to encourage participation in the contest by teaching eco-friendly issues in their class during the month of March and have students create a poster, project or essay on saving the environment and why it is important.
To do this, you need to talk with the school principals, the science teachers and counselors in your schools about the project. You might also enlist the help of the Rotary or Kiwanis or any other service agency in the community to help promote the concept and to help with prizes. You can get your local television stations to promote the project as well.
Determine your criteria. Spell out what the contest is about. Explain it clearly and provide instructions for when the essay, poster or project should be ready, where it is to be sent. You might even have the posters and projects on display in your funeral home. This would get people in the community involved and it would get people inside your funeral home. You can even have the judging there and provide a reception with refreshments at your funeral home.
Pick some high profile judges including yourself or someone from your staff. Consider getting a local TV or radio personality to be a judge as well. Make a big deal out of this. Think it through, you can really promote the whole concept of saving the earth and promote your business at the same time.
Maybe doing earth day which is March 22nd doesn't give you enough time to plan something like this, so, pick another day another project or issue. It might be drinking and driving. It might be something about promoting a safe prom (which is just around the corner) but pick an issue that will inspire your youth and your school teachers so you have buy in.
Promote the contest in the local papers and in the schools. Put up your own poster about the contest in the schools, in church lobbies, bank lobbies and in local groceries etc. This is about creating community awareness around a special issue and making you and your business the one in the spotlight for bringing the issue out in to the open so people are aware of it and so something positive is done as a result of it.
There is no better way to be involved in your community. Your actual cost for this kind of thing is minimal. You will have the cost of the prize which might be a savings bond, cash, a special gift like a Kindle, or IPod. You might even be able to get a couple of prizes donated by other sponsors which is a good way to network with other businesses in your community. You may have to pay for some advertising, but you can divert some of the advertising you already have in your budget to this project, so that expense should be minimal. If you use your community almanac or activities page, you can get advertising for free. You can get public service ads on the radio and local TV so there are ways to decrease your advertising costs.
And then there is your time. This will be your biggest expense. Time is where you need to involve your staff. Get them involved in the planning. If you have an aftercare coordinator, let this be a project they overlook. The most important thing about a project like this is the commitment to see it through and taking the time to cover all aspects of the project so that you get maximum exposure in your community. You just have to think this through, follow-up and hold people accountable for their assignments.