Latest Event Updates

Don’t be Hacked! Fight Back.

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Smith Data Header 3It’s been quite the year for hackers – first around Thanksgiving, they attacked Sony, then they targeted the Anthem database in January, went after government security clearance data in June, and breached the notorious Ashley Madison affair website in July.  These attacks embarrassed employees and business owners, put millions of dollars at risk, infuriated customers, and alienated online users.

Unfortunately, these security breaches are just a few that have made the headlines in the past 12 months. (You can see a summary of the world’s biggest data breaches here.)

But it’s not just big businesses that are being targeted. Smaller businesses are just as likely to be hacked as large organizations (See pg. 5 of Verizon’s “2013 Complete Data Breach Investigation”). Think about your funeral home and all the data you have access to – social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other personal information. Do you have policies in place to protect your customers’ information? Read the rest of this entry »


How Can Facebook Interaction Impact My Funeral Home?

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OGR Vander Plaat FH
Vander Plaat Funeral Home in Wyckoff, NJ              Firm of OGR President Bill Brock

When people drive by your funeral home, what do you want them to remember about that brief encounter? At the very least, most owners want to be remembered for something positive like the pink rose bushes that were planted or the beautiful gold doors that were installed. Why? Because your building is a physical representation of your business, and the way you represent your business matters.

But, as many of us know, there are many other ways that people are able to gather a first impression of your funeral home and because of the internet, people are more likely to have their first encounter with your business online. The same way you control what people see when they drive by your place of business is the same way you can have control of what people see when they encounter your business online.  Read the rest of this entry »

“Hello? Can You Tell Me How Have the Talk of a Lifetime Will Help Me Plan the Funeral I Really Want?”

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Where’s the car I was promised that folds into a briefcase? That may be an odd question given the amazing technology that’s been introduced during my lifetime. Computer and Internet magic have far surpassed anything I could have imagined. Still, I’m a little disappointed that some genius hasn’t figured out how to produce the fold-up automobile featured in the 1960s television cartoon The Jetsons. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Event Planner Tips for Funeral Directors, Part 2

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Event Planner Tips 2

This week we conclude our discussion on the intersection between event planning and funeral service. Holly Muchnok, an event planner and speaker at OGR’s “Regional Workshop: Fresh Approaches to Funeral & Memorial Services” on August 7, 2015, gives practical suggestions for how funeral directors can incorporate event planning into their businesses in this final post. 

The intersection between the event and funeral industries is surprising and frequent.  Each profession is serving others, streamlining options, caring for those in an emotional state of being, managing budgets, creating schedules and meeting vast and various needs during one of the most important times in people’s lives.   The tips below are from my office to yours as you navigate the question of how your funeral home and you as a professional might offer excellence to your community. Read the rest of this entry »

Event Planner Tips for Funeral Directors, Part 1

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Munchnok 1This week’s post is by Holly Muchnok, an event planner and speaker at our Regional Workshop: Fresh Approaches to Funeral & Memorial Services, which took place in Pittsburgh, PA on August 7, 2015. In part 1 of this blog, she shares how funeral directors can optimize their talents and relationships to provide the best service possible.

Photo credit: demandaj / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Life is a celebration.  As an event planner, with over 20 years in the industry, I tend to filter most events through that lens.   My western Pennsylvania based office – just this summer – welcomed organizational & planning roles in corporate, community, and social gatherings. We planned weddings, birthdays, and festivals, and had the honor of welcoming more than 22,000 guests.  That’s celebration after celebration. 

We also served families by helping them plan funeral and memorial services,  Read the rest of this entry »

Take Your Website Mobile: Help Your Customers Find You, Not Your Competitor

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Everywhere you go, whether you’re eating at a café on your lunch break, sitting in the waiting room of your doctor’s office, or just walking down the street, people are on their mobile smartphones. Good or bad, the fact is our modern world is obsessed with mobile devices. We can’t put them down.

So what is it about these devices that keep us hooked? They allow us to access the Web on the go. We no longer have to sit at a computer to research the answers to our questions, shop online, or check our email. Why does this matter for your funeral home? Read the rest of this entry »

7 Unusual Tributes to Loved Ones – Remembering Them Beyond the Grave

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Blog Unusual MemorialsOur Executive Director Mark Allen was eating brunch a few weekends ago at an Austin restaurant when he noticed a classic car parked on the side of the road. Upon further inspection, he discovered it was a tribute to a late Austinite who had passed away in 2012. This got us thinking. Are there other tributes that are just as interesting here and abroad? Read the rest of this entry »