“If I could do something differently, I would ask for someone to record my dad’s service.” ~ This comment was taken directly from a survey received through OGR’s consumer feedback program, The Family Contact Program.
Family Contact Participants often receive comments that help them improve their business offerings and practices. Through the blog series “Exploring Solutions with Family Contact,” members get better insight into services that might benefit their funeral home.
Have you ever received feedback like this from a family you served? Or maybe you’ve attended a funeral yourself and wished later it had been recorded.
The recording and webcasting of funeral services is a service more and more families are requesting. Several factors account for this increase: the sudden popularity with livestreaming on social media and in social gatherings, the distance family members now live from each other, and the psychological comfort it provides people who have lost a loved one. In this week’s blog, OGR will explore recording and webcasting services, and what this trend means for families and funeral homes.
Hear it From an Expert…
OGR asked David Lutterman, CEO of One Room (a company that provides webcasting services to funeral homes) to provide some insight into the rising demand for webcasting/recording funeral services.
Why is recording/webcasting a funeral service important for families?
- People Who Can’t Attend Still Need to Attend-“Every death leaves behind a lifetime community of survivors that are connected to the deceased or may wish to show their respect and support to the family,” remarks David. “If they are unable to come to the service it doesn’t diminish their need to grieve or be connected at that time. Whether they are family, friends or colleagues, it can be very isolating to be excluded from this ceremony.” Absent friends and families can participate remotely in the funeral service and have a chance to say goodbye.
- Death is Not Private – He continues, “Death is not private and the memory of our loved ones may be better served by allowing everyone they touched during their lifetime to be involved at their death. It is also difficult for the organizing family members to reach everyone in time; sometimes they may not even know all the people that were important to their loved one. Providing access to an online recording is a simple option for these people during and after the service.”
- Provides the Opportunity to Absorb the Experience – Finally, David shares, “People who attend miss a lot due to emotions on the day, and they appreciate the opportunity to absorb the service more clearly in their own time.” By recording the service and making it available, loved ones of the deceased are able to grieve in their own time.
Why is recording/webcasting a funeral service important for funeral homes?
- Funeral Homes Need to Provide Value Added Services– David shares, “Funeral homes need to adapt their traditional model of operation. Providing value added services like webcasting shows leadership at a time when families need guidance. Due to the value this service provides, the clients are often happy to pay. It is typically less than the cost of flowers or catering, but creates an important family asset and means a huge amount to extended family and friends. Many of our clients earn well in excess of the cost of the service.”
- Reach More of Your Community– He adds, “In a sector where word of mouth is an important source of future business, the ability to extend your service and brand wider across the community is critical. The “digital native” generation is driving the “video on demand” culture and they will expect this service in all aspects of life.” As a funeral home, consider getting ahead of the curve and offering this service families are coming to expect.
- Expand Your Web Presence–“Done correctly this service can act as a strong driver of SEO for your funeral home. Those with mature digital strategies will get a huge benefit from the online traffic webcasting drives through their website,” David concludes.
How to Get Started
There are many ways to begin offering webcasting and recording services in your funeral home. Two popular options are to do-it-yourself (DIY) or hire a professional service.
- DIY Recording— Some funeral home owners purchase their own equipment and do their own in-house recordings. This will require some effort, but if you are up to the task here are some helpful tips and resources:
- A recording device – Recording devices are pretty common. You can use your phone if it has a nice quality camera on it. You can also use the camera on your ipad or invest in a video camera.
- A tripod – To avoid shaky hands, a tripod or device stand is essential.
- Off camera mics – In general, the audio on a camera can only catch so much sound from so far. Off camera mics make it easy to get clear sound. A mic can be attached to an individual or to the podium if several people are speaking during a service.
- Video editing – To improve the recording or fix any mistakes, video editing tools can come in handy. Luckily, there are several sites that offer free editing tools like the Youtube Video editor. For more online video editing sites go here.
Alternatively, if you rather not DIY, you can hire a webcasting service like One Room that provides a fully managed service that discretely records through wall HD cameras.
You can contact David Lutterman at One Room at 1-844-437-9475 for more information or visit their website at www.oneroomstreaming.com. Be sure to mention you’re an OGR member if you would like to receive the OGR member discount.
By Denise Rodriguez
Family Contact Program Manager
Not sure if this is right for your funeral home? Find out what families in your community want by joining the Family Contact Program. For more information or to sign up, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-637-8030.