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 Have you heard the one about the female anthropologist who writes advertising copy for funeral homes across the country?

Actually, it’s not a joke.  Kim Stacey is a trained anthropologist who writes copy for our industry.  You may have read some of her scholarly works in the trade magazines, where she’s published a series of articles on the funeral rituals of other cultures.

Kim is also a gifted advertising copywriter.  She has helped numerous funeral homes with tasks as simple as reviewing current advertising materials to designing full direct mail and print advertising campaigns.

Kim’s work is a natural byproduct of her personal passion.  She admires funeral directors for their ability to stay above the emotional turmoil that death often brings and to be a rock for their client families.  But it’s this same calmness and forced emotional distance that also make so much of funeral home-produced advertising copy ineffective.

“Too often the literature is dry or stilted,” says Stacey.  Funeral directors, by nature, try to diffuse emotional issues rather than touch the heart of the prospective reader.

She goes on to point out that hard questions are “best handled with emotional speech.”

Stacey began her funeral writing career by contacting the editors of several funeral industry magazines.  Conversations with a number of funeral industry consultants led her to a stint writing copy for a major funeral home website provider.  Now, she offers her services through her own company, Kim Stacey Publishing.

Ms. Stacey uses a personalized approach that includes a detailed “creative brief” that she creates with her client.  The brief, which consists of 44 detailed questions, allows Stacey to “know” her client and write the most fitting copy for the job.

The brief includes questions like:

What kind of marketing are you currently using?
What are your marketing demographics?
Is this marketing effort for lead generation or order generation?
Who are you?
Who are your competitors?
Do you have any client testimonials we can use?
…and so on….

After obtaining information from the brief, Ms. Stacey often undertakes further research of your area, securing demographic and financial information from the Chamber of Commerce or the Census Bureau.  While she prefers a few weeks to write and edit, she’s turned out quality work in as little as a few short days, with the help of willing clients who give good feedback.

While the average price of $1000 per project might seem steep to some, the effect of bad writing on a marketing campaign is often much more destructive.  Bad copy routinely gets less than a 2% response.  However, good writing can mean a 10% response or more.

During our conversation, I found Kim to be energetic, compassionate and engaged in the topic at hand.  She is eager to help funeral directors create more effective marketing materials.

“I’ve never met a funeral director who did it just for a job,” she says.  Neither have I.

You can read more about Kim Stacey at marketingfuneralservices.com.  Or call her at 831-338-0220.  She’d be happy to critique your current advertising!

Also, check out her articles in major funeral service magazines.  She has six articles scheduled for publication in 2007.

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