What does the consumer take away from the way the news media portrays funeral homes?

This is a typical news report about the funeral industry.  Notice how the reaction of the funeral home is poorly taped audio from a phone conversation and is ended abruptly. 

This funeral home could have ignored requests for comment but then the story would have run with the dreaded “The funeral home could notbe reached for comment” or “repeated calls to the funeral home were ignored.”

 

Even worse are the “Action Reporters” who ambush you or your staff with a barrage of questions.  Rather than pushing the camera out of your way or slamming the door in their face, your best bet is to smile, ask them to come inside and have a seat while you find a nice place where you can chat.  Your goal is to deflect their questions without being rude or saying anything that could be construed as uncooperative.

The reporter is looking for a reaction from you.  And while he’d like to get into a full argument with you, even a two-second clip of you being rude or pushing him out the front door will set the mood of his report and help convince his viewers that you are a bad person who has done someone wrong.

And the only way to combat this is to be pleasant and open.  While you can decline to comment on a specific situation, you can highlight the positive aspects of your firm while showing respect to the reporter and the audience who will see a heavily-edited version of what the cameraman records.

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