Kim Stacey

From the desk of our friend, Kim Stacey:

Join Us in an Empowering Conversation

The launch event for the Association of Women Funeral Directors will be held on Tuesday, August 18th, 2009. Kim Stacey, the Founder and CEO of the association will be joined by Karen Cappello, PCC, CLC.

Karen has been coaching coaches and entrepreneurs to build their businesses for the past 7 years.  She has earned the prestigious Professional Certified Coach designation from the International Coach Federation, and is a Master Certified Learning Facilitator, one of only 10 in the world. 
“Karen’s specialty is facilitating growth for individuals and businesses,” said Kim, when asked why she chose Karen to help her celebrate the launch of the Association. “She is the perfect woman in so many ways: professional, witty, wise, and a highly-experienced coach.  Karen always makes you feel special – and I want all who join us to know just how wonderful they are, and just how much I appreciate them!”

The hour-long event will take place between 11 and Noon, PDT, 2:00 to 3:00 pm ET. All who wish to attend can send an email to: “All you’ll need to join us is your telephone – and a comfortable chair!”
For further details on the benefits of membership, visit the AWFD Web site at


My friend, Kim Stacey, just sent me this press release:

The newly-formed association is looking for women who want to share their expertise, energy and insights to strengthen the presence of women in funeral service.

The AWFD Advisory Board consists of 5 AWFD members. It provides counsel, advice, contacts, professional skills and experience. The goal is to have 3 licensed professionals and 2 mortuary college students or apprentices working in the field.

The most recent appointee is Kristan McNames, of Grace Funeral and Cremation Services, in Rockford, Illinois. “We’re delighted to have Kristan join us in leading the AWFD. She has a unique vision for her firm, is an advocate for a more modern approach to funeral service.”

Board membership is designed to work with the often hectic schedules of funeral professionals. “We meet via conference call six times per year, or when an issue needs to be addressed. All appointments are for one year,” shared Kim Stacey, AWFD founder, “but we’re keenly aware of the stressful nature of their day-to-day service to families in their communities. It is not our intention to add to their stress level in any way – so we keep Board activities to a minimum.”

If you’d like to be a leader within AWFD, you may apply for Advisory Board membership by completing the online application found on the Web site, You will find a link to the application on the Home page of the site. Once completed, the content of your application will be submitted directly to the CEO for review.

Our good friend (and past contributor) Kim Stacey has just told me she’s focusing on more writing outside the funeral industry.

A forensic anthropologist by training, Kim has shared her impressive industry knowledge with Final Embrace, Funeral Business Advisor, Mortuary Management and other industry publications.  Her articles cover topics ranging from ancient burial techniques to modern day advertising.

Kim’s efforts on this blog have focused on how to market funeral homes to the general public.  Her many pearls of wisdom can be found by doing a search for Kim Stacey, or by clicking on this link.

I hate to lose Kim’s great work on this site, but I understand that copywriting clients from other industries are taking up more of her time.  However, I’m sure that Kim will still accept clients from the funeral industry who are looking for clear, concise writing that features the emotional language that distinguishes her work from less-qualified writers.

We’ve added a few readers since the NFDA Convention in Las Vegas, so I’ve prepared this “tour” to familiarize them with the surroundings.  (Regular readers, please excuse the refresher course)

Final Embrace is a blog, which means all new articles (also called “posts”) will appear at the top of the page, with older articles moving down.  Picture a long scroll, where the newest writing is at the top and the older writing is rolled onto the scroll as time progresses.

Posts are also grouped by category.  On the right side of the blog, there is a list of “categories.” 

With titles like Advertising, Big Ideas, Cremation Issues, Meet Your Maker and more, these categories will help you find other articles about topics that interest you. 

And don’t forget, each article has at least one of the categories listed just below the title, so you can click from an individual post to find related articles.

Worried about getting bored with my writing?  The BE OUR GUEST columns are written by a group of other, more interesting writers.

From Kim Stacey (funeral home copywriting) to Deidre Blair (event planning) and from Don Shell (life story writing) to Robin Richter (human resource issues), we’ve got articles on every facet of the funeral industry.

Here’s just a few of our categories and recommended articles contained in each:

Kim Stacey on Advertising Language
“Doing Your Best” vs. “Being the Best”

How to Fix the Modern Funeral
Michael Manley on a Possible FBA Buying Collective
Creating a “Must-Have” Funeral Experience

My Take on Plush Teddy Bears Keepsake Urns
One Size Fits All. Really?

Eulogies are for the Living
Surprised, She Asked “You can have a viewing with a cremation?”
Candace Craw-Goldman Shares “The Tin Can”
No One Wears Shoes Here

How Do You Act When No One Is Watching?
How to NOT Mess Up a Job Interview

Don Shell: “It’s not about the casket™. No, really.”
DAILY NAG: Make Eye Contact

Nigerian Scam Letter Turns to Funeral Homes
Why We Don’t Sell American Flag Cot Covers
Someone is Educating Your Community. Is it You?

MEET YOUR MAKER (Interview Series)
2007 NFDA Convention: Remembrace Reproductions
Interview with Urn Maker, Spirit Remains

PODCAST: The NFDA Interview
Our Podcast Vault is Growing!
PODCAST: Meeting the Needs of the 21st Century Consumer

Now Everyone Can Visit Fallingwater
Candace Craw-Goldman on “Baba’s Story”
Deidre Blair on Reception Layout
Funeral for a Lakota Warrior

Quilted Mortuary Cot Covers
Where’s Toto When You Need Him?
A Death in the Family: Part 2
Our Cot Cover on NBC
Revamped Treasured Memory Bear Site
Next Stop: Las Vegas!!!

We appreciate your time on our site.  Don’t forget:  there are over 600 articles and podcasts available. 


We leave tomorrow for the NFDA Convention in Vegas!

 I’m leaving my office assistant, my two sewing workers and my business partner in Central Florida to keep making product and prepare for the coming onslaught of orders!

I put out feelers to my blog contributors to see who’d like to accompany me to Vegas. 

The requirement?  He/she had to pay for own lodging and meals.  I promised to provide at least one meal and a plane ticket.

Master storyteller and awesome writer, Don Shell of Lifestory Network funeral homes, couldn’t attend. 

Kim Stacey, our resident copywriter and regular contributor to Funeral Business Advisor, Mortuary Management and others, couldn’t attend because of family obligations. 

Event planning expert, Deidre Blair, is in Paris!  Guess Vegas can’t compete! 

Our good friend (not yet a contributor, but soon, I hope!), Shirley Rowe of Rowe Photography Studio is so swamped with business that she can’t get even a day away!

I was finally able to convince Robin Richter, our H.R. expert, to give up a few days and trek across the country with me.

So we’re leaving tomorrow on what will most likely be the biggest week of our small company’s life.

We’ll update the blog while we’re there.  So look to this space for info about the convention, our daily sales totals and more!

Wish us luck!


Advertising Words that Work 

There’s a saying among political candidates: “It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.” For us, in this field, we need to revise that:  “It’s not what you say; it’s what people feel when you say it.”   This is especially true when you are using your website to relate to your prospects. 

All too often I see funeral home web sites that are full of images, overly sentimental, and rather empty when it comes to revealing exactly what you offer your client families – and why they should come to you, rather than the guy down the road.  Your website and other advertising require: 

Credible words: It’s important that your web content is believable and sincere. Or you may drive visitors away instead of attracting them.

Simple words: Use quality words, information-rich words, yet easy-to-understand words.

Powerful words: Use keyword-rich and targeted words, designed to bring the right people to your site. This is especially important while writing descriptions and ads to promote your site, writing headlines and subheads, writing words in bold or coloured text for easily scannable content.

Documented words: Use client testimonials to back up claims of product/service superiority, to assure people that you deliver on your promises.

Thought-provoking words: How often have you read further because the headline triggered a whole thought-process? All the more reason to grab their attention with a question in the headline, a paradox or apparent contradiction in facts or a bold statement that refutes popular beliefs.

Persuasive words: The words you use can persuade her to stay take a tour, look at the services you provide, see what other clients have to say, and make that all important phone call.

The necessity for an emotional connection in your advertising – whether on the Web or otherwise, ties into my previous column, Stop Selling Your Funeral Home and Start Selling You!

Kim Stacey, of, has dedicated her career to supporting and empowering funeral service professionals by writing responsive advertising and informational copy. She can be reached most easily at, or 831-338-0220. Living in the small coastal town of Boulder Creek, California, she’s in the Pacific Time zone.


 Charity Begins at Home 

For those of you who subscribe to American Cemetery, the July issue contains an article I wrote on a local firm, Santa Cruz Memorial.  

The heart driven marketing strategy of the firm is a grand model for others to follow. Using local media as much as they can for free advertising through articles and photo opportunities, the President of the firm seeks out those in the community who need assistance, and joyfully gives it to them. These acts of kindness are then the focus of media attention.  

Take a look at the article – or, if you don’t subscribe, write me at, and I’ll send you a copy.

The model used by Santa Cruz Memorial to keep their firm “top of mind” with people in the community is one we can all live with.

Kim Stacey, of, has dedicated her career to supporting and empowering funeral service professionals by writing responsive advertising and informational copy. She can be reached most easily at, or 831-338-0220. Living in the small coastal town of Boulder Creek, California, she’s in the Pacific Time zone.

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