As you know we have been dedicating the Thursday Afternoon Edition to our new feature, “Get to Know Them”. This feature tries to bring forth the many facets of the death care profession and differing occupations within such.
I’ve learned that not all of our readers are funeral home owners or funeral home directors and share this feature with our readers as an opportunity to not only get to know fellow funeral directors, but others who have important roles in the profession’s process of caring for those in need.
Today, we bring you an interview with Joe Weigel of Weigel Strategic Marketing.
Q1. What is your position and company in the Death Care profession/industry at this time?
A1. I am the founder of Weigel Strategic Marketing, www.weigelstrategicmarketing.webs.com, a marketing firm that provides expertise across three interrelated disciplines: strategy, branding, and communications to companies in the funeral profession.
Q2. Is this your first employment experience in the Death Care profession/industry? No.
If it is not your first employment experience in the Death Care profession/industry, what other if any positions have you held in the profession/industry?
A2. I began my career in funeral service in 1994 when I joined Batesville as the first Director of Marketing for their entry in the cremation market – Options by Batesville. Shortly thereafter, I was promoted to Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Batesville Casket. From there, I moved to Wilbert Funeral Service as Vice President of Sales and Marketing and finally was part of the executive team that launched Genesis Casket.
Q3. How would you describe what you do in your present position?
A3. Weigel Strategic Marketing helps our clients tell their stories – simply and effectively – in both print and digital formats. Plus, we make sure the stories are heard by families. In short, Weigel Strategic Marketing is a marketing resource skilled at “Making Your Message Matter”.
Q4. Do you belong to any professional organizations or associations? If so, which ones?
A4. In the past, the funeral companies where I have worked were active supplier members of all the major funeral associations. At present, I no longer “belong” or hold membership in any professional associations, but I do frequently provide content to the funeral association’s publications and provide my expertise when requested.
Q5. What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the Death Care community in the next decade?
A5. Quite simply – Keeping Funerals Relevant – as a means to help families say goodbye to a loved one. We’ve heard for years of the need to make funerals “meaningful” or to make them “personal”. But it’s tough to make a funeral meaningful or personal in the face of a pandemic where gatherings and visitations are curtailed or eliminated. But we can still make funerals relevant using creativity and the tools available such as live streaming.
As we emerge from this pandemic, we must continue to educate families on the importance of funerals and how funerals begin the healing process. And we must use all the communications tools available to convey the relevance of funerals and their importance in today’s society.
Q6. What are the best words of advice you received about working in the Death Care community?
A6. When first I started in funeral service, my uncle” Flud” Mollaun, a true legend at Batesville Casket, told me – “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. I know Flud wasn’t the first to utter those words, but great advice nonetheless.
Q7. What would you advise those thinking about entering the Death Care profession/industry?
A7. I’ve never sat across a table from a bereaved family to help plan a funeral. However, I have been associated with the funeral profession long enough to know that it takes a special person to have the care and compassion to help a family through one of life’s most difficult journeys. Funeral service is a calling and for those who are looking for a rewarding career that truly helps people – nothing can compare to the funeral profession.
Q8. Tell us a little about yourself and what you enjoy doing when away from work.
A8. My wife and I recently relocated back to Batesville, where we were both born and raised. In our free time, we like to visit with family, experience travel, do some gardening, and generally be involved with any activity that takes us outdoors.
Today’s news from the world of Death Care:
- Wise promoted to General Manager. Sidney Daily News (OH)
- State to study competing veteran cemetery sites in Irvine. Voice of Ocean County (CA)
- Cremation fee increase still a topic of discussion in Huron County. Huron Daily Tribune (MI)
- Richmond funeral business offers silver lining on pandemic cloud for grieving relatives. Richmond News (VA)