Well that was interesting?
Hired a professional PR Team to send out 40 news releases announcing my book, and only one reporter called back, saying he wished he could report our release, but it wouldn’t suit his constituency, they were a funeral magazine!
Sadly, all I have ever done is championed family funeral homes, but because I won’t lie to reporters to defend the self-appointed ‘Zsars’ of our profession, the funeral conglomerates (people whom I think at least in some part belong in prison, but still buy most of the full page colour ads in the funeral press).
I gather I’ve been entirely discredited. Old Harald Gunderson more than ten years ago coined a phrase for me, back when he was writing for Canadian Funeral News, but also editing the Loewen Group’s monthly bulletin. He called me ‘Deep Throat’, pouring forth an orgasm for public journalists!
Truth is, most of the time, I loved Harald, he was irascible, and we had many spirited debates, but here’s a truth I invite all of Wall St. to confront. In 1999, at the peak of funeral home consolidation, Service Corporation International had about 5,200 roofs (funeral homes and cemeteries), Loewen Group had about 1,400 roofs, and Stewart Enterprises had about 500, totaling 7,100 roofs.
Today, SCI owns Stewart and Alderwoods (what Loewen was renamed after emerging from bankruptcy), and today owns a trifle over 2,000 roofs. Can any other profession out there lay claim to repossessing 70% of what consolidation stole from their profession?
You see, it’s pretty much only in Vancouver that these, the most predatory practices imaginable were institutionalized. Pretty much everywhere else, these practices were and are illegal!
My peers in their cities across our entire continent just woke up every morning each day for 60 years, just doing the right thing. They never even noticed that they were crucifying the newcomer impostors in their communities!?!
It’s only here in Vancouver, where the chains (in large part pretending to be non-profits) stole 80% of the market.
We had to develop a ‘family funeral home’ brand, to escape being labeled as the same as them.