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The Framing of a Fiery Controversy: Part 2

Posted By CANA, Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, July 18, 2017
The Framing of a Fiery Controversy: Manufacturers' Recommendations

 

As we discussed in Part One, community backlash over a proposed crematory can be swift and severe. The efforts you go to well in advance of the actual proposal will be well worth the time and effort. And who better to help you navigate this than your crematory manufacturer? Here are just a few of the tips shared by various manufacturers when it comes to being prepared.

FT the Americas believes that education is the key… you need to educate anyone and everyone that may be involved with the project. It needs to be extensive and based on scientific facts, not hearsay. Your opponents will have done their "research," and will likely cite many negative stories and "facts." Your fiercest competitors will be the “not in my backyard” naysayers.

Matthews Environmental Solutions also points out that the NIMBY (not in my backyard) crowd is getting bolder and more vocal, so they suggest starting earlier by developing allies in the community well before you submit any applications. Having these allies, or others who have no vested interest in your business, speaking on your behalf will add a lot of credibility and help offset the complaints of the NIMBY’s.

Cremation Systems advises on doing your due diligence. Knowing whether your zoning board and city council officials are elected or appointed will matter during an election year. Have ready examples of installations in similar environments along with pictures. Research the other local crematoriums and document how long they have been in operation.

The common thread, and thus a critical point, is that talking to anyone and everyone as early as possible is vital. Talk to prospective neighbors of the crematory so you know what kind of objections to expect, or who may end up being an ally. Educate people with accurate cremation content before they discover the "facts," a.k.a. inaccurate data or misinformation, that would hurt your efforts.


Members can read the full article in Vol. 53, No. 1 Issue of The Cremationist.

Not a member? Consider joining your business to access tools, techniques, statistics, and advice to help you understand how to grow the range of services and products you can offer, ensuring your business is a good fit for every member of your community – only $470!

Tags:  manufacturers  public relations  tips and tools 

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The Framing of a Fiery Controversy: Part 1

Posted By CANA, Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, July 18, 2017
The Framing of a Fiery Controversy: Bethany, Oklahoma

 

If you are thinking of expanding your business by building a crematory, your community may not welcome you with open arms. Even if you are well-established and well-respected. We at CANA hear the stories of these often fought battles regularly. These battles are wars of words, and often are a result of opponents to the crematory not having all the facts, or even correct facts, to support their view.

Take the sleepy little conservative town of Bethany, just outside of Oklahoma City, as a case-in-point. A very well-known and respected funeral home submitted their Planned Unit Development proposal to construct a chapel and crematory and squeaked by with the votes to get approval, despite the vocal and loud objections from residents. The first hurdle was overcome. However, the community backlash that followed eventually caused the funeral home to withdraw their proposal. But because a referendum was already in progress and could not be stopped by law, the withdrawal didn’t matter. The community then broadened their appeal, and began vilifying the members of the city council who failed to heed the voice of the people. They did this by shaming the members on a billboard for all to see. Six months later, the community was finally successful in convincing the city council to overturn the approval. The funeral home will not be able to grow and expand.

There were several surprising issues that were observed from this series of events. First the community, though very conservative and home to several faith-based universities, did not object based on religious reasons. In fact, some of the opponents planned to be cremated themselves. Their concerns centered around air quality, depreciation of property and its proposed location (next to a senior living center, restaurant and other retail stores). Eventually, they even brought traffic and parking in to the mix as issues of concern. Another surprise was that the community did not attack the funeral home, but instead this inanimate object called a crematory.

There were also several lessons learned in this situation. Location will play a significant role in the type and frequency of opposition. In addition, this opposition can be formidable and adaptable and hard to predict. While accurate technical data is necessary in presenting your side, you must also account for the emotional response that may come from opponents and not ignore it. Finally, be aware of "planned opposition." The internet is chock full of forums and groups all too willing to share tactics.

How will you prepare when the time comes for you to build a new crematory? Stay tuned for Part Two as we share advice from CANA manufacturer members in future blog postings.


Members can read the full article in Vol. 53, No. 1 Issue of The Cremationist.

Not a member? Consider joining your business to access tools, techniques, statistics, and advice to help you understand how to grow the range of services and products you can offer, ensuring your business is a good fit for every member of your community – only $470!

Tags:  consumers  installation  manufacturers  public relations 

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