“So do you have a job? What do you with your Communications degree?”
“I work in content marketing, social media, and website management.”
“Cool! Where do you work?”
“It’s a… well, I- I work for the largest cremation company in the United States.”
Cue the awkward laughter and blank stares.
It’s always interesting when I tell people where I work. Common reactions:
“You cremate people?!”
“You work around dead bodies??”
“Don’t you find it weird promoting people to buy their DEATH?“
“So then your company wants people to die?”
For the record, the answer to all of those is a resounding NO. But I do understand that it might seem odd to people at first. The oddest part of all is that I actually love it.
From a business perspective, it’s almost like the ultimate test of brand promotion. If I can figure out a unique and creative way to sell people on cremation, then I can find an interesting hook to promote anything! Plus, I genuinely think the work my company does is so important. Our main business is selling preplanned cremation packages, allowing people to plan and pay for their own final arrangements. The central idea is that the loss of a loved one is the hardest thing a person can go through. By preplanning, you are removing as much of the financial and logistical burden as possible from those left behind.
For digital marketing and communications professionals, it is possible to work in a great number of industries. After all no matter what a business does, they need to be concerned with their public reputation. That’s where I come in. While I’m lucky that I have an incredibly wide selection of companies I could potentially work for, I don’t necessarily want to work just anywhere.
Much of my time is spent researching the death-care industry, and coming up with different strategies to communicate to the public how our product/service could improve their lives. Doing such work for a shoe company, a stationary company, a clothing store wouldn’t quite hold my interest in the same way cremation does. There is absolutely nothing wrong with such jobs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one day I wind up doing just that.
But there is a certain sense of satisfaction and pride that comes from knowing the company I promote is one that truly works to help people. It is full of compassionate and caring experts who use their experience to ensure those struggling with grief have one less thing to worry about. They help people get through the very worst time of their lives.
If that means writing articles about the benefits of cremation vs burial, and knowing such facts as the correct temperature at which to cremate people and how many pounds of ash the human body will produce, then so be it.
It’s an unusual job, but someone has to do it!