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UPDATE: NFDA Responds to Money Magazine

Posted November 30, 2012

In the November 19 issue of the NFDA Bulletin, you learned about a letter that NFDA President Bob Rosson sent to Money magazine in response to the unfortunate article that appeared in the November issue entitled, "The High Cost of Saying Goodbye." NFDA just learned that Rosson's letter of response, which was edited by the magazine for length, will appear in the January/February 2013 issue of Money, which should be available on newsstands in mid-December.

The decision to publish Rosson's letter shows that Money magazine heard the voice of funeral service loud and clear. NFDA hopes the letter will clarify for consumers some of the misinformation about funeral service that pervaded the article.

"The High Cost of Saying Goodbye" was the first in a three-part series. Parts two and three, which appeared in the December issue do not focus on funeral service. Part two in the series, entitled "In Search of a Better End," is about managing the costs of care of a termially-ill loved one. Part three, titled "Looking Beyond," profiles a man dealing with Lou Gehrig's disease and planning for his wife's financial future without him.

Posted: November 19, 2012

The November 2012 issue of Money magazine featured an article, "The High Cost of Saying Goodbye," which was the first in a three-part series of articles about end-of-life issues (parts two and three will appear in the December issue).

The article, which you can find online, repeats many of the false claims that other journalists, dating all the way back to Jessica Mitford in the 1960s, have made: namely, that funeral directors prey on grieving families and attempt to sell expensive and unnecessary merchandise.

While the article provides some helpful information about how consumers can make informed choices when planning a funeral, the unfair portrait of funeral directors ultimately does readers a disservice.

NFDA stands prepared to respond to stories, like the one that appeared in Money magazine, that unfairly malign funeral service. To that end, NFDA President Bob Rosson sent a letter of response to Money Managing Editor Craig Matters and the authors of the article, Lisa Gibbs and Ismat Mangla.

Monitoring the way the media covers funeral service is as important to NFDA as it is to you. Be assured that your national association employs full-time public relations professionals who work with journalists every day. NFDA also has an outstanding team of spokespersons comprised of funeral directors who take time to speak with the media and educate them about the importance and value of funeral and memorial services. It is NFDA's goal to be the media's top resource for accurate information regarding all aspects of funeral service.

Everyone is aware that this profession, like all others, isn't free of scandal. However, the story of funeral service doesn't begin and end with stories about stolen preneed funds, mishandled human remains or funeral directors that do not adhere to the ethical standards outlined in NFDA's enforceable Code of Professional Conduct.

The vast majority of funeral directors honorably and ethically serve their communities. These are the stories that NFDA shares with the media. The NFDA Spokesperson Team and staff do everything they can to educate reporters about important role funeral directors play in helping the bereaved.

Your national association is here for you, monitoring your reputation in the media and working to increase your credibility and that of the profession.