Contributors Funeral Industry News Ryan Thogmartin Social Media

Should I Just Pull The Plug On This Site?

June 13, 2012
Ryan Thogmartin

Ryan Thogmartin is the Owner and CEO of DISRUPT Media. DISRUPT Media is a full-service creative agency built for the now. We partner with death care companies to drive deep-rooted brand loyalty and measurable leads through social media. More Fans. More Conversations. More Leads. Ryan is also the founder of is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With Ryan has created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.

Should I Just Pull The Plug On This Site?

A few months ago I posted a reply I made to a blogger who wrote an article titled, “When Social Media is Not Right for You” and used the funeral profession as his main focal point. The point I made was it should be natural for funeral homes to embrace social media and many funeral homes are having great success with social media when implementing it correctly.

In the past 5 years I have been a huge advocate for funeral homes embracing social media and other technologies as tools to better serve client families and to better connect with their communities. I have spoke at many different state conventions and consulted with many funeral homes and industry companies. Outside of I run a full time social media marketing agency that serves clients all over the globe. Do I think I know how to help businesses and organizations create successful social campaigns…absolutely.

Over the years I have had a few hecklers come and go. Honestly, I expect it and it doesn’t bother me. But I do like to draw light to comments and articles posted by these hecklers because I like to see what other’s opinions are.

I noticed a blogger (heckler) yesterday post an article in response to the article I posted yesterday titled, “Social Media is Worthless“. The blogger is James Patton, an ex-SCI funeral director, who made national news back in 2009 (I am not getting into why). He has made many negative posts directed at and myself. I have refrained from commenting or posting them for the past few years, but this article yesterday made me laugh. So I am going to post some snippets from it for you to read.

If you agree or disagree please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Mr. Patton says:

I was rather surprised to run across the following quote from a social media “guru.” In fact, it stopped me in my tracks. He said:

“Social media is like teen sex. Everybody wants to do it, but nobody knows how. When it’s over you are surprised it’s not better.”

Now, in most cases, one might simply overlook the comment. However, this was directed at the funeral industry, during a soap-box rant over the fact that more funeral homes need to hire him to develop a social media “strategy.”

I don’t think I need to argue these accusations, but in no way did I make any reference in my article that “funeral homes to hire me”. I don’t care who you hire just make sure you are creating a solid customer focused strategy.

Patton goes on to say:

I think what business owners are surprised about, is how they could have fallen (or in some cases, did fall victim) for another bogus sales trick from a so-called social media guru. The simple fact is that for funeral homes, the only true “return” from a “social media strategy” is in the pocket of the social media “strategist.”

Think about it, realistically, are people really interested in visiting a funeral home’s Facebook page? Can a funeral home really have anything exciting to tweet about on Twitter? Latest deaths maybe? “Special on caskets, One Day Sale – Today!”

And, even if a funeral home wanted to dabble with social media, would it be in their best interest to hire someone who has never made funeral arrangements with a family? Maybe I am missing something?

If I am missing something, please advise.

So I have to ask, should I quit talking about social media, technology, or other progressive ideas and just pull the plug on this site because I have never made funeral arrangements with a family? I mean the last thing I want is a following of professionals who think I am just pumping another “bogus sales trick”.

It’s true, I am not a funeral director and I have never pretended to be or claimed to be. In fact I have been very open about the fact that I am not a funeral director in a number of articles and videos. I think that is what makes my perspective on this profession more valuable, I came into this profession 8 years again with no preconceived ideas. I learned about this profession from listening and doing. I am not afraid to suggest new ideas, change is good and I think this profession is more open to change right now than ever before. I have tried to be an agent of change and I think this site has been a huge influence of positive change in this profession. We now have a group of experts providing weekly content that is progressive and yet useable. The information professionals are getting from this site can immediately be dripped into their business strategy and in my opinion I find that very valuable, but I guess I am some what biased.

Please let me know your thoughts below.

As always thank you for reading.