The Partnership Podcast

Supporting Remembrance with Justine McInally

October 08, 2020 Golden Charter Season 1 Episode 14
The Partnership Podcast
Supporting Remembrance with Justine McInally
The Partnership Podcast
Supporting Remembrance with Justine McInally
Oct 08, 2020 Season 1 Episode 14
Golden Charter

Independent funeral directors together with Golden Charter have raised over £390,000 for The Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland in recent years, and this year fundraising for the armed forces community is needed more than ever. Justine McInally explains the annual fundraising campaign to Malcolm, including what the money can go towards and how funeral directors can still get involved.

Show Notes Transcript

Independent funeral directors together with Golden Charter have raised over £390,000 for The Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland in recent years, and this year fundraising for the armed forces community is needed more than ever. Justine McInally explains the annual fundraising campaign to Malcolm, including what the money can go towards and how funeral directors can still get involved.

Malcolm Flanders [00:00:04] Welcome to the Partnership Podcast. It's autumn, and that means we're entering remembrance, a period that means a lot to funeral directors across the U.K. It's obvious to me within Golden Charter, because I've seen increasing numbers of independents take part in our annual fundraising for the Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland every year, raising over £390,000 over four years of campaigning. That's fantastic. This year remembrance period also has to contend with a global pandemic, one that makes fundraising for the armed forces community more important than ever. So today we're going to look at that fundraising and the unique circumstances of this year's campaign. So I'm delighted to be joined for today's podcast by Justine McInally, who's our marketing campaign manager here at Golden Charter. And we're going to be talking about our partnership with the Royal British Legion. 

Malcolm Flanders [00:01:04] So, Justine, great to meet you today. Perhaps you could just start by explaining to our listeners what your role is all about and the best things about it.

Justine McInally [00:01:14] Thank you, Malcolm. Yes, so my role at Golden Charter is marketing campaign manager and I'm primarily focused on the funeral director channel. So my job is to work on some of our campaigns throughout the year, for example, the Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland campaign, and to really promote the campaign with funeral directors and to get them on board and help them with their own activity as well.

Malcolm Flanders [00:01:40] Excellent. Now, let's sort of start with the actual benefits, I guess, for funeral directors. So can you talk a little about what those benefits are if funeral directors do sign up to the RBL and Poppyscotland campaign? And I suppose other than supporting a great charity, I guess, you know, there needs to be something in it for them from a business perspective. 

Justine McInally [00:02:03] Yep, absolutely. I mean, there's many benefits of getting involved and supporting the charities.  Firstly, being associated with a well-known and respected charity is a really great way to raise the brand awareness and business profile, as well as engage with families in the area. So it's really, really great from a business perspective. And I think particularly this year where there's been so many challenges, it's quite a nice way to promote your business and services, but also bringing a little bit of that positivity into the community as well, with obviously there being the charity donation. And as I said, it's such a well-known charity.

Justine McInally [00:02:41] Our own independent research continues to show that customers still want to hear from funeral directors. They feel it's still an appropriate time for funeral directors to promote their services. So it feels like it's a nice way to engage with the community and with customers to promote the fact that they're part of a charity donation and charity partnership.

Justine McInally [00:03:03] But in addition to that as well we've also found that funeral directors who do sign up to the charity donation, they actually do see a greater uplift in funeral plan sales than those who don't. So there is that added benefit of it does attract new customers.

Malcolm Flanders [00:03:20] Right. That's interesting, thanks Justine. I get the bit about reinforcing the brand in the local market. Okay. Thank you. So what does the donation go towards? How does it actually help the armed forces community?

Justine McInally [00:03:35] I mean, it really does make such a difference. Already we've raised over £392,000 for the charities. And just to put that into context, this can pay for 3,000 crisis grants for people going through a financial hardship. And it could also pay for safe and secure accommodation for 490 people if they need it. 1660 Legion advisers for a year and they can help either move people out, financial crisis or there's advisers there who can also offer practical and emotional support. So there's quite a lot of ways in which the money does help and provide the support to those who need it.

Malcolm Flanders [00:04:12] Right now, let's talk about those who actually want to sign up and get involved. I mean, how easy is it for them to do that?

Justine McInally [00:04:21] It's really easy. All they have to do is either contact their Golden Charter business manager or they can even get in touch with us at the marketing team directly. We've got a special mailbox, [email protected], and so anyone who wants to sign up, all they have to do is provide us with their details. And we offer two opt out dates as well, so the date of which they want to stop the £25 donation is either the 31st of January or the 31st of July.

Justine McInally [00:04:50] And then that's pretty much it. We do the rest. We'll send a full campaign pack, and that's made up of point of sale materials. So it's got things like leaflets, brochure stickers for them to put on their brochures, posters for their windows, poppy window stickers for their windows as well, and they're a really good tool for decorating the window and really to add colour to it.

Justine McInally [00:05:12]  We also have lots of different marketing templates and support available. So, you know, if they wanted to do a digital campaign, we've got Facebook and social media templates, and there's also more traditional press advert templates if they wish to use those as well. So there's lots of ways we can help them and we've made it really easy if they want to get involved as well.

Justine McInally [00:05:33] But one thing I do want to highlight is we've got a really great digital team on hand to help, so if any funeral director was interested in promoting the partnership, or promoting the charity donation, we've got a team that can help them create a Facebook campaign to help with that.

Malcolm Flanders [00:05:50] Yeah, thanks Justine, I can certainly vouch for Ross and Ryan, who've been brilliant in helping many of our funeral directors with just that. And can I just check, if I'm a funeral director and I have already got a campaign, or I've got something that's promoting my brand, presumably we could talk to them about complementing that with the RBL colours and campaign, it wouldn't sort of conflict with it?

Justine McInally [00:06:16] No, absolutely not. You know, all of the messages can work together. And we have mix and match campaigns where they can do rotational advertising, we've got templates available for if they want to do a Royal British Region/Poppyscotland branded kit. So there's lots of ways we can make sure that the messaging is brought into curent activities. But primarily it's about obviously promoting the service of we offer funeral plans. But it's a nice touch to mention the £25 donation to those who purchase a plan as well.

Malcolm Flanders [00:06:51] I'm with you. Thanks. Now, clearly, it's a challenging year right now. So are we doing anything to help support the charities themselves with the poppy appeal?

Justine McInally [00:07:03] Yeah. So we've just recently launched a big social media campaign and this uses the current Golden Charter grandad and family images. And that sits alongside a "thank you armed forces past and present" message, and that's really to try and bring much more exposure to the partnership and to help with the poppy appeal. So it's more just a thank you and the fact that we really are grateful for the armed forces community, and to show that we are in support of the charity who helps them.

Justine McInally [00:07:35] The campaign, it's about paying special tribute to armed forces across generations. So, right up to today with our efforts in helping with the COVID pandemic, and we've got lots of different images to choose from as well. So this is something that we've made available for funeral directors to use. So there is a special toolkit for this. Some of the images include the grandad wearing military uniform, or looking at old wartime photographs. So there's lots available and it's just a nice message to thank the efforts of the armed forces and how they support our country.

Justine McInally [00:08:11] So you'll start to see these being posted on Golden Charter's own social media pages, so LinkedIn, Facebook and even on Instagram. But as I said, we've made it available for funeral directors to share and post on their pages too.

Justine McInally [00:08:24] In addition to that, just this month we've announced our annual Remembrance window display competition. So this is something that's really popular with the funeral directors and we get amazing, really creative entries every single year. This year it's slightly different because the high streets might look a little bit quieter. But we really hope that to bring a little bit of nostalgia and positivity to the communities, that a lot of funeral directors will still want to get involved, and we have materials to help them with that if they're looking for extra window stickers, for example. So we're hoping they'll get quite a few entries this year.

Malcolm Flanders [00:09:00] Wow. Yeah. Sounds like a lot is going on right now. So, look, this all sounds brilliantly appropriate and worthwhile, but realistically, how much time is left for a funeral director to get involved? Is it too late?

Justine McInally [00:09:14] No, I wouldn't say so, there's still plenty of time to get involved. The campaign did kick off in September, but as I said, we've just launched in October a lot of new initiatives, and there's plenty of time to show support. As I mentioned, we offer two campaign end dates for funeral directors, so either the 31st of January or 31st of July next year. You know, there's a lot of time to still get donations in.

Justine McInally [00:09:40] Remembrance is still a full month away, and that's where we typically see a lot more activity ramp up to do with Remembrance. There's a lot more exposure, a lot more media attention on it. So that's where we see a lot of funeral directors wanting to do a bit more activity around that time. So there's absolutely plenty of time for anyone who still wants to get involved to get involved. And we've got plenty to help as well and support with.

Justine McInally [00:10:03] There's still time to get a leaflet drop activity booked for the end of November, which will still be able to make the most of the added exposure, and Facebook activity we can book in any time as well. So, I really would urge anybody who wants to get involved to get involved and make the most of our services and support available.

Malcolm Flanders [00:10:22] Brilliant. Now, that was absolutely superb, now, thank you, Justine, because I think, you know, just listening to you there, the passion, enthusiasm that comes across there – and I'm hoping that all our partner funeral directors who haven't yet got involved will see the benefits of how this can help their brand in their own local market. But also it's a different way of reaching out to families and customers at the same time. So thanks for your time, Justine.

Justine McInally [00:10:49] Thank you.

Malcolm Flanders [00:10:56] Thank you for listening to another Partnership Podcast. This is a very worthy cause. Now more than ever. So again, please do get involved, either be speaking to your Golden Charter business manager or emailing [email protected]

Malcolm Flanders [00:11:10] As always, every podcast episode is available at, or wherever you get podcasts. Take care and I'll talk to you again on the Partnership Podcast.