Kansas City Cremation Company First to Launch Media Site for Grieving Families

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For the first time in the history of the industry, Heartland Cremation & Burial Society launched an interactive video-driven Media Site™ to reach out to families experiencing grief and loss. Heartland Cremation & Burial Society's Media Site™ incorporates interactive Web video called Human Host™ --a virtual host that takes visitors through the site--as well as two online videos about cremation and veterans' benefits. This new social media and Web video technology is used to deliver personal messages directly to consumers.

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In 2005, there were more than 24,000 deaths in Kansas and more than 54,000 in Missouri. Among those parents, grandparents and children grieving the losses of their loved ones, 6,280 chose cremation in Kansas and 12,746 in Missouri.

In response, Heartland Cremation & Burial Society launched the first interactive video-driven media site for grieving families. (Statistics: http://www.nfda.org/page.php?pID=77 and http://www.nfda.org/page.php?pID=78)

According to Andrew Loos, president of Heartland Cremation & Burial Society, the company recognized the need to offer an unobtrusive place for families to research and explore cremation and burial options.

"The last thing anyone who is experiencing sorrow or loss wants to do is explore funeral arrangements with a stranger," Loos explained. "Our media site, http://www.heartlandcremation.com, not only utilizes new technology and Web video to deliver information in a caring and compassionate manner, but it also communicates with 73 percent of adults in the U.S. who use the Internet."

Heartland Cremation & Burial Society's Media Site™ incorporates interactive Web video called Human Host™--a virtual host that takes visitors through the site--as well as two online videos about cremation and veterans' benefits. Prizm, a Kansas City-based online video company, added these trademarked video elements to the company's site.

"This compassionate video provides a solution to a very sensitive matter that has been prevalent among consumers for decades," Loos added. "Now, families can explore their options in the privacy of their own home without the pressure of a funeral consultant."

While Loos views the company's media site as a solution to a problem within his industry, businesses across the board should be following suit.

According to entrepreneur.com: http://entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/businessstatistics/article82676.html

•73% of adults in the U.S. use the Internet.

Pew Internet & American Life Project, April 2006

•Online sales are expected to surpass 200 billion in 2007.

Shop.org/Forrester Study, June 2006

•3 in 5 Internet users view online videos.

ComScore Media Metrix, September 2006

•694 million people worldwide used the Internet in March 2006.

comScore, May 2006

•45% of active Web users visit social networking sites.

Nielsen/NetRatings, May 2006

This is not the first time Heartland Cremation & Burial Society has set a local and national industry standard. Loos was the first to launch a traditional website in the Kansas City market and the first to offer consumers a four-color glossy brochure that allows families to select lifestyle funerals of their choice.

Media Site™ - A company's window to the world: An interactive, video-driven website that delivers personalized Electronic Video Messages (EVM™) to consumers. The media technology was developed by Prizm Productions in 2001.

Human Host™: A virtual Web host that takes visitors through a guided tour of the Media Site™. The technology, developed by Prizm, puts businesses in the line of sight, delivering personal communication to consumers.

Online Video: Video clips in a shortened format and predominantly found on the Internet where the massive influx of new video clips during 2006 has been dubbed as a new phenomenon, having a profound impact on both the Internet and other forms of media. Wikipedia.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_video

Social Media describes the online tools, platforms and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences and perspectives with each other. Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio and video. Popular social mediums include blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis and vlogs. Wikipedia.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media

Heartland Cremation & Burial Society is the Midwest's cremation specialist and one of the largest providers of cremation and alternative funeral services. The company is the first and only cremation and burial society to offer on site cremation and the only cremation society licensed in both Kansas and Missouri. Heartland Cremation & Burial Society has offices in Raytown, Mo, Overland Park, Kan. and Columbia, Mo. View the cremation video at http://www.prizmproductions.com/email/Veterans/Cremation_EVM_email.html or visit http://www.heartlandcremation.com.

For more information about Heartland Cremation & Burial Society, please contact Heartland Cremation & Burial Society at 1-800-508-2088.

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VALERIE JENNINGS
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