Start-up disruptor brand Funeralbooker has brought in Jo Ganly-Hilaire as its first head of PR and Antoni Swidlicki as content marketing manager.
Funeralbooker launched in December 2015. It already has 700 independent funeral directors signed up to be open and transparent about their prices.
In October last year it closed a $975k (£750k) seed round to help accelerate its ambitious strategy for long-term growth and to support the independent funeral market.
Ganly-Hilaire previously headed up PR at uSwitch.com.
In her new role, she will head up PR activity for the “independent and impartial” funeral comparison service.
Ganly-Hilaire will work alongside the company’s newly appointed content marketing manager, Antoni Swidlicki, who was previously a content marketing strategist at Greenlight Digital, where his clients included Currys PC World, Kitbag and Millennium Hotels & Resorts.
The appointments reflect the importance being placed by Funeralbooker on PR and content as “key weapons” in the battle to disrupt a highly traditional market and to win hearts and minds among its core audience of consumers and independent funeral directors.
Ian Strang, CEO of Funeralbooker, said: “These appointments reflect our determination to shake-up the industry and bring about positive change. We want independent funeral directors to enjoy a level-playing field and consumers to get the choice, service and value for money they deserve when booking or planning for a funeral.
“The current script about death needs to be rewritten and educational, informative and impactful communications will play a vital role in helping us to achieve this. Jo and Antoni bring the skills we need to help drive this change and to also set us apart from other disruptors.”
Ganly-Hilaire added: “This is an exciting opportunity to join a new challenger brand that aims to improve peoples’ experience of an industry responsible for handling a crucial event in all of our lives.
“Death is a difficult and emotive subject, but it’s an important conversation to have – it’s the only way people will start to feel empowered to make the right choices for their own needs. It doesn’t matter how much someone does or doesn’t want to spend on a funeral – what we care about is giving them impartial information and support so they can make decisions that work for them and their family.
“In the short-term we intend to use content and PR to champion the use of independent funeral directors and to encourage people to take greater control. In the longer-term we want to shift the dial on death and help people overcome one of the UK’s last great taboos.”