Meet an Affiliate Manager

In the past, we’ve introduced you to some of our Guest Book Screeners and Customer and Client Service Specialists. They do very important work here – but they’re far from the only spokes in the wheel. It takes a lot of people doing a lot of tasks to make that wheel turn smoothly.

Another crucial position around here is Affiliate Manager. These are the folks who work directly with our many newspaper affiliates and talk to prospective affiliates about what we have to offer. But my quick description can’t do justice to everything this busy and varied job entails – so let’s turn it over to Dennis, one of our Affiliate Managers, who’s here to give us a glimpse at his job.

@Legacy: How long have you been at What has changed since you started here? 

Dennis: I started at on March 31st, 2008, so nearly 4 years ago. Since I have been here we have grown the scale and scope of our products tremendously. At the time I started we had about 550 newspaper affiliates. Now we have 850+ affiliates.  We consider ourselves obituary category managers for our affiliates, so it is our responsibility to make sure our affiliates have the most up to date technology so their users have a good experience regardless of the path they take to get to the newspaper obituary. Our products and services allow us to work together with newspapers to create a better overall experience for the user. People can use our affiliates’ site not only as a grieving mechanism, but also to share the passing of their loved-one and/or friend on a social networking site of their choice, as well as on their mobile device.            

@L: Tell us a little bit about what being an Affiliate Manager entails. What do you do in a typical day?      

D: One of the many things that I love about my job is that I rarely experience the same day twice. Our position requires us to have conversations both internally and externally in several areas including: sales, account management, technology, and product development.

Assuming we are not on the road that particular day, a typical day might start by responding to any emails, voicemails and customer requests that have come in. Then depending on how long it takes to complete any new tasks from those emails or voicemails, the rest of the day might include:

  • Hosting webinars to share Legacy initiatives and product offerings.
  • Sharing best practices and creating collateral materials.
  • Running product demos with current and prospective affiliates.
  • Assisting affiliates with site updates, feature requests, reporting, and more.
  • Reviewing niche publications for industry trends and analysis.

@L: Do you travel for work? Tell us about a typical business trip.

D: Although my wife feels differently about me being out of town, I enjoy traveling and so it makes me very happy to be in a position where I can hit the road and visit my newspaper affiliates and corporate contacts fairly regularly.

A typical visit includes flying into the market the night before or early the day of a meeting. In some cases we have affiliates in the same market, or within driving distance of each other, so I am able to schedule a morning and afternoon meeting. One of my most memorable trips lasted 8 business days and visited 10 newspaper partners. From Chicago I flew into Albuquerque, then flew to Phoenix, drove down to Tucson, then drove over to Yuma,  then up to San Diego, Palm Desert, back down to San Diego, then over to El Centro, and finally back home. It was an exhausting trip, but very productive.

I meet with a variety of individuals at the newspaper, typically from the Advertising and Digital areas. During the meeting I review latest trends in the Obituary category, highlight our products, and discuss our latest initiatives. I then review the newspaper’s performance, make best practice recommendations, field any questions they have, and solicit feedback from them.

@L: What do you like best about working with newspaper clients?

D: One of the things I like best about working with newspaper clients is how friendly and welcoming people are. The newspaper community really makes its partners feel welcome at trade shows and they always say great things about I am also happy to say that the people I work with on the newspaper side are down to earth and have a good understanding of their business. It also takes me back to delivering newspapers as a young boy. The newspaper always seemed to be ubiquitous and the ultimate information resource for anything local. And now, it’s great to have a career where I work with such a prominent institution.

@L: What do you like best about working for

D: I feel the overall culture is what really stands out for me at The culture is a positive one that comes from a melting pot of people with very diverse backgrounds. We all share an appreciation for the opportunity to work at and focus on doing our own personal best for the common good of the company. I believe our Sr. Management has done a great job of creating an environment of independence and growth. I also feel involved and as though I have a voice that is listened to.  All of this while not forgetting how sensitive the obituaries category can be.

About Linnea

I joined in 2000 as an obituary writer. In the years since, I've done a little of everything for our Operations team, from content review to customer service to creating web pages for funeral homes to training new employees to my current position, Content Manager. I love this position, because I get to write little bits & longer pieces - whatever's needed at the moment - and I get to proofread a lot, satisfying my inner nitpicker. And I love being on the blog team, because I get to write interesting features for the blog. I love to write! In my spare time, I... can you guess?... write. I'm hoping that one day I can add "published novelist" to my bio. I also enjoy working in my vegetable garden and cooking, baking, canning, making ice cream, and pretty much anything else in the kitchen. I love to read, compete in trivia contests, and attempt to keep up with my Netflix queue.
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