Last October, SAF capitalized on popular pay-it-forward initiatives with Petal It Forward, a public relations campaign to randomly give two bouquets each to passersby in New York City. “The campaign’s goal was to generate traditional and social media coverage highlighting the benefits of flowers — the positive impact flowers have on our emotional well being,” said Jennifer Sparks, SAF’s vice president of marketing, “and position SAF’s consumer websites and social vehicles as viable resources for consumers.”
The campaign accomplished its goal, Sparks said. To date, SAF’s Petal It Forward campaign has generated nearly 143 million traditional media impressions and 1.2 million social media impressions, according to statistics from Ogilvy Public Relations. Not counted in SAF’s impressions number are the numerous media stories generated locally by many of the nearly 50 floral industry members who also participated in their communities.
Sparks will discuss the Petal It Forward campaign during the International Floriculture Expo in Chicago. Her session, “Generate Buzz Through Creative Marketing” on June 21 at 9 a.m. will explore the campaign’s impact on the industry and consumers, and how floral managers can create their own successful campaigns and generate results.
Whether attendees are planning their own Petal It Forward campaign or considering a different event theme, Sparks said IFE program attendees “will walk away with key marketing tips and motivation for generating excitement and engagement among event teams and consumers alike.”
“We do hope that floral business owners will consider participating in the nationwide Petal It Forward campaign this October,” Sparks added. “The more local events held across the country, the stronger the message and media interest.” Plans are in the works for determining a specific date, which will be announced to the floral industry by June to allow the industry to plan ahead.
IFE offers SAF members a special deal to attend. Register for the IFE Expo using code “SAF” and receive $50 off any registration package. Even registrants who select the “Retail, Exhibit Hall Only” package using the “SAF” code will receive entrance to Sparks’ session. The “Retail, Exhibit Hall Only” Admission early-bird price is $50 until May 3, so register before May 3 and receive free admission to Sparks’ presentation. The “Retail, Floral Package,” which includes all education sessions and keynote, is $250; use code “SAF” and pay $200.