From media advisories to talking points, the Society of American Florists has tools and advice at safnow.org/pif-press to help members attract positive publicity for their Petal It Forward events.
“Now is the time to prepare your Petal It Forward media advisory and press release,” said SAF Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Sparks. “The media advisory should be sent to journalists a week before the event, which means members should send it to their local reporters on October 4.”
A media advisory is a straightforward document that lists the “who, what, where, when” for an event. Members have exclusive access to SAF’s Petal It Forward media advisory. “Consider delivering the media advisory with your most power tool — flowers,” Spark said. “Give key reporters two bouquets — one to keep and one to share — so they have the opportunity to experience the concept of Petal It Forward.”
Resend the media advisory and follow-up with a phone call to unresponsive reporters on Oct. 9-10, Sparks said to make sure you’re on their radar. “You should also prepare a Press release to hand out to the reporters who attend your event.” SAF’s Petal It Forward Press release is available to members only.
Members who participated in Petal It Forward last year swear by SAF’s media outreach strategies.
“I used SAF’s advice and contacted all sorts of different media options,” said Nicole Palazzo, marketing manager at City Line Florist in Trumbull, Connecticut about her Petal It Forward promotional push last year. Her efforts were rewarded. A television news reporter followed City Line’s Happiness Ambassadors to three different stops and even handed out flowers.
Former SAF Chairman Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI, owner of Dandelions Flowers & Gifts, LLC in Eugene, Oregon, and a media pro, scored local news coverage of her Petal It Forward event last year.
She emailed a media advisory to local reporters with the subject line: “Want to See Happy People Getting Flowers for FREE?” And included a photo in the email. “If you don’t have a photo of last year’s event or if this is your first year participating, take a photo of someone with a smiling face holding flowers,” Lyons said. “There is nothing like a visual aid. You have to grab their attention fast — faces and emotions always sell media.”
Following up the media advisory with a phone call sets your news apart from others, said Cameron Pappas of Norton’s Florist in Birmingham, Alabama. He distributed a press release and then directly contacted media outlet representatives.
Rod Saline, AAF, of Engwall Florist & Greenhouses in Duluth, Minnesota, sent press releases to newspapers, TV and radio stations. “We had a couple of TV stations filming and radio station coverage,” Saline said. “The radio ran our announcement as part of their hourly news.”
What do you say to a reporter who has questions about Petal It Forward? Get Petal It Forward Talking Points here.
Petal It Forward is a “random-acts-of-kindness” type of flower giveaway, where consumers on the street receive two flower bouquets (or flowers) — one to keep and one to share — to demonstrate the Rutgers University research that shows flowers make people happy. SAF first led the industry to Petal It Forward in 2015.
The 2016 Petal It Forward campaign included 262 events in 234 cities in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, generating more 328 million consumer impressions showcasing the positive impact flowers have on emotional well-being. Click here for a look at some of the news coverage generated by Petal It Forward efforts last year.
SAF is compiling a list of local Petal It Forward events to show national media that this event is happening all over the country. Get your event listed by completing the Petal It Forward Participation Form at safnow.org/PIFform so that SAF can include your event on the list it provides to national media.