The Society of American Florists’ feel-good Petal It Forward effort on Oct. 11 reached millions of consumers, reporters and digital influencers, encouraging them to talk about — and delight in — the gift of unexpected flowers. In fact, through SAF-generated and local member public relations and social media efforts, this year’s campaign generated almost 82 million impressions. https://safnow.org/trends-statistics/consumer-research/petalitforward/
The impressive reach is the result of careful planning, months of collaboration and a coordinated public outreach that sent specific, powerful messages on the positive effects of flowers and flower-giving in consumers’ everyday lives, said Jennifer Sparks, SAF’s vice president of marketing.
“This doesn’t just happen. Impressions numbers like these are a result of blood, sweat, tears, and strategy,” said Sparks, who coordinated SAF’s overall public relations efforts and provided support to individual florists across the country. “The entire industry did its part to spread the good news about the power of flowers, way beyond the flower recipients or givers themselves.”
Here are some of the highlights of this year’s campaign, along with a breakdown of those impressions:
SAF distributed a media advisory to 607 TV station assignment desks, and a press release to 753 print publications nationwide. Those documents explained the “what, when and where” aspects of Petal It Forward, and promoted a state-by-state list of local events and contact information to generate media interest and direct reporters to floral industry businesses planning events in their area.
SAF also engaged in targeted, personal outreach to media, with follow-up emails and calls to pitch the story and created an online resource center for SAF members to download and customize a media advisory and press release to do their own media outreach in their local community.
In addition, SAF provided step-by-step advice online and through news stories and a Facebook Live session to help members feel comfortable and confident reaching out to their local media.
Results: SAF’s nationwide media efforts on the industry’s behalf, combined with members’ grassroots efforts to contact their local media, resulted in 556 broadcast, print and digital stories, capturing more than 52 million impressions. Check out a list of news stories generated by Petal It Forward.
Partnerships with Third-Party Influencers
“Targeted blogger outreach has become an effective way to get our message to new audiences,” said Sparks.
This year, SAF partnered with four top lifestyle bloggers to promote Petal It Forward: Quintessence, Positively Present, Elana Lyn and Melisa Source. These digital influencers posted on their blogs and their personal social media accounts, sharing “the good news about Petal It Forward and the positive benefits of flowers with their audiences,” Sparks explained.
Results: SAF’s blogger partnerships generated 472,436 impressions.
SAF participated in a Daily Flash TV report, which broadcasts daily to TV households in 80 markets and almost 200 websites, about pop culture, entertainment, health and beauty.
Through this vehicle, SAF was able to share its poignant Petal It Forward video on Oct. 11, to demonstrate what was happening all across the country.
Results: This effort generated an estimated 14.2 million impressions.
Social Media Activity
For the first time, SAF employed “Thunderclap,” a crowdspeaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together via Twitter and Facebook. At 11 a.m. on October 11, SAF’s message about the power of flowers, showcasing the #petalitforward hashtag and linking to the Petal It Forward video, showed up on peoples’ social media channels at the same time.
Results: One hundred fifty-five people supported the Thunderclap, reaching an audience of 108,436 on social media.
Organic Social Media Posts:
Through online advice, Facebook Live sessions, and industry news stories, SAF emphasized to Petal It Forward participants the importance of tagging the flowers handed out with the #petalitforward hashtag, as well as the need to post on social media before, during and after the event. In the lead-up to the event and throughout Petal It Forward, SAF posted from its member and consumer channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Floral industry businesses posted videos, pictures and thoughts of the day.
Even better, said Sparks, recipients of flowers were also posting about their experience and love of flowers, and what this random act of kindness meant to them.
“So many of the posts by consumers that we saw come out of the day could not have been expressed better by someone in the floral industry,” said Sparks. “That is the sweet spot — when the flowers do their scientifically proven work to make someone happy, and those people are moved to tell that story to their friends, families and followers.”Results: In following the use of the #petalitforward hashtag from 9/23/17-10/23/17 to capture the conversation, SAF used social media measurement tools to assess the impressions generated. Combined Twitter and Instagram impressions total nearly 14.9 million. That result, however, likely underestimates actual reach: Privacy settings on individuals’ Facebook pages prevent assessing and capturing measurement on that platform.
E-Brief editors wrote more on individual florists’ efforts in last week’s issue. Look for additional coverage in the November/December issue of Floral Management magazine.
Petal It Forward is supported by the SAF Fund for Nationwide Public Relations, which funds nationwide PR efforts that promote flowers and florists to consumers through groundbreaking research and media outreach as well as AboutFlowers.com, AboutFlowersBlog.com and NationalFloristDirectory.com.