For the fourth year in a row, the Society of American Florists is leading the industry in a nationwide feel-good promotional effort that shows consumers and reporters how great it feels to both give and receive flowers. SAF’s 2018 Petal It Forward campaign date is set for Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, and SAF is spreading the word to increase industry participation and make it easy for members to start planning their local events now.
The first Petal It Forward in 2015 included participation from industry members in 44 cities in 27 states. The next year, there were 262 events in 234 cities in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. In 2017, industry members held 573 local Petal It Forward events in 467 cities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada, resulting in nearly 82 million impressions through SAF-generated and local member public relations and social media efforts.
“The Petal It Forward concept is simple and easy to do, yet is one of the most engaging floral promotions in the industry’s history,” said SAF Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Sparks. “The results are phenomenal for industry participants, as the program’s random-acts-of-kindness premise builds interest in the news and on social media.”
The premise behind Petal It Forward: passersby receive two bouquets — one to keep, and one to share — and are asked to post a picture about it on social media with the hashtag #petalitforward.
“You can make your Petal It Forward local event as big or small as you want — even handing out 20-50 bouquets or single stems can make an impact,” Sparks said. “It’s a win-win to participate. For little effort, you give consumers the opportunity to experience the scientifically proven happiness that occurs when you give and receive flowers. At the same time, you position your business as a positive force in your community. That makes consumers feel good about you, which goes a long way in establishing customer loyalty. And, you give a morale boost to employees who play a part.”
Liza Atwood, CEO of Fifty Flowers in Boise, Idaho and a member of SAF’s Consumer Joint Council recently shared one example of the power of Petal It Forward — four months after her 2017 event — in the April/May “Viewpoint” in Floral Management magazine.
“It’s not too early to start laying the groundwork for your Petal It Forward event,” Sparks said. SAF provides members with advice on program logistics, as well as easy-to-implement materials and resources at safnow.org/petalitforward.
The main goal of Petal It Forward is to generate traditional and social media coverage to highlight the benefits of flower power — the positive impact flowers have on our emotional well being — even beyond the actual recipients of the flowers.
Through SAF-generated and local member public relations and social media efforts, the 2017 Petal It Forward campaign generated nearly 82 million impressions.
“We want even more coverage of flower power this year!” Sparks said. “In order to capture the reporters’ attention and garner news stories about Petal It Forward both locally and nationally, SAF needs to know where events are happening.” SAF is compiling a list of participating florists holding events on October 24 to share with the media. Sparks encourages members to fill out the online participation form at safnow.org/pifform once they know they’re holding an October 24 Petal It Forward event.
“With your help, Petal It Forward can capture even more media attention nationwide,” Sparks said.