Stress abounds. According to Wakefield Research, 68 percent of people experience stress on a weekly basis and 32 percent endure it daily. “Pretty much everybody can relate to stress,” Jennifer Sparks, the Society of American Florists’ vice president of marketing, said during a recent interview for “Afternoon Live,” a program with KATU, Portland, Oregon’s ABC affiliate channel.
While stress reduction is an evergreen topic, “April, which is Stress Awareness Month, makes journalists especially receptive to covering the research results,” Sparks said. “This is a great opportunity for SAF members to get some local publicity, which is essentially free advertising. Plus, any time your business appears in the press, it increases your credibility.”
Earlier this month, a team of ambassadors representing SAF trekked through the Pacific Northwest in a vintage-style van — “The Flower Power Mobile” — offering unsuspecting people free flowers and tips to alleviate tips. Their journey from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon to Seattle spurred a flurry of news stories in the region’s biggest media markets, as journalists clamored to cover not only the visually compelling vehicle and bouquet giveaways, but also the scientific research supporting flowers’ stress-reducing powers.
Here’s how you can ride off that momentum in your local market:
- SAF created a template press release that you can customize with your shop’s information. Send it to local newspapers, radio stations and T.V. outlets. Click here for tips on contacting the media.
- Offer to be interviewed about the latest SAF-commissioned research study, “The Impact of Flowers on Perceived Stress Among Women,” conducted last fall at the University of North Florida, either in your shop or at the station (hint: bring flowers if you go off-site). In addition to talking about the research findings, you can offer anecdotes of what you and your delivery drivers see on a daily basis when people receive flowers. You could even go a step further by offering an exclusive opportunity to your favorite reporter to ride along in your van to surprise strangers with flowers to help them “stress less.” The journalist’s first-hand experience will make for a better story.
- Study some of the recent footage with Sparks for examples of talking points, as well as questions to anticipate and how to bridge to the most compelling messages. Here she is speaking to reporters in San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle.
For more promotional ideas for Stress Awareness Month, click here.
All of SAF’s consumer marketing programs to create positive perceptions of flowers are made possible by the generous supporters of the SAF PR Fund. Read more about the PR Fund and who supports it here.
Katie Hendrick Vincent is the senior contributing editor of the Society of American Florists.