Imagine the streets of your city filled with smiling people holding bouquets. Picture your social media feeds brimming with messages of thanks to your shop, for making a person’s day brighter with flowers. Envision a local reporter calling, asking you why floral gifts make such a profound, positive difference in people’s lives.
These scenarios and others like them have played out for hundreds of floral industry members who have participated in Petal It Forward.
SAF’s 2019 Petal It Forward campaign date is set for Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, and the Society of American Florists is spreading the word to increase industry participation and make it easy for members to start planning their local events now.
“The Petal It Forward concept is simple and easy to do, and it is one of the most engaging floral promotions in the industry’s history,” said SAF Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Sparks. “The ROI is huge for industry participants, as the program’s random-acts-of-kindness premise raises visibility with the local news, social media and consumers.”
Ready to get started? Here are some top tips from SAF:
Lay the Groundwork
- Talk to your staff and decide if you would like to hold a Petal It Forward event in your community. Many participants say Petal It Forward provided a morale boost internally for their staff.
- Start small and grow from there. Even handing out 20 to 50 bouquets or single stems can make a big impact.
- Think of Petal It Forward as advertising. That way, any expenses associated with the effort are worth it.
- Retailers: Talk to your supplier(s) to see if they would be willing to work with you on product, through a discount or donations.
- Wholesalers and growers: Talk to your retail customers about how you would like to help them in their Petal It Forward efforts, and/or consider holding an event of your own in your community.
- Tell SAF about your plans. Fill out the online participation form at safnow.org/pifform. This will help SAF compile a list of Petal It Forward events to show the media you are part of an effort happening all over the country.
Scout Your Location
- Choose a busy pedestrian area, such as a bus or train stop, office or community park, in front of your shop or anywhere you’d like to hand out flowers.
- Consider venues where your gifts might be particularly appreciated, such as schools, senior centers and hospitals.
- Check with your city and the location to inquire if permission is needed to hand out flowers.
Get Help from Your Friends
- Invite staff, regular customers or family members to participate as volunteers; they’ll help promote the effort through their own connections.
- Ask area nonprofits and civic groups in advance if they’d like to participate in handing out flowers.
For More Petal It Forward Information
SAF provides members with step-by-step instructions, planning timelines, success stories from other florists, media talking points, suggested social media posts, T-shirt and flower card templates, media advisory, sample press releases and more at safnow.org/pif.
Jenny Scala is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Society of American Florists