Between a global pandemic, nationwide protests for racial justice and an upcoming election, tension is high in America today. According to a new study from researchers at San Diego State University and Florida State University, more than one in four adults meet the criteria that psychologists use to diagnose serious mental distress, which represents a roughly 700 percent increase from data collected in 2018. More than ever, people need moments that spark joy.
The Society of American Florists’ annual goodwill initiative, Petal It Forward, Wednesday, Oct. 21, is a chance for floral industry professionals to flood the country with the feel-good power of flowers. During Petal It Forward, surprised passersby experience delight in receiving flowers —as well as the even greater satisfaction of sharing them with others.
“Petal It Forward is the perfect opportunity for floral industry members to safely share messages about the powerful effect that flowers can have on people’s mental and physical health,” said SAF Senior Vice President Katie Butler. “The effort will be especially meaningful this year as communities continue to deal with the pandemic and look to local florists for help connecting with loved ones and lifting their own moods.”
In a just-released video, SAF Project Coordinator Stephanie Brady walks members through the updated resource center, which includes ideas for adapting your event to pandemic safety precautions and a template for printing a Petal It Forward branded face mask. There, you’ll also find a host of materials, including tips for generating news coverage and how to talk to the media, social media messages you can mix and match with graphics and step-by-step guidance for hosting an event.
Eager to help spread the love of flowers? Here are six steps for a successful event:
- Save the date! Petal It Forward 2020 is Oct. 21.
- Register your business at safnow.org so that SAF can provide optimal support to your team.
- Coordinate with your team and industry partners. Craft a plan for what you plan to pass out on Oct. 21 and how you plan to run the day, depending on your team’s workload and availability, product availability and other factors. Remind your employees (and any partners helping you out on the day) of area restrictions and norms as they relate to social distancing and facial masks.
- Scout your resources. SAF has a host of new resources you can use this year, including updated materials you can affix to flowers and bouquets, talking points for the media and new shareable graphics to post on your social media platforms. SAF also has ready-to-go information on the health benefits of flowers from its catalog of university research and talking points and press release templates to share with the media.
- Get social. The real impact of your efforts will be felt on social media this year. Make sure you post photos and encourage recipients to share their best shots with relevant hashtags, including #PetalItForward.
- Share your stories. Be sure to tag SAF in your social media posts or send an email to email@example.com after the event with some of your favorite moments, so that we can share in the good cheer generated through this year’s event.
For more information, visit SAF’s Petal It Forward resource center.
Katie Vincent is the senior contributing writer and editor for the Society of American Florists.