The Society of American Florists’ annual feel-good initiative, Petal It Forward, is a great marketing tool for floral businesses that helps consumers experience the joy that flowers bring. To maximize the marketing potential, SAF is making a push to get floral businesses from all 50 states to participate in the Oct. 19 event, which asks floral businesses to give away two bouquets — one for the recipient to keep and one for them to pass along.
“Nationwide participation amplifies the message that flowers spread happiness and, if floral businesses from all 50 states take part Petal it Forward, it is more likely to garner attention from the national media,” says SAF’s Marketing and Communications Manager Elizabeth Daly.
To date, 60 businesses from 24 states have registered for Petal It Forward. Last year, 475 floral businesses from 45 states and three countries outside the U.S. took part in the event.
In the latest issue of Floral Management, several florists share their top tips to maximize the marketing opportunities of this one-day event.
Be a Publicity Pleaser
From reaching traditional local media outlets to creating social media posts and the signage, there are several ways to draw attention to the event.
George Clements, owner of George’s Flowers in Roanoke, Virginia, pitched the event to the local media and landed spots on three local news programs last year. His Petal It Forward event was also featured by the local radio station and the daily newspaper.
He accomplished the coverage by sending press releases before the event, and he also says it helps to be available for media calls. He encourages participants to work with journalists and provide them with opportunities to film or photograph candid moments throughout the day.
“Show the media how you work,” he says. “You are the senior ambassador.”
Social media is a great way to capture — and share — the fun of Petal It Forward. Banner Flower House in Kokomo, Indiana, designates one person on staff to take pictures and videos of the flower giveaway, says Michelle Runyon, the shop’s designer and social media guru. Video, Runyon adds, has the benefit of sound.
“If you get them saying things like, ‘I never got flowers before!’ it is more effective,” she says.
This year, Runyon will tease the event on the shop’s social media channels with a campaign that is light-hearted and fun. She says social media is one of the best ways to get the word out to the community.
To read more about how florists prepare for and market Petal It Forward, read “The Petal It Forward Payoff” in the September/October issue of Floral Management.
Want to participate? Click here to register your business and access online resources to help you execute a successful Petal It Forward. Resources include sample press releases, card templates, social media images, media talking points and more.
Sarah Sampson is a contributing writer for the Society of American Florists.