Talk about ringing endorsements. The Better Business Bureau and Kiplinger recommended shoppers buy Valentine’s Day flowers from florists who belong to the Society of American Florists.
The BBB advised: “Check for trade organization affiliation. Companies belonging to an association are likely current on the latest industry trends and committed to quality work and products. Find out if a florist is a member of an association like the Society of American Florists.”
Getting the most bang for your buck is a popular topic for Kiplinger, a publication dedicated to business forecasts and personal finance advice. Its website Kiplinger.com, receives nearly 4 million unique visits per month. Kiplinger’s Online Editor Andrea Browne Taylor contacted SAF for its article, “6 Ways to Save on Flowers for Valentine’s Day.”
The result? “Order From Your Local Florist.” “Find local florists via the Society of American Florists’ National Florists Directory.”
The article also encourages early deliveries with a quote from SAF’s Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Sparks: “Many florists will provide an incentive to encourage people to order and deliver early, such as a price discount, free or discounted delivery, or an add-on gift.”
As the national trade association, SAF is the voice of the floral industry and answered questions from a steady stream of media inquiries during the lead up to Valentine’s Day.
USA Today’s Snapshot Editor Mike Smith was one of them, and SAF provided statistics on the holiday to encourage their interest in covering flowers in a big way. The result? Not one, but two attention-getting Snapshots to put flowers top of mind among the national publication’s readers, which reaches almost 1 million per issue. The Feb. 6 Snapshot touted “38 percent of men and 21 percent of women purchased flowers or plants for Valentine’s Day in 2017”; the Feb. 9 Snapshot point out that “An estimated 250 million roses will be produced for Valentine’s Day.’
SAF’s President-Elect Chris Drummond, PFCI, president of Plaza Flowers in Norristown, Pennsylvania, advised consumers talk directly to their florist during an interview with Marena Galluccio, a writer with MagnifyMoney. The personal finance website boasts a viewership of more than 500,000 monthly and stories syndicated through a partnership to 47 news stations across the U.S., including WUSA-9 in Washington, D.C. in the article, “A florist’s advice for saving money on flowers: Shopping for Valentine’s Day flowers? We asked florists to share their tips.”
He is quoted throughout the piece dishing advice such as: “For Valentine’s Day, if you are on a budget, Drummond says every florist has a value option and suggests that consumers ask what’s available at their local shop. ‘It might just be like a really cool little container with a succulent and maybe some decorative stones and maybe an orchid,’ he said. ‘Just real simple, but the vase is kind of cool and it’s trendy and it has a lot of interest, but it’s not very large. So sometimes you can get something very fun, very different, without breaking the bank.’”
Trucking company Penske promoted flower power with SAF. The blog, “Trucking Industry Keeps the Bloom on Valentine’s Day Flower Deliveries,” quotes Sparks: “Most consumers want their flowers on Valentine’s Day, so it is vital that florists have their product on time and of the freshest quality. Trucking companies and their drivers play a big role in helping to make that happen.” The blog shares the scientific results of SAF’s Emotional Impact of Flowers Study with a link to aboutflowers.com. Drummond talks to the importance of refrigerated trucks to helping with the cold chain and in turn boosting the longevity of flowers.
In addition, SAF’s consumer websites were popular resources for the media and consumers during the four weeks leading up to the holiday. Combined, AboutFlowers.com, AboutFlowersBlog.com and the NationalFloristDirectory.com received more than 10,000 users.
ABC News was among the visitors. In “Valentine’s Day by the numbers,” the report cites: “Roses are the favorite flower for Valentine’s Day. The Society of American Florists estimates 250 million roses are produced for the day.”
The Winston-Salem Journal turned shared what the different colors of roses symbolize as well as information on the meanings of flowers in the article “Ask SAM: The history of Valentine’s Day.”
The Orange County Register also shared the meanings of flowers in “Here’s a Valentine’s Day preparation kit for flowers, poetry and more.”
“Did You Get Roses Today? Here’s How To Keep Them Longer,” the Cape Gazette provided SAF tips on flower care.
In addition to promoting flower power messages in the media, through phone conversations and an online resource center, SAF also helped local florists prep for interviews, with tips on generating local PR as well as anticipating questions and preparing talking points. Stay tuned to next week’s E-Brief for news on how SAF members generated news coverage for the holiday.