For one florist in Kokomo, Indiana, a one-day, feel-good campaign last year led to happy customers, glowing press coverage — and requests from her local police department to please, please do the same thing again this year.
Michelle Herr of Banner Flower House is among the 40 (and counting) suppliers, growers, wholesalers, and retailers in 27 states and Canada, gearing up for the Society of American Florists’ Petal It Forward 2017 on October 11.
Last year, Herr coordinated the giveaway with her shop’s 110th anniversary with Petal It Forward, partnering with local police to hand out flowers to surprised recipients.
“Our city police picked up our two perky young sales girls in a police cruiser. They left our parking lot with sirens blaring and lights flashing,” Herr said, noting that last year’s effort was picked up by The Kokomo Tribune. “Our police department felt like it was a ‘warm and fuzzy’ event for them to participate in. They want to do it again this year.”
Those community-wide good feelings (and potential event partners) could be in your shop’s future, too, said SAF Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Sparks, who adds that “now is the time to lay the groundwork for your local Petal It Forward 2017 event.”
“Petal It Forward is a ‘random acts of kindness’ type of flower giveaway, where consumers on the street receive two flower bouquets or flowers — one to keep and one to share — to demonstrate the Rutgers University research that shows flowers make people happy,” Sparks said. “Recipients are asked to post a photo with flowers on social media with the hashtag #petalitforward — to spread the message about flower power.”
Consider following Herr’s lead and teaming up with a community group to generate additional buzz, and talk with your wholesaler or flower supplier to see how you can work together on product.
SAF provides members with Petal It Forward step-by-step advice and materials at safnow.org/petalitforward.
“If you plan to hold an event on Oct. 11, fill out the participation form at safnow.org/pifform,” Sparks said. “This will help SAF compile a list of Petal It Forward events to show the media it is happening all over the country and help us generate positive news coverage.”
Petal It Forward 2016 included 262 events in 234 cities in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, generating more 328 million consumer impressions showcasing the positive impact flowers have on emotional well-being.