Petal It Forward: Capitalize on SAF’s Event to Promote Your Shop
Petal It Forward
Contacting the Media
Sample Press Release
Sample Media Advisory
Flower Card Template
Flower Event Messages
Social Media Messages
Whether it’s paying for a fellow commuter’s toll, or leaving a generous restaurant tip, “pay it forward” actions are all the rage. News coverage on people spreading kindness has evolved into an ongoing feel-good story on traditional and social media channels across the U.S.
SAF is taking part in this feel-good trend through its Petal It Forward campaign, leveraging study findings on how flowers have an immediate impact on happiness and a long-term positive effect on moods (and that people report the best reason to receive flowers is “just because”).
The campaign aims to generate media coverage (through both social and traditional media outlets) highlighting the benefits of flowers — the positive impact flowers have in our work productivity and emotional state — and positioning SAF websites (aboutflowers.com and aboutflowersblog.com) as viable resources for consumers.
SAF’s Petal It Forward Event (NYC)
On Wednesday, October 7, 2015, SAF’s marketing team will hit the streets of New York and randomly present two flower bouquets each to people throughout the city. Recipients will be asked to “Petal It Forward” by giving one of their bouquets to someone special in their life, or even a stranger who could use a smile. They will be encouraged to share how they Petal It Forward by posting a picture using the hashtag #PetalItForward and tagging SAF’s Instagram, @About_Flowers or Twitter, @FlowerFactor. And they’ll be reminded that they can continue to spread the happiness throughout the year by visiting their local florist.
How to Petal It Forward in Your Community
Join SAF on Wednesday, October 7th (or sometime that week) and host a Petal It Forward event in your community. Here’s how you can do your own event and help take this campaign nationwide:
Before the Event
• Get single stems or create small bouquets to surprise people on the street with flowers.
o Partner with your wholesaler to see if they’d like to join you in the effort.
o Print out this Petal It Forward card to attach to the flowers, which has instructions for recipients to share their experience. (Feel free to add your shop name and/or logo to the back.)
• Consider getting t-shirts printed in your signature shop color with #PETALITFORWARD on the front (click here for a template) and your shop logo.
• Reach out to media outlets in advance and inform them about your upcoming Petal It Forward event. Click here for tips on contacting the media.
• Follow and share SAF’s #PetalItForward posts on Instagram @About_Flowers, on Twitter @FlowerFactor, and on Facebook @AboutFlowers, for additional ideas.
During the Event
• Stand in front of your shop or find a high-traffic area such as bus stops, busy streets, near movie theaters, or anywhere you’d like — be creative — to hand out the flowers. (Note: Check with your city to inquire if permission is needed to hand out flowers in public areas.)
o Make sure your flower team is decked out in branded gear with your shop name.
o Click here for messages on what your team should say when handing out the flowers.
• Encourage flower recipients to take selfies and share on Instagram and other social media channels using #PetalItForward and tagging @About_Flowers and your shop. Click here to find out about the importance of hashtags.
• Take pictures of your arrangements and your local event using #PetalItForward and tagging @About_Flowers on Instagram, @FlowerFactor on Twitter, and @AboutFlowers on Facebook.
• Share the event on all your social media channels (live, while it’s happening!). Click here for suggested posts/tweets.
• Remind your community that they can spread happiness all year by visiting your shop.
After the Event
• Reach out to your local news station or send out press releases to inform them of your local Petal It Forward event. Click here for tips on contacting the media for the event. Click here for a sample press release that you can customize.
• Send an email with photos and a description of your Petal It Forward event to the local newspaper.
CONTACTING THE MEDIA: Tips to Boost Your Media Coverage
Create a Media List
Make a list of newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, news-related websites, event calendars and blogs in your community. You may want to ask a local organization or the local Chamber of Commerce if they have a list they would share.
Once research is complete, you’ll be ready to build a press list. Find phone numbers and email addresses for reporters covering events, local news stories and similar events. Be sure to include assignment editors, producers and freelance reporters to your list. If you can’t find the specific contact information online, call the “news desk” to get the answers you need.
Compile all of this information to create your media list. A well-organized spreadsheet will go a long way in keeping everything straight and make outreach easier for your event. Be sure to check back periodically to make sure your list is up to date.
Know Who You’re Pitching
Get to know your local media outlets and the reporters. Read the papers, watch the shows, and listen to the radio stations to get a sense of the reporters’ interests and themes. Start thinking about how your Petal It Forward event will help extend the reporters’ subject matter further.
When you make your pitch, let the writer know how and where your idea might fit. Think through the idea through the reporter’s eyes — how will this piece be of interest and need to their audience? How will it meet their criteria?
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are great resources to help you get to know reporters, what they cover, and you may even get a glimpse into their personal life. For example, Twitter can offer clues as to where the reporter is and what they are doing that day. Also, many reporters will respond to direct messages through Twitter faster than other avenues.
Customize a Press Release and Media Advisory
A press release is an excellent way to get media attention before, during and after your event. The press release will house facts and important information to help reporters tell your story. Click here to find a customizable press release for your Petal It Forward event. Send a press release before and after your event.
A media advisory is the “who, what, where, when” for your event, which should be sent to journalists a week before the event. This will provide them with ample time to schedule coverage and have the information they need. Customize your media advisory here.
Timeline for Media Outreach
Having a strategy will help keep you on track for a successful media event.
• 3-6 weeks before event: Create an online event page on your website, submit the event to community calendars, and post your event on social media.
• One week before event: Email the media advisory and make follow-up calls to confirm it’s been received. Pitch the story to your local news outlets that would run in advance of the event such as a profile on your business or a preview of the event.
• Two to three business days before: Resend the advisory to unresponsive media to make sure that you’re still on their radar. Make another round of follow-up calls and ask if they plan to cover the event so you will know to look for them.
• The day of the event: Prepare a media sign-in sheet with: name, outlet, e-mail, and phone number to keep track of the journalists who come. Be sure to have several copies of the press release on hand to pass out to journalist.
• After the event: Follow-up with media that attended your event to thank them for their time. For media that didn’t attend the event, consider sending pictures and a post-event press release detailing how many flowers were distributed, people’s reactions or a special newsworthy moment.
No matter how hard you work on your press release, there is always a chance that a reporter might not get to it. It pays to put in a little extra effort. One way to get reporters interested is to mail them something unexpected that supports your message and will make them curious about the event.
• Send reporters a small bouquet with the media advisory, inviting them to the event.
o Deliver a bouquet with a note reading, “Every day we make people smile. On October 7th, we’re going to make a bunch of people smile. Find out how by contacting (insert contact information).”
Once you have submitted your press release or media advisory by email or special delivery, it is important to follow-up with a phone call on the same day. Leave a message if necessary and then respectfully call back the next day. When you talk to a reporter, first confirm he/she received your release and that you’ve contacted the correct person. This is your chance to briefly pitch your event as a newsworthy story.
Remember reporters are often on deadline and don’t have a lot of time to talk. Be short and easy to understand. Touch on your talking points and explain exactly why you have asked them to cover your Petal It Forward event.
When you talk to reporters, it is important to have key talking points in mind. Here are a few suggestions (but feel free to come up with your own!):
• We’re members of the Society of American Florists and are participating in the #PetalItForward event to show our community the true power of flowers. #PetalItForward is a nationwide event taking place this week. We’re here in (name of town) spreading smiles.
• There is a direct link between flowers and positive emotions. In fact, a Rutgers University study demonstrates that the presence of flowers make us happy – creating instant delight and enhancing our life satisfaction.
• We want people to experience this first hand, so we are giving two bouquets (or flowers) – one to keep, and one to share. We’re petalling it forward!
• Flowers touch all the senses: Fragrance, color, texture, beauty — for all these reasons, flowers say more than words can express.
• People have always used flowers to commemorate life’s special occasions such as weddings, and funerals, and milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries. Flowers are used to convey special messages such as “I love you” and “Get well,” to beautify homes and offices, and to create festive atmospheres for social gatherings. But what I find really interesting is “Just Because” may be the best reason of all to give flowers.
• A nationwide survey conducted by the Society of American Florists this year revealed 84% of Americans say the best reason for receiving flowers is “just because.”
• The happiness expressed when giving flowers is just as strong as receiving:
o 80% of Americans say, “receiving flowers from others makes me feel happy.”
o 88% say, “giving flowers to others makes me feel happy.”
If the media cover your event, you have a golden opportunity to keep the story alive by amplifying it yourself. This can be done by sending the article or video footage to other media channels, sharing it on social media and using the hashtag #PetalItForward and tagging @About_Flowers on Instagram, @FlowerFactor on Twitter, and @AboutFlowers on Facebook. Once a media outlet covers your story, other media outlets like TV and radio news are more likely to approach you as well.
FLOWER EVENT MESSAGES: Flowers Say a Lot. So Does Your Message.
Give your “flower bomb team” something easy and impactful to say when they’re handing out flowers. Here are a few messages your team can use:
• Change someone’s mood today by Petaling It Forward!
• Research proves flowers bring happiness to the giver and the recipient. Petal It Forward and find out for yourself!
• We hope this flower brightens your day. Now brighten someone else’s by Petaling It Forward!
• Spread some cheer today by Petaling It Forward!
• Studies show that you can change someone’s mood with flowers. Go ahead, Petal It Forward and brighten someone’s day!
• A flower for you and a flower for someone who is feeling blue. Petal It Forward and change their mood!
• Keep one for yourself and Petal the other Forward!
o If you’re posting your flowers on social media, please share with hashtag #PetalItForward!
SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES: The Power of Social Media
We recommend posting content directly to Instagram and cross-posting to Facebook from within the Instagram platform. In addition, we suggest posting to Twitter natively — doing so allows photos to appear within the Twitter stream, capturing the attention of those scanning through content. Always include the #PetalItFoward hashtag.
Why hashtags? Hashtags are words or phrases used on social media sites (prefaced by a # sign) that identify specific content and messaging. In this instance, using #PetalItForward indicates that a photo or message is part of a larger content series and allows social media users to explore all content related to the #PetalItForward campaign, which helps to spread the positive flower message.
We encourage all social media content to be tagged #PetalItForward. Once a hashtag is used with frequency, momentum can build. It also allows you (and us) to easily measure the success of the campaign after completion.
Messaging for Instagram and Facebook
Spread your event with these messages:
• Join in on the fun today as we #PetalItForward with @About_Flowers! We’ll be spreading happiness today by giving away two bouquets of flowers – one for the recipient and another to gift to someone else. Follow along at #PetalItForward all day!
• Follow along as we #PetalItForward with @About_Flowers! We’re gifting two flower bouquets – one to keep and another to spread even more happiness. How are you going to #PetalItForward today?
• Nothing brightens someone’s mood quite like receiving flowers. Follow along as we #PetalItForward today with @About_Flowers, surprising strangers with two flower bouquets – one to keep, and another to spread even more happiness.
• Flowers are scientifically proven to make us happy! We’re proving it today as we #PetalItForward with @About_Flowers! Look for us at (add location) – that’s where we will be gifting two bouquets – one for you and another to gift to someone else.
• “Just Because” – what a great reason to give flowers! We’re proving it today as we #PetalItForward with @About_Flowers! Look for us at (add location) – that’s where we will be, giving two bouquets to you – one to keep and one to share.
Messaging for Twitter
With only 140 characters, your message must be short but carry a punch. Here are some examples you can use:
• Follow along as we #PetalItForward with @FlowerFactor! How are you spreading happiness today?
• Follow along as we #PetalItForward with @FlowerFactor today. You just might be one of the strangers we surprise with flowers!
• Today, we #PetalItForward with @FlowerFactor! We’re randomly surprising people with flowers so that they can pass along the love.
• Nothing brightens someone’s mood quite like flowers. Join us as we #PetalItForward with @FlowerFactor today!
• Just because – what a great reason to give flowers! Join us as we #PetalItFoward with @FlowerFactor today!
• Today, we #PetalItFoward with @FlowerFactor! We’re bringing smiles to (add location)!
• Studies link flowers to happiness! We’re proving it today as we #PetalItForward with @FlowerFactor.