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2019 Petal It Forward set for Wednesday, Oct. 23

Imagine the streets of your city filled with smiling people holding bouquets. Picture your social media feeds brimming with messages of thanks to your shop for making a person’s day brighter. Envision a local reporter asking you why floral gifts make such a positive difference in people’s lives.

These scenarios and others like them have played out for hundreds of floral industry members who have participated in Petal It Forward.

SAF’s 2019 Petal It Forward campaign date is set for Wednesday, Oct. 23, and the Society of American Florists is spreading the word to increase industry participation and make it easy for members to plan their local events.

petal1Botanica International Design & Décor Studio handed out Petal It Forward bouquets in Tampa, FL, and scored prime news coverage last year with a story on ABC’s ‘Good Morning Tampa Bay.’ “The Petal It Forward concept is simple and easy to do, and it is one of the most engaging floral promotions in the industry’s history,” said SAF Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Sparks. “The ROI is huge for industry participants, as the program’s random-acts-of-kindness premise raises visibility with the local news, social media and consumers.”

Since 2015, the Society of American Florists has choreographed Petal It Forward. What started as an SAF-led promotional event in New York City has grown into a nationwide phenomenon that connects the entire floral industry and positions florists as do-gooders in their communities.

Last year, floral teams in 410 cities in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., took to the streets in 457 local Petal It Forward events with one goal: Share the power of flowers. Passersby received two bouquets — one to keep, one to share — and were asked to post a picture about it on social media with the hashtag #petalitforward.

As participating florists created local visibility, their efforts generated national reach. Public relations and social media efforts last year garnered nearly 90 million consumer impressions, reaching people far beyond the direct flower recipients with the power of flowers.

Get ready now to bring this award-winning promotion to your community.

“It’s a win-win to participate,” Sparks said. “For little effort, you give consumers the opportunity to experience the scientifically proven happiness that occurs when you give and receive flowers. At the same time, you position your business as a positive force in your community. That makes consumers feel good about you, which goes a long way in establishing customer loyalty. And, you give a morale boost to employees who play a part.”

SAF provides members with advice and materials at safnow.org/pif.

Jenny Scala is the director of marketing and communications for the Society of American Florists. safnow.org