US: SAF prompts nation to Petal It Forward

Taxi drivers, food vendors, law enforcement officers and everyday Americans heading to work were among the thousands of people who received flowers in New York on the morning of October 19.

Capitalizing on the popular “pay-it forward” initiatives and random acts of kindness, the Society of American Florists’ flower street team of enthusiastic “happiness ambassadors,” including employees from Starbright Floral Design in New York City, hit the streets of midtown Manhattan with 4,400 bouquets to surprise busy commuters with flowers and provide them with two bouquets — one to keep and one to “Petal It Forward” to a friend, loved one, co-worker or even a complete stranger.

“It was an incredible morning illustrating the Rutgers University research that flowers create true delight and enjoyment,” said Jennifer Sparks, SAF’s vice president of marketing. “As much as people were thrilled to get flowers, being able to experience giving flowers to someone else, excited them even more.”

Sparks added that this plays out the statistics from SAF’s 2015 omnibus research, which showed that while 80 percent of people said flowers make them happy, even more, 88 percent said that giving flowers makes them happy.

Spreading the positive message about flowers, through the unique strategy behind the “keep one, give one” giveaway, as well as generating traditional news coverage and social media buzz, is the goal of SAF’s Petal It Forward campaign. SAF’s ‘happiness ambassadors’ encouraged bouquet recipients to share their experiences on social media with the hashtag #petalitforward, and SAF is sharing photos on its consumer channels including Instagram @about_flowers, Twitter @flowerfactor, Facebook @aboutflowers. Thanks to funding from Asocolflores, SAF is implementing a strategic social media plan on all of SAF’s consumer channels, with paid promoted posts on Facebook and Instagram to take the Petal It Forward message viral, reaching far beyond the recipients of today’s flowers.

SAF’s New York City event headlined a nationwide effort that included 256 local Petal It Forward events in more than 225 cities in all 50 states on Oct. 19.


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