Flower Factor Public Relations Program
The Flower Factor launched in late April 2010 with a workshop in New York City for national magazines and premier media to about flowers. The program, featuring a trio of experts in entertaining, home decorating and relationships, is spreading the message to flowers and plants are a contemporary, affordable way to enhance many areas of your life, with tips on getting to know your local florist.
Entertaining expert JEANNE BENEDICT, host of DIY Network’s Weekend Entertaining, is a party expert, chef and author of four books including The Sophisticated Cookie and Celebrations. Jeanne shares easy, uncomplicated ways to use flowers to make a statement for your next party or get-together.
- Decorating expert KELLI ELLIS is a mainstay on TLC’s Clean Sweep, HGTV’s Takeover My Makeover and resident designer on Bravo’s Real Housewives of Orange County. Kelli shares designer tricks for great spaces adorned with flowers and plants.
- Relationship expert CHRISTINE ARYLO, author of Choosing ME Before WE, inspires womeChristine Arylon to get the success and happiness they want by living and loving their most real and wise selves first. Christine shares creative floral gifting advice to build loving relationships, send spontaneous love and improve the mood of a friend.
Thanks to a $75,000 contribution to the SAF Fund for Nationwide Public Relations by the Flower Promotion Organization, the Flower Factor held a one-hour webcast from the workshop where bloggers nationwide were invited to participate.
Social Media Drives SAF’s 2011 PR Efforts
Social media has fast become the go-to resource for the media: According to Cison, the majority of reporters use social media for research, with 89 percent saying they turn to blogs, 65 percent to sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn and 52 percent to microblogging services such as Twitter.
SAF is harnessing the power of social media and tapping into the expertise of member florists and lifestyle experts in its 2011 Consumer Marketing Program. In addition, SAF will provide new marketing materials and advice to help members promote their businesses locally.
Consumers, bloggers and traditional media will converge with florists via the Flower Factor Social Media Hub, an online destination, packed with floral trends and research information, videos, high-resolution photos and events.
SAF’s 2010 Flower Factor public relations program will be enhanced in 2011 to add in-depth content to the new social media hub, with the program’s spokeswomen playing a key role. Dubbed “The Fleurtations” by SAF, entertaining expert Jeanne Benedict, interior decorator Kelli Ellis, and relationship expert Christine Arylo will continue sharing their philosophies about the importance of flowers and florists in the 2011 program.
“Having The Fleurtations speak on the industry’s behalf is paying off for the floral industry," said Jennifer Sparks, SAF's vice president of marketing. “By having them include flowers and florists in their advice on relationships, interior decorating and entertaining, they show consumers how integral flowers are to daily life.”
In addition to Real Simple magazine, Meetings & Conventions magazine, GetMarried.com and BridalGuide.com, their floral advice has appeared in more than 1,000 articles nationwide as a direct result of SAF’s Flower Factor public relations campaign. During the campaign’s initial launch in April 2010, The Fleurtations gave one-on-one interviews with 22 writers and editors from national home and women’s magazines, as well as telephone interviews with freelance writers on behalf of SAF.
The Flower Factor Social Media Hub brings The Fleurtations together in 2011 for strategically targeted events aimed to inspire reporters and influential bloggers to write about positive experiences with flowers and florists, which in turn will increase consumer awareness of floral gifts. Events to engage bloggers and media nationwide include a Wedding Twitter Party and holiday home makeover.
“SAF’s public relations programs are evolving,” said SAF Consumer Marketing Chairman Steve Frye of Baisch & Skinner, Inc. in St. Louis. “And the Flower Factor Social Media Hub will be the true center of floral information and sharing.” The Flower Factor Social Media Hub will point visitors to www.nationalfloristdirectory.com, www.aboutflowers.com, Aboutflowers.com on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter feeds.
SAF will continue fueling the local publicity efforts of its members. In August 2011, members will receive a new Local Marketing Kit with two posters. The posters reflect the results of SAF’s Generations of Flowers Study, which revealed the most about Gen Y (people born between 1981-1994), the floral industry’s next age group of customers and its most challenging. According to the research, Gen Y is most likely to purchase flowers in person and deliver them themselves.
The poster headlined “Express Yourself” will depict an edgy Gen Y-er carrying a bouquet as an illustration of this target market’s focus on highly personalized gifts. “Shop locally. Live colorfully: We’re Your Local Florist” speaks to Gen Y’s preference of purchasing flowers in person as well as growing consumer interest by all age groups in buying local.
Members receive exclusive access on www.safnow.org to how-to advice and promotional ideas, customizable print ads and fliers complementing the posters’ designs. Matching postcards and statement stuffers will be available for order. Information about the Generations of Flowers Study is available to members only.
SAF’s 2011 marketing programs are possible thanks to SAF retail dues and voluntary contributions to the SAF Fund for Nationwide Public Relations by wholesalers, suppliers, importers and growers.