In early April, a team of ambassadors representing the Society of American Florists (SAF) trekked through the Pacific Northwest in a vintage-style van — "The Flower Power Mobile" — offering unsuspecting people free flowers and tips to alleviate stress. Their journey from San Francisco to Portland, Ore., to Seattle received a flurry of press coverage not just because of the rad van, but also because SAF was telling the story of how scientific research proves the stress-reducing powers of flowers.
SAF Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Sparks was quoted on “Afternoon Live” on Portland’s ABC affiliate.
“We are providing a solution that helps people cope with stress in little ways throughout the day.”
During the live broadcast, Sparks introduced April as Stress Awareness Month, and shared statistics from Wakefield Research (68 percent of Americans report feeling stressed on a weekly basis; 32 percent endure it every day).
Sparks then dove into results from the University of North Florida's recent research study, "The Impact of Flowers on Perceived Stress Among Women."
"It's that contact with nature so many of us crave. The really great thing about flowers is that they bring the beauty of nature indoors. Simply having them on your desk or nightstand can significantly improve your wellbeing."
Two anchors from Portland’s NBC affiliate helped SAF distribute flowers, both of whom experienced the recipients’ joyful reactions when handed a bouquet.
Prior to the #StressLess Tour, SAF sent a press release to news organizations nationwide. SAF followed up with a nationwide media blast after the San Francisco events with pictures and video footage to carry the flower power message far beyond the three cities visited during the tour.
To take the message even further and to reach the millennial audience, SAF partnered with key social influencers with large, dedicated followings. Portland fashion blogger Kristina McInness joined SAF on location and spread flower power to her 87,000 Instagram followers and 5,000 blog subscribers.
[For more information on social influencers, revisit our story in the February 2019 issue, “Screen time sway.”]
McInness’ April 20 Instagram post, which featured a photo of the Flower Power Mobile and facts from the UNF study, got nearly 1,000 likes and more than 100 comments, including:
“Love this! I believe it too. Flowers are just too beautiful, so it makes sense they reduce stress.”
“What a happy soul – this is why I always have flowers around.”
“Definitely agree that flowers help relieve stress.”
“I completely agree! Love my flowers.”
In Seattle, YouTube star Monica Church, whose channel “Millennial Life Crisis” has more than 350,000 subscribers, joined the effort and vlogged about the experience as she counted flowers as a top way to relieve stress. Her video, “6 Ways to Destress Your Life This Spring” has more than 18,500 views and counting.
The #StressLess Tour is another fun and clever example of how to get green industry products in front of consumers and in the news. In next month’s issue, I’ll give you more inspiration from a group of your peers giving away plants and spreading joy.