(ALEXANDRIA, VA — Flowers make us happier, according to behavioral research conducted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Never has that been more important than right now with the evolving situation of COVID-19, and SAF spread that message in the media leading up to Mother’s Day.
SAF responded to a steady stream of requests from reporters curious about how the pandemic was impacting our industry’s ability to serve customers during one of our most important holidays. It was a great opportunity to tell dozens of media outlets that flowers and plants are a much-needed remedy to the weeks of isolation brought on by COVID and that the industry is perfectly equipped to deliver them safely.
Samantha Chatman of ABC-7 in Chicago interviewed SAF CEO Kate Penn, who emphasized that there’s no research the virus can be transmitted through flowers. She noted florists are taking extra precautions, such as “making sure designers have their own tools, not connecting with the person who is receiving the flowers, they are calling ahead and saying ‘I’m coming by, and leaving flowers on your doorstep,'” Penn said. “People are looking for a way to connect with people they haven’t been able to see. Flowers become this really nice way to bring people together.
SAF also reached out to the marketing executives at several different companies that were taking a swipe at flowers in their efforts to promote their products for Mother’s Day We’ve seen this all too often, the “don’t buy flowers, buy X.” Each outreach is an opportunity to eliminate this frustrating tactic and get brands to promote their products on their own merits. Some of these were international brands, such as Basil Hayden’s, a small batch Jim Beam whiskey, which ran ads in publications such as Travel & Leisure magazine stating, “Because I don’t believe a houseplant warms a house.” SAF received a response from the Travel & Leisure editor, noting that their publisher would pass along our concerns to Basil Hayden’s, and that she personally supports florists and small businesses in her neighborhood whenever she can.
For more information on how the floral industry is doing in this time, or to schedule an interview with our CEO Kate Penn, please contact Jennifer McNally at [email protected].
The Society of American Florists is the only national trade association that represents all segments of the U.S. floral industry. SAF provides government advocacy, education and marketing advice; and connects industry members who want to learn, share ideas and grow; helps the industry recruit and retain talent; and provides guidance to the industry to prepare for and navigate the future. The association was chartered by an act of Congress in 1884. To learn more about SAF or to join, visit safnow.org.