News about flowers and florists reached a milestone in June when Family Circle magazine told nearly 14 million readers to buy flowers for a guaranteed uplift. This means that more than 500 million consumers have learned about the positive effects of flowers in national magazines and via television, radio and newspaper articles in 120 local markets, thanks to SAF’s Fund for Nationwide Public Relations.
Established by the Society of American Florists (SAF) in 2001, the PR Fund is an industry-wide voluntary promotion effort that supports the development of innovative public relations programs to reach millions of consumers with positive messages about the unique benefits of flowers and the expertise of professional florists.
“The focus of the fund is public relations — the most effective way to reach consumers with limited dollars,” says Dwight Larimer, AAF, president of DESIGN MASTER color tool inc. in Boulder, Colo., and chairman of SAF’s Consumer Marketing Committee. “Putting positive floral messages in the context of everyday news is our goal.
“The June Family Circle article is based on the results from SAF’s Emotional Impact of Flowers Study, which was conducted four years ago at Rutgers University. Other PR Fund programs that are generating positive publicity for the floral industry include:
Flower Fundamentals. SAF’s year-long Flower Fundamentals public relations campaign features celebrity spokesperson Rebecca Cole, floral designer and co-host of the Discovery Channel's “Surprise by Design”; strategic media relations activities; and a month-by-month guide on floral gift-giving. The campaign incorporates the positive findings from SAF’s new Consumer Attitudes & Behaviors about Floral Purchasing Study and builds on SAF's university research on the emotional benefits of flowers and plants.
Flower Therapy. SAF is drawing on the powerful impact of color and emotion to educate consumers on how flowers in different color combinations can enhance (or adjust) feelings.
The Impact of Flowers & Plants on Workplace Productivity Study. Problem-solving skills, idea generation and creative performance improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants, according to a study conducted by SAF in partnership with Texas A&M University.
Flowers & Seniors Study. Forget the fountain of youth; scientific research proves flowers help senior citizens cope with the challenges of aging. The evidence comes from a six-month behavioral study for which SAF partnered with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; to explore what effect flowers have on seniors.
Emotional Impact of Flowers Study. SAF’s study with Rutgers University proves the gift of flowers has an immediate impact on people’s happiness and increases life satisfaction. The messages from SAF’s public relations programs have generated 42 placements in popular national magazines including: ) Redbook, Fitness, Health, Allure, First for Women, Ladies Home Journal, Parents, Working Mother, Today's Black Woman, Fit and Better Homes &Gardens .
“Through the PR Fund, SAF has accomplished amazing results with limited resources,” Larimer says. “With additional support, the possibilities are endless.” SAF would like to thank the 2,000 retailers, wholesaler, suppliers, importers and growers who are supporting the PR Fund. Sign up now to contribute to this initiative by contacting SAF at (800) 336-4743 or Member info 
All consumer research studies and media hits are a direct result of the SAF Fund for Nationwide Public Relations. To learn more about the fund, visit www.safnow.org/marketing/fund.cfm . To learn more about SAF’s consumer research studies, visit www.safnow.org/research/consumer_research.cfm . The fund also supports www.aboutflowers.com , SAF’s consumer Web site. It features SAF consumer research studies, care and handling tips, a floral personality quiz, a floral library and a Florist Directory of SAF retail members. PR Fund participants enjoy premium placement and a Web link in the directory. For more information, contact Jenny Stromann at (800) 336-4743 or firstname.lastname@example.org .