“Our community has grown so much since 2002,” Freeman explained, “especially since social media kicked the Internet world into high gear. It was simply time to dedicate someone to ensure that we are meeting and exceeding our expectations as an authoritative resource for florists.”
After putting out word that he was looking for someone to become his community/social media manager, Freeman received an avalanche of inquiries and resumes.
“Wow. Just, wow,” Freeman said of his initial response. “There are times when you just have to sit back in amazement and smile—because that’s the only thing you’re capable of at the moment. I was thoroughly and utterly humbled as I started to review the list of candidates. There were some amazing people who had applied,” he added.
After what Freeman described as the “seemingly impossible task” of finalizing a short list of candidates and conducting interviews, he offered the position to Gina Kellogg, a veteran journalist out of Kansas City with roots in the industry reaching back to her position as editor of Super Floral Retailing magazine.
Kellogg said, “My job as editor of Super Floral Retailing instilled a passion in me for florists and their needs that has never gone away, even after I left the industry to pursue other career goals.” Prior to her position with SFR, Kellogg served in a variety of editorial roles for business and technical magazines, including those in the garden-retail and landscaping industries. In recent years, she followed a different path as director of communications for an international association for waterpark owners and managers, editorial-content director for a national newsletter-publishing firm with more than one million subscribers and editorial director/publisher for an international association-
After reconnecting with many of her former colleagues via the professional networking website www.LinkedIn.com, she was invited to become a manager/moderator of one of LinkedIn’s largest groups for florists, FLOWERS SUPERGROUP! Her involvement notched upward even more when Brendon Held contacted her. Held, owner and administrator of an international website for florists and flower lovers, www.FloristChronicles.com, based out of Durban, South Africa, asked her to partner with him as editor and lead contributor of the website, one of the only websites in the world focused exclusively on the use and care of fresh flowers.
“Developing and writing content for FloristChronicles really allowed me to pursue my interest in helping educate consumers about how to get the most value from the flowers they buy. So many have no idea how to care for flowers. They plop them in a vase, and that’s it. Then, a week later, when all the petals have fallen off and the leaves have yellowed, they complain that flowers don’t last and are just a waste of money.
“I’m out to change that perception and teach them how to get the longest vase life from their floral purchases,” Kellogg explained.
Working with florists is an important part of that goal, Kellogg says, so she was eager to jump on board with FlowerChat when the position of community/social manager became available.
Kellogg’s role will be to help FlowerChat grow even more as it leverages itself as a place where florists can gather online to discuss ways to improve the industry—particularly as florists face more difficulties in attracting consumers’ discretionary dollars.
“FlowerChat was the first membership-based online forum for florists and is the most-respected,”
About the company: FlowerChat is the online home to thousands of florists, wholesalers, service providers and others in the floral industry. For additional information, visit http://www.flowerchat.com. Corporate offices: 6-6150 Highway 7, Suite 400, Woodbridge, ON L4H 0R6. Phone: 800.314.8895.