Getting your marijuana brand picked up in established cannabis media is a challenge. As the market starts to brim with exciting hemp products and paraphernalia, how do you separate yourself from the crowd?
In the U.S. and internationally, the cannabis landscape is forever evolving. According to Investopedia, global sales of cannabis products are expected to reach $33.6 billion by 2025.
If you are planning on making your way into the marijuana world, you will need a cannabis PR firm to assist you. Whether it’s seeding opportunities into the media (interviews), or circulating cannabis press releases, it matters who you hire.
Marijuana is an industry that suffers from a lousy stigma of years of negative press. It’s the duty of pro-cannabis media experts to navigate this realm and educate the public that the marijuana world is something to take seriously.
The science of the effectiveness of cannabis, its medicinal properties, and improved methods of recreationally enjoying it, makes it a sector that can honestly promise a better future.
But how do you select the perfect cannabis media partner to take your offering or message to the world?
Here are a few tips from experts in the cannabis media world.
1. Crisis Management
No PR firm should present its strategy without a crisis communication plan. Even if you’re a mom-and-pop small enterprise, there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the legalities.
Not to mention that crossing into the wrong state can result in jail time.
Nineteen states still uphold the draconian penalty of arresting and jailing Americans for the simple possession of marijuana.
While strides have been made, there’s still work to be done to ensure that all states decriminalize weed.
With the legalities on a federal level up in the air, you need to be prepared that your brand could be involved in a state battle.
And although no one can plan for all eventualities, you will want your professional media company to present a comprehensive crisis plan.
These talking points are then prepared if the worst happens, and you can react within an acceptable timeframe.
That’s why it’s important to sign off on these statements to allow your PR firm to circulate your comment as soon as the news breaks. Any hesitation could result in a missed opportunity.
2. Opportunities to Jump Upon
A PR company that’s not actively looking for opportunities is one that’s missing out on all of them.
What some might refer to as “newsjacking” is the art of positioning your brand as an expert and being able to make a newsworthy comment.
Arguably, this is a strategy that all sectors can take advantage of, but in the cannabis world, it’s a must.
Your professional PR media company should be able to advise you on how to comment, and other assets you should share with the publication, news network, or broadcaster.
Most media outlets want cannabis news to circulate to their audience as it is a hot topic that draws in the users. But these comments need to be crafted into a professional press release.
3. Strategy for Events and Speaking Events
Cannabis professionals are poised to share a mountain of information with the world. Whether it’s about CBD, edibles, or technology, the marijuana sector is reinventing the status quo, daily.
Events like CBD & Hemp White Label Expo are great opportunities for cannabis entrepreneurs to meet like-minded professionals and share their new product offerings.
While some marijuana events spread their attention across the industry, there’s still time for hyper-focused events, which your cannabis PR firm should be on the lookout for, 24/7.
The last two strategies target a more general market, but cannabis events ensure that you talk directly to the client base that you want to buy your product.
4. Create Content That Speaks To Your Clients
No brand can afford not to upload its own content. Since the advent of social media and blogging, communications and content need to be generated daily.
The problem with the continuous flow of content is whether or not it is interesting. Creating communication that appeals to your customers is vital if you want them to return.
Topics can vary widely, and your PR firm should be able to advise on the subject matter that will get results. So they will suggest gathering insights from your clients on what subject matter they want to learn about, or are concerned about.
Hopefully, they’ve completed some brainstorming for topics before they’ve entered the conference room with you. But it won’t hurt to take part in a brainstorming session to gain an insight into their thinking.
A part of generating your content is an SEO plan. Once again, there’s no point in developing content your clients can’t find. Thus the need to implement a solid SEO strategy.
Often, it’s wise to merge SEO content with PR-related work. If your PR firm organizes a speaking opportunity you should ve talking about it before, during, and afterward.
SEO and PR need to work together to amplify the messaging.
If your potential firm presents a strategy that is not planning to merge SEO and PR work, they’re not the professional media company you want to work with.
5. Develop a Social Following
Social media is an excellent tool to reach new potential clients and form fan bases. This being said, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will automatically throttle your brand’s reach because you are in the cannabis world.
Other channels like email automation will also deny access to using their services due to your business being cannabis-centered. Social media marketing for dispensaries is currently limited due to rules and regulations.
This being said, you can still utilize these platforms. Share content about your speaking opportunities, educational material, and more.
Also, being able to repurpose content to live on other channels is a great way to expand your brand’s reach and makes financial sense. Pay once and reuse it over all your social networks.
And with the cannabis industry, you’d be wise to focus on outlets like Reddit to circulate news and articles. Often articles that are distributed on these platforms are repurposed across the internet.
Before uploading your content to these platforms, make sure that all your content can’t be taken out of context or doesn’t spark controversy.
While some will say, “There’s no such thing as bad press.” The truth is – lousy press will end a small company and its dreams in a heartbeat.
Cannabis Social Media Marketing
Cannabis Social media platforms, as mentioned, will throttle your reach on their channels, but with influencers, they can’t.
Influencers work on social media channels, and the individuals your PR firm can get a hold of, matter.
By recruiting the correct influencers, you can expect gains in organic traffic from their recommendations. But don’t rely on a simple gift drop, most influencers will react poorly if they aren’t approached professionally.
Make sure your PR firm sends them a professional press release that asks for a pricing list, or an influencer document, which would outline what your brand requires from them.
Hiring a PR firm that cannot manage influencers and their schedule is a company you’ll need to avoid.
6. Focus on Wellness
As stated, cannabis has a stigma that is impossible to ignore. No matter how many scientific white papers you quote, you will never be able to separate your brand from the cliched marijuana image.
But the wellness sector has cultivated an image of authority by talking about the benefits of natural supplements like THC and CBD.
The sooner you move your cannabis business’s PR strategy towards a brand that talks about the health benefits, the sooner you’ll be able to leave the cliched pothead image behind.
The wellness sector shares a few talking points with the cannabis world: research, lifestyle changes, and personal wellness. Consuming marijuana in moderation isn’t a drug problem but a method to assist with relaxing, treating anxiety, and more.
Tapping into this strategy of promoting wellness over the old focus of THC content and getting generally high is the best way of moving your cannabis brand into the future.
While the industry is expanding, it’s also a welcoming one. Finding cannabis media outlets to collaborate with is a great way to boost relations and audience reach.
This collaboration can take place as a joint giveaway, contributing content, or just sharing information.
In regards to the PR media field, your agency should be able to facilitate meetings between real players in the industry. Leveraging your brand by collaborating will expand your reach and create a narrative that you’re about the health of the cannabis industry.
Now that you know what you’re looking for in a cannabis PR firm, let’s list a few of our favorites.
Best cannabis pr firms for cannabis
With so much at stake for your cannabis business, you need to be sure that you select the best PR firm.
While you’re armed with the tools & tips above to help identify the best pr agency, let’s look at some of the top players in the business. These cannabis pr agencies can help you gain exposure as well as assist you with cannabis social media marketing.
Marketing in the cannabis industry requires more than PR. Cannasite has perfected an efficient, lightning-fast strategy that utilizes your business goals and their expertise to deliver a strategically branded and effective website — all within one week.
Cannasite offers creative cannabis branding that can take your brand to new heights.
Specializing in creating premium brand images for cannabis clients, the team believes in telling stories to build brands.
They also have meaningful media relationships that span the globe. It’s also worth a mention that the company has an eye for design.
The Rosen Group shares award-winning case studies for cannabis PR campaigns, and their publication placements include cheddar, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.
If you need proof that cannabis is a serious business that real investors want a piece of, the Rosen Group’s media placements speak louder than words.
Specializing in medicinal marijuana players, they also operate across international borders.
They are a full-service agency with awards to back up their credentials. Their core promise is to put the spotlight on your business.
Kip Morrison & Associates has been in business for 30 years and claims to be the nation’s first national cannabis PR firm.
Operating in the cannabis space since 2013, they promise to secure opportunities in the top-tier press and create branding eminence.
The company boldly claims they won’t sit back and wait for their clients to make news, but strategize to assist clients to make it.
It also states that the sector is already worth north of $130 million in the USA.
They want to help emerging brands break through into the market successfully.
Turning their focus from working with traditional giant clients, the team at Human Nature believes the future is female. By female, they mean cannabis plant.
With their team leaders admitting to sharing a room with Snoop Dogg smoking, we can say they “walk the walk and hit the bong from time to time”.
The company has produced more than 175 episodes of The Green Rush, which has become the most respected podcast in the industry.
They also boast an amazing list of influencers who are willing to collaborate with you and your brand.
But what if you’re looking at circulating your own professionally written press releases into the world. After all, hiring a PR firm might not be in your budget if you’re working with super tight margins.
Bonus: Best Cannabis Press Release Distribution
Most of the aforementioned PR firms will be using a pr agency service to distribute their releases. While not considered a PR secret, this will be news for those not involved in the media world.
Services like NEWSWIRE will assist in getting your news across the globe. It is a paid-press distribution service, offering press release writing and guaranteed media placements for some prominent media outlets.
Signing up for services like these will also help those who want to take control of their own media presence. However, the media connections that a dedicated cannabis pr agency can connect you with are unmatched.
After all, sometimes business owners know the market so well that it’s best that they keep a close eye on what is being put out into the world.
And for news outlets, being able to pull content from a central place that is engaging for their readers is a bonus. This is especially true when it is focused on the cannabis world.
Moving Forward With Cannabis Media
Whether or not you have the budget for your business, tapping into the cannabis media world is a must.
No business can survive in isolation, and circulating cannabis press releases is the best way to get noticed. The pr agencies mentioned have the right cannabis marketing tactics to help you gain exposure.
If you’re uncertain that you have the expertise, reach out to a cannabis PR firm mentioned above and let them know MaryJanes Post sent to you.
If you want to manage your own cannabis marketing you can sign up for a premium press release distribution and get the ball rolling yourself.
And if you need help, or have any other questions, feel free to contact us.