Tag Archive for: #1 cannabis PR firm
PR is still a critical component of any cannabis brand’s consumer product strategy. And you might find that PR is expensive, so you might ask yourself, “how can I get PR for my cannabis business?” There are two reasons to ask this question. The first is you want to hire a PR professional in-house, the second might be you’re trying to save money on your PR agency budget. Either way, you’ll want to dig more deeply in order to find your place in PR and maximize your financial or time investment.
Define Your Story
If you’ve ever heard someone say, “that’s not news,” it’s because there isn’t enough meat on the bone for your story. Case in point, being a minority-owned cannabis business, by itself, is not a story. But if you’re the first minority-owned cannabis business to set up a scholarship fund for minority students, that could be a story – especially if it ties in with the start or end of school. And whatever your story is, give it the lift it needs with data and noticeable numbers. You’ll find that cannabis journalists respond positively to stories that have enough background and information to write a piece about. Especially when it touches on trending topics. Be the brand or company that comes to a journalist with the solution to a cultural problem and you’ll find you can get more PR for your cannabis business, regardless of whether it comes from in-house or an agency.
From nostalgia to a cultural wink, pulling off a fun stunt, something that makes people look twice and laugh, almost always gets some PR attention. The attention may be from the press, or it might be as social media coverage, but getting your product in front of new people, or giving your current customers a reason to share your email with their friends, is priceless. And even if you don’t get massive reach on your stunt, you’ll have attached fun and happiness to your brand for those who saw it. This is how advertising campaigns get media coverage as well. You’ll find that Clio award-winning work very often has a wink and a smile behind it. Everyone appreciates the opportunity to have a little fun, so lean in and make your campaigns do double duty to get PR for your cannabis business.
Activate with Partners
On the surface, sponsorships are rarely PR worthy. But what sponsorships might do is give you access to an opportunity to tell your story to the right people. When our client Elixinol sponsored the press booth at events in key media cities and then activated that sponsorship with a locally popular, Super Bowl-winning, football star to talk about his experience with the product after considerable head injuries during his professional career. By itself, having a spokesperson may or may not be notable, but the sponsorship provided access to the press to make sure they knew about the athlete, the athlete’s story was compelling, and there was a local tie-in that was easy for journalists to grab onto.
Incorporate Digital Savvy
If you’re leading a plant-touching cannabis brand, you might be tempted to curtail your cannabis website’s digital presence. That’s a mistake. Today’s editors wear many hats, but it boils down to this: content that attracts eyeballs so they can earn money. The old-fashioned way for newsrooms to make money was straight-up advertising. But digital PR changed all that and today there are so many ways for an editor to juice the revenue for their outlet. Case in point, for the cannabis industry, sponsored posts are a common augmentation to a campaign. They’re relatively easy to create, and they can secure a solid inbound link for your website. Plus, eventually, cannabis brands will be able to do what other consumer product brands have been doing: use affiliate networking as a honeypot for product coverage. Use Google to get more frequent PR for your cannabis company.
Whether you’re hiring a cannabis PR agency or doing PR in-house, earning media coverage for your cannabis brand will take some work, but that work will be well worth it for years to come.
What is a top cannabis firm anyway? How important is it that someone else thinks a PR agency is great? What YOU need to know is if a leading cannabis firm is right for YOU. If you are leading a cannabis business or are trying to grow and develop an existing cannabis brand, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is choosing a leading cannabis industry PR firm that understands your business objectives. As the industry explodes and cannabis becomes more accessible in more and more states where it is legal, many cannabis businesses are searching for an agency with whom they can develop a long-term, successful relationship.
To help you make the right choice for your business, we’ve put together a list of qualities you should look for when scouting a PR firm. By following these helpful tips, you’ll be better able to find the best firm for you and your business.
Does The Firm Have Experience In Your Field?
When you are seeking out a top cannabis PR agency, you want one that combines a strong knowledge of the fundamentals with experience in your specific field. A firm that has worked in the cannabis industry is one that understands the challenges your business faces due to the patchwork of state-level laws regulating its production, marketing, and consumption, and one that knows how to appeal to your target audience. The last thing you want is a firm that doesn’t know Facebook’s policy about advertising cannabis on its platform, or has outdated assumptions about the consumers who might be excited about your product.
Does The Agency Maintain Strong Relationships?
It’s important to determine whether the cannabis PR firm knows the major players in the cannabis industry, if it has preexisting relationships with influencers and important publications, and whether it can put you in touch with the consultants and other experts who can help take your cannabis brand to the next level. Having access to a PR team’s vast network of professionals can be incredibly beneficial to your business, so it’s worth asking who they know as well as what they know.
To put it simply, you want a PR firm that is more than just a database — you want a team that has ongoing working relationships with industry insiders and the other cannabis industry personnel who can be your entrée to more opportunities down the road.
Is The Firm The Right Size For Your Business?
You should seek out a cannabis PR firm that compliments the size of your business, one that offers you all the resources you need to flourish but also the personalized attention that your company deserves. If you own a small business, you may not need the resources of a 100-person firm. But you also might require more work than a single freelancer can provide. Finding that balance is critical.
What Is The Staff Like?
Since it’s common to work with one group as you explore PR firms, and another team when you sign with an agency, you should ask questions about the makeup of the team you’ll be working with. Ask each person you’ll be working with about their professional backgrounds and experiences, inquire about their responsibilities as part of the team, and find out why they’re interested in the cannabis field. Lastly, make sure that you have the opportunity to consult with senior-level executives at the firm and confirm that they will be available to provide strategic advice when needed.
Does the Firm Offer Integrated Services?
You should seek out a PR firm that offers an array of services, including earned media (such as press coverage, social media mentions, quote tweets, shares, and reviews) and owned media, also called content development (which encompasses blogs, studies, vlogs, podcasts, and more). You should also ensure that the team has the ability not just to develop content, but to do the hard work that ensures this content is meaningful to your target audience: researching, conducting interviews, and writing in an impactful way.
Does the Firm Work in a Timely and Efficient Manner?
You should also consider whether the firm takes the initiative and puts proactive plans in motion in a timely and efficient manner, rather than waiting around for you to approach them. The last thing you want is a PR team that doesn’t understand your business or your goals, doesn’t regularly strategize to help you accomplish those goals, and makes you reach them yourself.
What is the Turnover Rate for Employees of The Firm? What About Clients?
The average rate of turnover between the agency and their clients will give you an excellent idea of how much other companies trust the agency with their business. How long do their professional relationships usually last? Even if you are only signing a limited contract, would you be able to continue the relationship under a renewed contract? You should also ask what the firm’s employee turnover looks like. Low turnover is always a good sign that the firm is a place where employees enjoy working. Happy employees are better for your business, as they will likely be more invested in your business strategy and in helping you succeed. And less turnover also means that the firm won’t be cycling people in and out of your account — people who may not be familiar with your business and its goals.
What’s The Cost?
Like any businessperson, you’re going to have to settle on a budget, and that budget will influence what services you can afford. It’s important to factor the cost of an effective PR campaign into your budget, as this could make or break your business. You should be upfront about your budget and ask other cannabis businesspeople and peers how much they pay for the services you’re seeking. Being upfront about your budget will ensure that neither your time nor the PR firm’s time is wasted.
Ask For References
You should review what other clients have to say about their experience with the firm. Do they express hostility, indifference, or enthusiasm for the firm? How other clients respond will tell you a lot about what kind of relationships the firm builds with its clients. If your peers don’t get excited about the agency, then it may not be worth your time.
Contact the PR Professionals of Avaans Media
If you are starting a cannabis business or are looking to take your existing business to the next level, contact Avaans Media today. We look forward to discussing your business objectives, introducing you to our team, and determining if we’re the right fit for your needs.
How important are journalist relationships to cannabis PR? That depends on your strategic objectives and how you’re incorporating cannabis pr into your cannabis marketing. Cannabis is still an emerging industry, and while it has changed dramatically since Avaans started working (as Primo PR) in cannabis in 2015, it’s still a pretty tight-knit group, that includes cannabis journalists. Your PR outcomes probably include the standard visibility KPIs but what other outcomes are you looking for? Media relations is really journalist branding and relationship building. Like all relationships, it’s important to view cannabis media relationships as a long-term process.
B2B Cannabis PR
There are very specific needs for cannabis businesses, from cannabis banking to crop management for CBD, the regulations make B2B cannabis products very specific. Journalists who cover cannabis regularly probably need little backstory on the industry and why the product purpose. On the other hand, they aren’t as wowed by cannabis industry products because they understand what is and isn’t news to the industry. Having relationships with the cannabis industry journalists will give you the opportunity to have deeper conversations and understanding about their perspectives. Now, if your business objectives include things like an acquisition or VC funding or private equity investment, then not only do you want cannabis journalist PR, but you also want coverage in national outlets. In this case, your relationships with national outlets and their writers will be very important. National writers are overwhelmed with pitches and for B2B cannabis PR pitches, there needs to be an additional layer of relevance. It’s really not enough to be a “cannabis company” anymore (if it ever was). Further, many national outlets or journalists only cover publicly traded cannabis companies or national firms, so journalist relations matters here as well.
In the cannabis CPG realm, journalist relationships are critical. This is one of the more competitive areas of journalism because, for product-driven coverage, you’re often competing with an enormous range of lifestyle products for the same space. A good cannabis PR firm will help you determine media-friendly differentiations and opportunities that support your larger business objectives. Depending on your business objectives, cannabis journalists may be a first or secondary priority for you. Some of this will also depend on your stage of growth and previous press coverage. If you’ve had a lot of press coverage, or you’re looking to differentiate yourself in a non-product forward realm, then you’ll definitely want to double down on media relationships.
No matter whether your cannabis technology is B2B or B2C, your media relationships will be especially important. That’s because it will be important to put your technology in context for both your target audience in a way that isn’t promotional. This is a critical differentiation and the time you’ve spent developing cannabis journalist relationships will really help you tell your story in a newsworthy way. See, while you may think your tech is remarkable, to a journalist what’s most important is impact or a tie-in to a larger media trend when covering cannabis tech. Even VC investments in cannabis tech don’t make the same news that traditional tech does, because the numbers aren’t as large as we see in traditional tech. Publically traded cannabis companies need relationships with both general media and investor analysts (IR).
Journalists relationships in cannabis are very important. What journalist relationships you should massage is critical to your coverage – and supporting your business objectives– the bigger reason you’re engaging with PR.