Tag Archive for: public relations

The cost to hire a PR firm should align with the impact you expect your PR firm to have on your business goals. If you’re hiring a PR firm to grow sales, then the expense of your PR firm should reflect the importance of that on your brand. Don’t expect to grow your sales 100% by investing an additional 5% in PR. Indeed, there are ways to track revenue from PR.  For example, if you’re in maintenance mode and need a responsive rather than a proactive PR agency, that cost should be less than a proactive media relations and media placement campaign, which can reach billions of people.

There is a huge range of pricing for PR firms. In general, solopreneur firms, or less experienced PR firms might charge around $3,000 per month, depending on the client and the market. Larger firms, premium agencies, and boutique firms can charge upwards of $18,000 to $25,000 per month for their services. Businesses in fast-growing or emerging industries like CleanTech, HealthTech, or Cannabis can also affect PR pricing. How do you know what’s fair and what rate to pay? Consider some of these factors when considering whether a PR firm is right for your business.

If you are contemplating the cost of hiring a PR firm, chances are you already know the importance of establishing your business’s image. Positive PR can help increase brand recognition, loyalty, and community goodwill. However, you might be wondering, how many does it cost to hire a PR firm?

There are also ways to save on agency fees, so work with your agency to discuss how you can jointly achieve more efficiency.

Why Experience Matters in PR

The number one reason why experience matters is the outcomes for businesses are so important.

Why is PR so expensive research

USC Annenberg Communication Report 2023

 

Understand that while experience is important, it can also be costly. Established PR firms with track records of success tend to charge more for their services. Hiring experienced PR professionals can be costly. Most often, a firm’s reputation is established through its employees’ skill and experience level.

Like in any industry, with PR, experience matters. Some agencies have very young teams; others have more executive-level teams. Since almost 60% of PR agency fees are allocated to staff, that’s one reason why PR is so expensive – talent matters. There are pros/cons to each. Many top PR firms will employ former journalists and experienced PR professionals, and for a good reason. Former journalists have a wealth of contacts in the media industry. These people also have contacts at non-profit organizations and with community leaders, among others.

These contacts are precious for pitching stories for their clients. Former journalists also understand what media companies are looking for when it comes to story ideas. They can craft attention-getting press releases that stand a better chance of being seen and picked up instead of being tossed in the trash heap of yesterday’s news. Former journalists also tend to know the best people to follow up with after issuing a press release or event notice.

The same skills and connections can be true for experienced PR professionals. Those with experience in the industry understand the intricacies of the business. They are masters of communication who know how to get a message across and which avenues offer their clients the best chance at positive exposure in the media. Understanding the nuances of marketing and portraying a positive image are honed skills needed for your business’s PR firm.

 

Why Pay-to-Play PR is So Dangerous

Careers in PR and journalism have a natural connection. It’s why so many former journalists tend to expand their careers into the PR realm. However, businesses need to be on the lookout for a potentially dangerous practice called pay-to-play. Pay-to-play is a phrase that refers to professionals making undisclosed or under-the-table payments to journalists or media companies in exchange for publishing a client’s story.

This behavior is considered unethical. Local media outlets should be viewed as a public service. A newsroom assesses the merit of stories and gauges how interested their audience will be in the information that they provide. Paying for coverage is both unethical and potentially deprives an audience of newsworthy content.

It is also dangerous because media outlets have a duty to report to their audience when a spot or story includes paid content. Paid content includes commercials and ads. A potential consumer knows that the information provided has been paid for by an advertiser when they view a commercial. Pay-for-play is essentially duping an audience into thinking that the content is unbiased. However, if a PR firm purchases airtime under the table, it misrepresents the impartiality of the content.

That’s not to say there isn’t a place for sponsored content and paid placement. It’s just important to understand the difference and integrate them into your plan accordingly.

Setting Goals and Expectations with Your PR Firm

Do your homework ahead of time before committing to a PR agency. Sit down with your team and outline your goals and expectations. What are you hoping to gain out of your relationship with a PR firm? How much of your budget are you willing to dedicate monthly to a PR firm? You need to be honest when answering these questions and establishing your objectives. When you have your goals firmly set, schedule meetings with a variety of PR agencies.

When consulting with a PR firm, consider asking these questions to assess whether the firm will be a good fit:

  • Do they have experience in your particular industry?
  • What is their communication style?
  • How do they measure success?
  • How will they go about generating leads and coverage?
  • Do they know how to manage crisis situations?
  • How will they help you reach your goals?

Don’t be afraid to also ask questions about their fee structure. Budget is a big factor in deciding whether to hire an agency or keep your PR work in-house. A PR firm should be transparent when discussing what they charge and how their fee structure works. You may also want to ask how long it takes their team to craft a press release or set up for an event. Understanding how many hours a typical project can take may help you evaluate whether a PR agency is cost-effective for your business.

To help foster a successful relationship with a PR firm, you need to communicate your goals upfront and set your expectations early. Doing so means that you and the firm start on the same page and can track results throughout the relationship. Meeting with a company before you hire them allows you to gauge how comfortable you are with the firm and how they will manage the reputation of your business.

At the end of the day, hiring a PR firm is an investment, but only if you find an agency whose goals align with yours. When deciding if a firm’s prices coincide with your company’s budget and needs, consider your goals, specific industry challenges, and the expertise of a firm’s staff. Do not be afraid to ask tough questions because the reputation of your business may depend on how your PR agency responds. The right PR agency can be an excellent investment in your business.

ChatGPT: The Unseen Architect of Tomorrow’s Content

As if waking from a dream, we find ourselves in a brave new world of artificial intelligence and machine learning. No field seems untouched by this seismic shift, with content creation on the brink of a renaissance. The catalyst? ChatGPT. This view isn’t mere future-gazing; it’s today’s reality, a window into an exciting future brimming with possibilities and questions. Join us to explore what ChatGPT means for the content industry, no doubt, ChatGPT is a revolution in content.

 

Decoding ChatGPT: Unraveling an AI Phenomenon

Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, or GPT, is an artificial intelligence model trained on diverse internet text. The ‘Chat’ in ChatGPT is a nod to its conversational prowess, both its primary capability and tour de force.

This language model, developed by OpenAI, uses machine learning to produce human-like text. ChatGPT-4, the most recent iteration, is a quantum leap from its predecessor, GPT-3, boasting an impressive increase in the number of parameters. The result is a model that’s smarter, more versatile, and more attuned to the intricacies of human communication.

The essence lies within its training process, which commences with pre-training, wherein the model gains the ability to predict the following word in a sentence. It then progresses to fine-tuning, where it’s taught how to respond to prompts based on user inputs. The cherry on top? A diverse dataset that adds that dash of worldly wisdom.

Applying ChatGPT in the Content Industry: A Transformative Impact

For long, the concept of AI creating content was a realm of futuristic fiction. Today, it’s our reality, thanks to the transformative power of ChatGPT. It isn’t a mere conceptual fascination; the practical implications of ChatGPT have begun to ripple across the content industry, changing the game in profound and meaningful ways.

Content Creation Revolution: The Automated Scribe at Your Service

Imagine a scribe that never tires, a wordsmith ready to craft beautiful narratives from your most straightforward ideas. From bite-sized blog posts to epic novels, ChatGPT has shown itself to be a tireless partner in the creative process.

When we think about automated writing assistance, it’s not just about churning out words. It’s about breathing life into ideas, about transforming mundane content into the structure of such narratives wherein ChatGPT shines. It needs to understand your command; it reads your intent, offering a fresh perspective, and making your content dance to a rhythm that’s engaging.

Customer Support and Chatbots: Personalized interactions and more

The battle for better customer experiences is never-ending in customer support. However, with ChatGPT, we’ve got a powerful ally. This AI marvel has the power to transform the way businesses interact with customers, bringing a degree of personalization and efficiency that was unthinkable just a few years ago.

Chatbots powered by ChatGPT aren’t your run-of-the-mill automated responders; they’re everyday superheroes. No query is too complex, and no customer issue is too tricky. They handle a wide array of interactions with downright impressive ease, making them a reliable first line of support available around the clock.

Language Translation and Localization: Breaking the Language Barriers

In today’s globalized world, language can often be a barrier between you and your audience. ChatGPT is working on breaking those walls down. It’s more than just a linguist who’s proficient in multiple languages. It’s a skilled translator who understands the nuances of localization and knows that effective communication isn’t just about translating words but about conveying their meaning.

Data Analysis and Research: Unleashing the Power of Data

Living in the age of big data, we generate staggering volumes daily, but making sense of this data deluge is easier said than done. That’s where ChatGPT steps in as a savvy data analyst. It can sift through mountains of data, spot patterns, and extract insights that could easily escape the human eye. For researchers and analysts, ChatGPT is more than a tool; it’s a partner that accelerates research and facilitates data-driven decision-making.

Implications for Content Creators and Writers: At the Crossroads of Innovation

As we sail forward on this tide of transformation, those who shape our stories and ideas, the content creators and writers, find themselves at an exciting crossroads. This belief isn’t a mere intersection of paths but a junction where human creativity meets AI intelligence. Here’s what that means for those who breathe life into words.

Collaboration between Humans and AI: Companions, Not Competitors

The doom and gloom out there see ChatGPT as a machine to take our jobs. However, AI isn’t necessarily a replacement for human creativity but a tool that can enhance it. This AI isn’t here to steal the spotlight but to share it, augment our abilities, and push our creative boundaries.

The implications are vast, and ethical considerations are at the forefront. However, imagine a world where human writers and AI work together, each leveraging the other’s strengths. Humans bring to the table their creativity, empathy, and intuition. At the same time, AI content generators, like ChatGPT, offer efficiency, vast knowledge, and the ability to work without fatigue. The future of content creation lies in this symbiotic relationship, a collaboration that encourages innovative content while ensuring the ethical use of AI.

Adaptation to Changing Roles and Responsibilities: Evolve to Thrive

ChatGPT’s advent comes with a gentle nudge for content creators: to expand their horizons, adapt, and evolve. In its embrace of AI, the content industry has started favoring higher-level skills and critical thinking over simple writing prowess.

The writing profession isn’t diminishing; it’s transforming. It’s no longer just about writing beautiful prose; it’s also about utilizing tools like ChatGPT to create content that resonates, strikes a chord, and makes an impact. Content creators must commit to continuous learning and upskilling to navigate this change. It’s not a challenge but an opportunity to grow and flourish in a fast-changing environment.

Opportunities for Niche Content and Personalization: The Dawn of a New Era

ChatGPT isn’t just a tool; it’s a window into an exciting new world of niche content and personalization. It’s possible to tailor content to individual preferences and to speak directly to every member of a diverse audience through its ability to generate human-like text.

ChatGPT can quickly dive into specific topics, making it an excellent tool for creating niche content that resonates with a particular group of readers. It’s not just about reaching more people; it’s about connecting with them. And that’s a reality, a new era, not just a distant possibility.

The AI content generator is an ally in this changing landscape, a tool that can bring out the best in content creators. It’s a call to evolve, adapt, and seize the opportunities that come with change. Those who answer this call will be the ones who shape the future of content creation.

Challenges and Ethical Considerations: The Hurdles on the Road to a Revolution

Every revolution, however inspiring, comes saddled with challenges, and the ChatGPT revolution is no different. These aren’t roadblocks but checkpoints that we need to address mindfully to harness the full potential of this AI revolution.

 

Risk of Misinformation and Biased Content: A Test of Trust and Truth

We live in an era where the spread of misinformation is as easy as a click. Fake news is a valid and pressing concern, and the advent of AI-powered content generation adds another layer of complexity to this issue. Ensuring the accuracy of AI-generated content is crucial. Trust is the bedrock of any content strategy, and we must stay vigilant to prevent AI tools from being misused.

Another facet of this challenge is bias. Whether implicit or explicit, biases can creep into AI-generated content, influencing the information and narratives we consume. We must rise to this challenge and work tirelessly to address and minimize biases in ChatGPT and similar tools. It is where the big names in the tech industry (OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft) have a substantial part to play.

Preserving Originality and Authenticity: The human touch in the machine age

ChatGPT’s ability to generate content is awe-inspiring. Still, this power comes with a responsibility: to ensure originality and authenticity in every piece of content, it creates.

While ChatGPT can replicate human-like writing, it cannot replace the human touch that breathes life and emotion into the content. The challenge here is using ChatGPT while ensuring the human voice isn’t lost, and the content feels personal and unique. Additionally, we must avoid plagiarism and content duplication, respecting intellectual property rights while embracing AI’s capabilities.

Potential Job Displacement and Economic Implications: Navigating the Transition

ChatGPT is a game-changer, but its advent comes with questions about the future of content-related professions. What happens to content creators and writers in a world where AI can write too?

This transition isn’t about job displacement but rather about job transformation. The need for content is going nowhere, but the nature of content creation is evolving. Content professionals must adapt, acquire new skills, and understand how to use tools like ChatGPT to their advantage. With foresight, planning, and adaptability, we can navigate this transition smoothly, ensuring that the economic implications are accounted for and mitigated.

In these challenges, we must remember: ChatGPT is a tool. How we use it and navigate these hurdles is in our hands. The road to revolution may have its bumps, but with mindful and ethical use, we can harness the power of ChatGPT for the greater good.

Future Prospects of ChatGPT in the Content Industry: The Dawn of a new narrative

Standing at the precipice of this revolution, we realize that ChatGPT’s journey is just beginning. Its impact on the content industry is profound, but it’s only the prologue of a story still being written—the future chapters of this narrative promise even more exciting developments.

Advancements in AI Technology: A Leap into the Future

The realm of AI isn’t static; it’s a field in constant evolution. Each iteration, each new model, is more innovative and capable, pushing the envelope of what’s possible. AI technology isn’t just growing; it’s sprinting toward the future.

As for ChatGPT, its potential has yet to bring to fruition. Future iterations could see it integrating multimodal capabilities, enhancing its text generation with visual or auditory data processing. Imagine a world where ChatGPT can write a blog post, create an accompanying infographic, or compose a podcast script while suggesting audio elements to enhance the listener’s experience. It’s an exciting prospect that promises to transform the content landscape in ways we can only dream of now.

Ethical Guidelines and Regulations: Responsibility in Revolution

Responsible AI utilization must serve as our guiding principle as we navigate the path of this revolution, acknowledging that great power comes with great responsibility.

The future will likely see the development and implementation of more robust ethical guidelines and regulations for AI usage, especially in content creation. These will serve as the pillars supporting the responsible utilization of AI, ensuring that it contributes to the greater good while minimizing potential harm.

Collaborative efforts between AI developers, content creators, users, and policy-makers will be critical in creating these frameworks. The aim is to harness the power of AI like ChatGPT without compromising on ethical standards or societal norms.

The ChatGPT journey is a tale of transformation and possibility. However, as we step into the future, let’s remember to do so responsibly, harnessing the power of this revolutionary tool while respecting ethical considerations. It’s not just about making the content industry more efficient or dynamic; it’s about creating a world where AI and humans coexist, thrive, and write the future together.

Conclusion

ChatGPT might evolve into a customized virtual companion, integrating with voice-based interfaces and enhancing user experience. It is redefining the content industry, and the implications are as profound as they are exciting.

While we grapple with questions of ethics and authenticity, the opportunities for creativity, efficiency, and personalization are enormous. As we welcome this new chapter, let’s remember the importance of responsible AI utilization. For now, let’s embrace this revolution and prepare ourselves to be surprised by the genius of AI.

B-corps are uniquely positioned to be storytellers. But how does PR for B-Corps differ?

Is purpose all it takes to thrive?

 

You started your company to make a difference in the world. You know it, your team knows it, and your loyalty and customers know and believe in your product and your mission. So, how do you expand your reach? How can others find you in an increasingly crowded B-corp marketplace?How do successful B-corps PR make a difference in the brands of tomorrow?

This is an issue no matter what industry you’re in; the audience for your product or service may be larger than ever, and there may be more ways to reach them, but there are also more competitors out there looking to connect with that same audience. This is where a focused and strategic public relations campaign can help.

Expanding your awareness beyond traditional marketing campaigns is especially vital for companies who aren’t focused solely on profits and want to make a positive impact on the world. Becoming a certified B-Corporation isn’t easy, as it requires meeting exacting standards regarding accountability, transparency, and social and environmental impact. After going through the rigorous certification process to obtain B-Corporation status, it’s deeply discouraging if you can’t get your message out to those who want to hear it.

Should B-Corps Leverage PR Over Other Channels?

So, what are your options if you’re a B-Corporation looking to expand your reach? You could try the traditional tools: TV advertising, ads on social media, content marketing, direct mail, and so on. But these tools require significant resources that not all companies have, and worse still, there are signs that they are increasingly ineffective. One study showed that 86 percent of people skip or ignore TV advertisements, 44 percent of direct mail is never opened, and 91 percent of email users end up unsubscribing from company email lists they had previously opted into. These tools may work if you have the resources for a large, prolonged campaign, but they’re not feasible for many organizations.

A better approach for B-Corporations is to let other brands tell their story for them through a strategic public relations campaign. This may seem a bit counterintuitive; after all, you’re giving up control of your message when you use PR instead of more direct marketing or advertising tools. But for many people and businesses, getting a story from a brand they trust is more impactful than when companies try to engage them directly.

Is there any research that proves this theory? In fact, there’s quite a bit of it. A study from the Content Marketing Institute showed that 80 percent of business decision makers and 70 percent of customers prefer to get information on a company from articles rather than ads.

Is PR More Effective for B-Corps?

Why is it that so many people seem to prefer reading about a company in an article rather than seeing an ad from the company directly? For one thing, advertisements can be very pushy, and they have a way of inserting themselves when you’re trying to do something else. If a businessperson or customer comes across an engaging article about a company, however, they can choose to read it when and how they want, on their own terms.

The other reason people prefer to read about a company in articles is trust. Savvy decision-makers and cynical consumers are often skeptical of the messages they receive through advertisements, social media posts, and other types of marketing with a more direct approach. They know that they’re being marketed to, and they’re suspicious that the message and information they’re receiving may be untrue or misleading.

On the other hand, if they get that same information from an outlet that they already know and trust, they’re more likely to be receptive to the message and believe it. This is particularly true for the Millennial generation; research shows that Millennials are 247 percent more likely to be influenced by blogs and social media sites than are older generations. Similarly, 96 percent of B2B buyers are looking to read more content from industry thought leaders, and 93 percent of B2B buyers begin their buying process with an online search. If you can get articles in well-known, respected publications, you’ll rank highly in online search results — and there’s an eager group of businesses who are waiting to hear from you.

This isn’t to say that PR can’t function in conjunction with other tools to help your business grow. In fact, that’s exactly how PR should work. By getting information about your company into relevant and respected publications, consumers and other businesses can learn more about what you do. From there, you can direct them from the articles to your business’ website, social media pages, and other venues where you can engage them more directly.

 

How To Use B-Corp PR with Other Channels

That’s exactly what we do at Avaans Media. We are experts at harnessing traditional PR tools as well as newer marketing strategies, to help purpose-driven brands find success in the marketplace. No matter what you do or what your goals are, we will help you grow and thrive by crafting a strategy uniquely tailored to your strengths.

Here’s one example of how we can use PR to help your business. Our client was looking to break into the consumer packaged goods industry with a range of hemp-based products. Despite the differences between hemp and marijuana, many consumers were unfamiliar with these kinds of products or had negative views of them. We knew we needed purpose-driven campaigns.

To help our client reach their goals, we took a multi-pronged approach that increased their brand awareness and shaped their public image in a positive direction. We celebrated purpose throughout our campaigns, from health and wellness to global sustainability.  We leveraged our media contacts to generate more than 200 articles about the company over three years, averaging five articles per month. These articles generated more than 10 billion earned media impressions over those three years, with an estimated value of over $5 million dollars. By the time the client was ready for their initial public offering, the company’s share price had risen by more than 300 percent, and much of that increase can be attributed to our campaign.

 

Contact Us To Get Started

Purpose-driven public relations means the brand proactively builds incorporates values that impact social, cultural, and environmental issues. A true purpose-driven company makes corporate choices within its purpose framework, even when it means purpose over profits.

Truthfully, public relations aren’t purpose-driven, a brand is purpose-driven. Public relations is simply a lever a purpose-driven brand can use to improve the world around them. Building a purpose-driven brand is an inside-out job. They aren’t PR campaigns or PR ideas; they are a cultural way of thinking that’s internalized by everyone in the company.

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The Importance of Internalizing Purpose

There are lots of ways a brand can support its customers, community, and the globe meaningfully. Cause partnerships, and donation campaigns, are all relevant PR campaigns, but they aren’t purpose-driven. Purpose-driven companies take the long view on purpose and impact.

Internalization distinguishes purpose-driven brands. When everyone from the Board, to the CEO to the janitor walks the talk of purpose, then a brand has authentically implemented a purpose-driven brand. This also means when employees face choices, they incorporate the purpose into their decision-making. This can include employee hiring, employee programs, purchasing, and product decisions. It also means employees feel safe in making a purpose-informed choice because they know they’re acting within the company’s ethos; their choice is supported and even celebrated.

 

Should Purpose-Driven Initiatives Even Have a PR Component?

The deciding factor on this issue is the “why,” behind the initiative. Every day, businesses from Fortune 500 all the way to emerging industries are making decisions that have a social impact, and most of the time, these decisions don’t get the credit they deserve. But it’s not one decision, or one campaign, or one person who makes purpose – it’s people moving in unison making decisions that impact millions.

For example, let’s take eggs. When you go to the grocery, you face a lot of buying choices. Cage-free eggs, organic eggs, local eggs, inexpensive eggs. Many of these egg producers are balancing product, purpose, and price. Even though the organic or cage-free eggs are more expensive, it’s likely the margins on those eggs are considerably less than the mass-produced eggs. It’s also very likely that the producers of the cage-free or organic eggs are making other choices that cost more – maybe they buy the more expensive food, maybe they supplement their electricity with solar power. These are all purpose-driven decisions that are really important, but they won’t make news. What may make the news is the impact or the multiple steps they take for their purpose might make news. The people behind these choices may have interesting stories to tell. There will be PR opportunities, but they require real storytelling. Therefore, it’s important to have experienced purpose-driven PR agencies who can tell ethos and purpose stories.

Brands should have PR at the table when incorporating purpose-driven ethos, but PR should be part of the purpose, not the purpose of the purpose.

 

Are Purpose-Driven Brands Born or Made?

Both and neither. Some brands are founded in purpose, we can all name a few. Other brands grow into purpose. Both are as legitimate as their ability to stick to their ethos. It’s important for both types of purpose-driven brands to be authentic. Just because a brand is founded in purpose doesn’t mean it won’t lose its way. And just because a brand develops purpose doesn’t entirely absolve them from past actions. All brands should be very careful with their initiatives because consumers are getting fantastic at sniffing out disingenuous missions. These disingenuous missions create consumer distrust and may even run afoul of today’s cancel culture. A brand is better off doing nothing than taking on duplicitous or insincere purpose-driven initiatives.

 

If your company is considering a purpose-driven plan, please download our guide and call us. We can help you and your team navigate the exciting opportunities – and avoid the pitfalls – for purpose-driven brands.

You may be at the beginning of your search, or you may have narrowed down your choices, but wherever you are in your cannabis PR firm search, you should know that the top cannabis PR firms should all have these skills. Notice these skills may differ from PR services and that’s because what separates an outstanding PR firm from the average PR firm is the ability to understand how social, cultural, and business changes will affect their clients. We’re providing you with 3 questions to ask your top cannabis PR firms to help you differentiate them from one another.

Emotional Intelligence

We’re living in dynamic times. Top cannabis PR firms can understand your company, its goals, and how media shifts will change your reputation and media outreach strategies. That’s right, outstanding PR means you have a team who has their pulse on the big picture – they know when to raise the red flag and when to take a breath and let the moment pass. Emotional intelligence also means your PR team continues to learn from itself. You’ll find emotionally intelligent teams hold themselves accountable, they are solution-oriented, and they are easy to collaborate with. Emotional intelligence isn’t necessarily a feature of maturity, but the two do often go hand in hand. Be sure you meet your team and understand who you will be working with before you sign on the bottom line. To get a sense of your PR team’s emotional intelligence, ask your top cannabis PR firm: what advice would they give you at the beginning of the COVID pandemic? 

Digitally Forward Perspective

Social media has been a sub-section of PR for a decade, and yet, many PR professionals don’t consider social media part of the PR landscape. Ask yourself why you’d want a PR agency that doesn’t concern itself with your most visible and accessible communication channel? No doubt about it – social media is an important player in your cannabis company’s reputation. You may not choose to have your PR DO your social media, but a top cannabis PR firm should absolutely provide guidance and oversight. This is also true for choosing influencers. Ask your cannabis PR firm for their perspective on cannabis influencers. It will tell you something about how they approach your media strategy. Ask your top cannabis PR firm: what’s your perspective on social media for my cannabis company

Cannabis PR Specialty or Specialization?

The cannabis industry, though still an emerging industry, is past its most nascent stages. Cannabis PR firms that only work in cannabis have advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is extreme specialization; the disadvantage is their perspectives might be myopic. Ask yourself which is more important for your business objectives? You want a top cannabis PR firm that can provide content and insights into the industry, but is it also important that your strategy reflects audiences that aren’t specific to the cannabis industry? For example, if you’re looking to attract an untapped market of cannabis customers, then having a cannabis PR agency that has a broad perspective on consumer PR might be helpful. If you’re a cannabis B2B company, then you may want a PR agency that’s able to cross over into national media outlets, besides cannabis-focused publications for your cannabis business stories. A top cannabis PR firm should be able to review with you how your competitors are doing in the media and recommend some strategies to position your company based on your stated cannabis business goals. Ask your top cannabis PR agency: what advice do they have for a company at your stage of growth?

What Is Your PR Plan?

Every top PR cannabis agency has a distinct approach to achieving your business goals. It’s important for you to know whether that approach suits the rest of your overall strategy. Many PR firms provide you with a plan based on one or two conversations. But is that realistic? This is the exact reason Avaans Media offers a proprietary approach to working together. Ask us about our discovery process and what it means to your PR campaign.

Since 2015, Avaans Media is one of the top cannabis PR firms (previously Primo PR). We’re based in Los Angeles and we work with emerging industries like cannabis. If you’d like to ask US these questions, please reach out.

Plan for public relations success with these critical 3 tips

A little advance planning can make all the difference between public relations success and public relations frustration.  Public relations is increasingly important for companies and there’s nothing like a new year to give your brand and company a fresh image. PR firms are here to be your partners in success. As you pull levers for world domination next year, lean on your  PR firm so that together you’re on the same page about how you mutually define success, this is especially important for emerging industries and fast-growing brands. Here are 3 tips for working with a PR firm or formulating your in-house PR plan.

1.Determine Your Measurable PR Goals for Public Relations Success

PR success comes when there’s absolute clarity about goals. Your PR goals should match your business goals; make sure your PR firm knows how you’re REALLY defining success. Don’t hide your perspective from your PR firm and expect that the results you want will magically appear.  Make sure your  PR goals align and support your activations, product launches, and partnerships.

PR and marketing goals and KPIs should be:

  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant

The two most important considerations when defining your goals is ensuring that they are measurable and ambitious enough to be significant but attainable with your budgets and efforts.

Measuring your PR and marketing efforts should include a baseline so you can track improvement. If you don’t have a baseline, you may need to evaluate how you will measure success and it may require something like an industry average or an industry survey. At Avaans, we include a number of KPIs during our monthly reviews, these KPIs are tracked the same way every month, so over time, we can really pinpoint what works and what doesn’t for each brand. We’re completely transparent with our clients about how we came to those KPIs and why they’re essential for us to track internally for cannabis PR success.

Attainability is an important KPI. If you’re shooting for the stars, make sure all your assets are in place to support that goal. Assets also include time and brainpower.

There should be KPIs for marketing and KPIs for PR that have crossover. For example, new website visitors, inbound links to your website, both of those metrics will be impacted by both PR and marketing initiatives.  Sometimes we hear people say that they don’t want to give PR and Marketing joint KPIs because they feel it reduces responsibility, but when your KPIs are aligned with your overall business goals that encourages your PR firm and marketing agency to work together to accomplish the company’s mission-ultimately it’s not about pitting one set of KPIs against one another, it’s about achieving success and measuring respective impact.

2. Define Your Target Audiences

As a PR firm that works with highly ambitious brands, we often hear goals like “We want to be featured in XYZ publication.

When a single piece of press helps secure millions of dollars in funding, throwing all your efforts at securing that press is worth almost any PR and activation fees. That’s a great goal, so consider who your ultimate audience really is for any publication so you can set yourself up for public relations success. Many times, public relations success is defined by a share of voice within a specific audience.

Your audiences may be in the B2B space; they may be consumers, they may be investors, or partners. Be clear on who you’re trying to reach with each KPI and objectives-share your objectives with your PR firm, so they’re clear on where you REALLY want to be.

Sometimes earning national press, even when you’re only in a few markets, is strategic as the audience is potential investors or industry partners who like knowing that the brands they’re partnering with have enough clout to secure national coverage.  Alternatively, you may want to show that your brand is well received by multiple consumer types, in which case you may wish to have press in particular interest verticals.

3. Plan for Public Relations Success and Budget Your Activities

Public relations is an incredibly broad level to pull. Within your budget, you should be allocating events, sponsorships, social media, media relations, and asset/owned media development.

Chances are, in order to reach your pr and cannabis marketing goals, you’ll need to execute on some initiatives.

And, you’ll need a corresponding budget for these activities. A good marketing and public relations firm can help you allocate your budget to match your objectives.

At the very least they can tell you how to best allocate an over-all budget or at least inform you of best practices and first steps. A great example of this is events – events can be held for all sorts of objectives, from customer appreciation to media awareness. While both of those objectives MIGHT turn into earned media, it’s important you consider what it will take to earn press coverage on an event, before you spend the money on an event. Sponsorships are another area where the activation is an important marketing objective, but PR may be able to help you define some ways to use your sponsorship in a way that improves your industry image or earns you media coverage.

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