Tag Archive for: what to look for in a cannabis PR firm

The cannabis industry is growing at a rapid rate, and cannabis-related products are being introduced to the market daily. As a result, cannabis PR firms have become increasingly popular for cannabis businesses looking to establish themselves as thought leaders in the cannabis industry. Three considerations when hiring a cannabis PR firm:

 1) Strategic Expertise

For cannabis-focused PR agencies, there’s been unprecedented growth in recent years and it has led to an increase in consolidation and new entrants who may not provide clients with the level of strategic expertise that typically takes much longer to develop. As millennials continue driving change within organizations across all industries, we will see more PR agency consolidation and increased hiring among independently owned cannabis-centric agencies as they need help to build their industry-specific practices.

This means, the team working on your PR may be new to PR even if the agency isn’t. Before you sign on up with any PR firm, get to know the team you will work with on the day-to-day.

 

2) Media Relations Expertise

The cannabis industry is entering an era of mainstream media coverage like never, meaning cannabis PR firms that don’t show cannabis media relations expertise risk becoming irrelevant. Traditional PR agencies will need to develop cannabis-specific expertise with niche media outlets in order to remain relevant. Cannabis news outlets are a unique subset of the traditional cannabis industry trade press and the next generation cannabis-focused PR agency needs to help clients get into these specific cannabis publications.

While cannabis industry media coverage is important, you’ll also want a firm who can demonstrate cannabis PR in lifestyle, business, or niche communities to ensure your reach gets to the audiences who are most likely to respond to your brand.

“In addition, cannabis-oriented public relations agencies have popped up everywhere from Colorado to Canada,” says Roger Stonehouse, CEO of Stonehouse Group, a global financial services firm specializing in capital formation for cannabis companies. “Some cannabis-oriented PR agencies have been effective, others less so.”

3) Identifying Target Audience

In order to deliver high enough ROI, cannabis business owners need the ability to identify the target audience and create a message that will resonate. To develop a cannabis PR campaign that is an investment, not an expense, businesses must be able to understand their target audience and deliver a targeted message. Cannabis-focused public relations professionals can help cannabis businesses do just that by developing a cannabis public relations plan that delivers results for your company and the investor community as you establish legitimacy through thought leadership.”

Media outreach efforts should begin with promoting articles promoting brand visibility, positive cannabis industry news, and cannabis company milestones.

“If you’re starting a cannabis-related business and want to reach the cannabis consumer, make sure your cannabis PR firm has established media relationships with leading cannabis publications,” says Stonehouse. “This will increase the likelihood of your press release or client announcement making it into one of these sites and give you access to cannabis consumers.”

Effective cannabis-centric PR firms understand how to develop client messaging that resonates with target audiences and cannabis media outlets. Cannabis-focused PR professionals can also help cannabis businesses secure valuable cannabis media placements that provide high visibility within the niche publication and then leverage this coverage through social content (influencer marketing) and public relations outreach efforts on behalf of the cannabis brand to mainstream media outlets like the Associated Press, Reuters and/or Bloomberg News.

“However, it’s critical cannabis businesses don’t neglect the potential impact of ancillary cannabis industry coverage in publications like Forbes, Fortune, or Inc.,” says Stonehouse. “By elevating cannabis category visibility in leading business publications cannabis businesses can begin to change negative perceptions well outside the cannabis space.”

“Cannabis public relations firms need to focus on building relationships directly with consumers,” says Stonehouse. “After all, without people buying your products or services it doesn’t matter how good your cannabis PR firm is. By focusing on the cannabis media, cannabis influencers, and cannabis consumers, cannabis-centric PR firms can help cannabis brands cut through the noise and provide an interesting story that resonates with their target audience.”

The best cannabis PR agency can make a world of difference in marketing your business and boosting sales. But how do you know who is the best cannabis PR agency for you? 

While there are plenty of good cannabis PR agencies out there, it’s likely one is better for you than others. Let’s presume for a moment that all the PR firms for your cannabis business all have deep cannabis industry experience, so how do you tell them apart? These are features all top cannabis PR firms should have. 

Target Audience

The first question you should ask yourself is how well does your top cannabis PR firm understand my target audience? Do they have experience reaching your ideal client or customer? This is vitally important for you to understand because it will make all the difference when you ask your PR agency with helping you reach your business goals. This is critical if you have a new product or you’re a B2B cannabis company. For consumer cannabis brands, look for agencies that have broken new ground in cannabis, especially since standing out in the media sometimes means reaching deep into niche audiences, you’ll want a top cannabis PR firm that also has experience in other verticals, or at least has team members with a broad range of experiences. You’ll also want cannabis companies that have successfully placed cannabis products in mainstream outlets. Talk to your PR firm to see what their strategy for placement in your Tier 1 outlets will be, and see how each firm differentiates itself regarding your strategy. 

Social Media and PR Together

One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is attempting to harness all social media channels at once, expecting them all to bring in revenue simultaneously. This could not be any further from the truth! Each channel caters to a different best client and the content should reflect that client type. Notice, sometimes the best channels for your company aren’t the channels making the headlines, and some channels are more useful for client and customer relations and some channels are most useful for media relations. Let your social media and PR agency work together to help you prioritize and ensure your messaging is consistent across the board. The best cannabis PR firms understand how to work your social media channels into a PR strategy that attracts your clients. You may also want to incorporate your PR firm to help identify social media influencers too. Ask your top cannabis PR agencies how they evaluate influencer relationships. It may well tell you how they will approach media relationships too. 

Targeted Content Approach

The best cannabis PR agency will not only know how to talk about your business; they’ll also understand what your best customers want to read about it – which means their content will speak directly to the target audiences. From informative blog posts that apply to your cannabis customer to the strategic use of press releases, you want your target audience absolutely clear when creating cannabis industry content. The top cannabis PR agencies also understand the multitude of cannabis industry regulations and can advise you on messaging that keeps you out of hot water. Ask your cannabis PR firm for 2-3 content headlines in order to get a sense of their positioning for your brand. 

Business-to-Business Approach

For best competitive intelligence services, best cannabis PR agencies typically have a firm grasp of who might be best for your business, and who you best interact with daily. This means they can help you find success no matter what industry you operate in – which is why best cannabis PR agencies are so beneficial to have at your disposal! If your cannabis industry business targets other businesses, then you’ll especially want a team who understands the history of cannabis, so your company represents itself well, even to those who have been in the cannabis industry for a long time. Ask your top cannabis PR firm what other companies in your same stage of growth have successfully done, and ask them to make a non-industry and an industry comparison. 

 

So if you’re ready to grow your business through effective communication, earned media and promotions, then it’s time to reach out to one of the top cannabis PR firms today!