Why Does Hiring a PR Firm Experienced in Cannabis Public Relations Matter?

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why hiring an experienced cannabis PR firm is important

Ask anyone working in the cannabis business, and they will tell you that it is unlike any other. This product isn’t “just another CPG.” It’s an intensely volatile, closely monitored, and strictly regulated sector, and a PR firm experienced in cannabis public relations is more critical in cannabis than ever before.

Cannabis PR is an investment, and many executives are wondering “why,” particularly in the ever-so-slightly suspicious cannabis market. Why should your company want to be featured in media outlets? Why is it beneficial?

Studies reveal that 90% of consumers find news sources more reliable than advertisements. Having a trade or mainstream news outlet mention your business, product, event, or spokesperson builds brand confidence, tells a story, and allows you to connect with potential customers.

Although there’s always a chance that an unfavorable news placement would occur, a good PR agency manages the messaging and either decreases the likelihood or knows how to handle it if there is negative press.  For regulated industries like cannabis businesses, a clearly managed message and image is particularly relevant. Let’s look at the reasons why hiring a PR firm experienced in cannabis public relations matters, especially for those who have been unable to enter mainstream media.

The Struggle

Whether Facebook denies traditional media access to corporate sites or refuses to accept advertising funds, the obstacles cannabis firms must overcome to advertise can occasionally seem impossible. Therefore, PR can be the only strategy inexperienced consumer brands have to get consumers’ attention.

According to the “Rule of Seven,” a brand must be exposed to consumers seven times before they remember it; cannabis companies have very few opportunities to engage potential customers through communication channels even once.

PR is essential to set a company apart from its rivals with its value proposition and general reputation. There is a lot of discussion about the “next big thing in cannabis” since hundreds or perhaps thousands of people are joining the cannabis business daily. A PR firm experienced in cannabis public relations understands the landscape and helps you stand out as a brand against competitors.

Choosing a Cannabis PR Firm

The cannabis market is in precarious shape. Opening a bank account is one of the hardest business basics for brands that care about plants. The green industry has always been heavily regulated compared to other new industries that experienced rapid development and mergers. The nascent sector has yet to surmount as many laws, levies, and obstacles in its early stages of development.

Why is this important to know when choosing a cannabis PR firm? Because cannabis brands have more to lose and a greater responsibility to fulfill. Whenever a bad actor enters the cannabis business, lawmakers can use that one company’s recklessness as an example of the industry as a whole, whether it is fair or not. Cannabis companies need to be mindful of the industry’s reputation. Cannabis PR agencies are skilled at handling the challenging but important role of helping cannabis owners take advantage of their chance to lead culture.

Hiring an experienced cannabis PR firm is important because the cannabis sector needs to take its reputation seriously if it hopes to change the industry’s federal legalization status.

Entering the Market

A cannabis PR firm will introduce your goods to their extensive network of media contacts. If you need to remind the public of your product or if it is new, this is an excellent way to introduce it to the media. The team will talk about a specific product and give the public a peak under the hood to spark excitement. Such PR campaigns are based on short-term contracts and allow cannabis brands to establish themselves in the market and find their footing.

Customized initiatives are meant for consumer brands dedicated to strategic PR goals, such as attracting top talent or preparing for an IPO or investment. Companies and brands with long-term visions and the ability to articulate their business’s three- and five-year goals are eligible for bespoke programs. Because each B2B campaign has unique dependencies that mirror the company’s leadership, product, and goals, B2B PR efforts are likewise custom-made PR campaigns.

Cannabis Consumer PR

Dispensaries and cannabis companies are always looking for ways to stand out from the competition as more states legalize cannabis for both recreational and medical purposes.

Following are a few stats by the Cannabis Consumer Report that will help you understand why cannabis PR is important:

  • 78% of cannabis users say they will either increase or maintain their consumption in the upcoming year.
  • 48% of cannabis users report using it daily.
  • Cannabis users are three times more likely to light a joint than consume edibles.
  • What matters most when selecting a cannabis shop are price and quality.
  • 78% of cannabis users say it has a good effect on their general mental health.
  • 63% of cannabis users think the plant increases their social interactions, and 79% believe it improves their happiness
  • Of those who use cannabis, 56% would resign or won’t apply to job openings that mention frequent drug testing as part of their screening and retainment process.

Now that you know why hiring a PR firm experienced in cannabis public relations, let’s take a look at some important points regarding cannabis consumer PR:

The Legal and Social Context

Cannabis legalization varies worldwide. In some regions, it’s legal for recreational and medical use, while in others, it still remains strictly prohibited. Such regulations affect how PR campaigns are created. For example, in places where cannabis is newly legalized, educational campaigns about responsible use and benefits are essential. Similarly, advocacy and lobbying efforts may be the primary focus in areas where it remains illegal.

Consumer Demographics

Cannabis consumers are diverse, ranging from young adults to senior citizens, and have different backgrounds. Effective PR strategies must consider these diverse demographics and target messages appropriately. For instance, medical cannabis users may be more interested in information about health benefits and safety, while recreational users might be more concerned with product variety and social acceptance.

The way the subject of cannabis is framed and addressed by the media matters the most. A company’s coverage by a prominent newspaper like Forbes or Reuters has a nearly immeasurable impact on an audience. Undoubtedly, it is far more beneficial than any paid promotion.

In addition, the cannabis sector still faces stigma on a daily basis. Regulators, politicians, banks, and other prominent thought leaders are among those who have doubts about cannabis goods, which harms up-and-coming firms and their offerings. A positive transformation in people’s perceptions is mostly dependent on effective PR.

B2B Cannabis PR

The B2B cannabis sector includes various businesses, such as cultivation equipment suppliers, packaging companies, software providers, financial services, and more. These businesses cater to other companies within the cannabis supply chain rather than directly to consumers. Given the complex nature of this industry’s regulations and its blossoming future, effective PR strategies are essential for ensuring a long-lasting partnership.

Joining hands with a cannabis PR firm in a major market like Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, and California is still eventual, even though national B2B cannabis enterprises might not face the same problems as consumer cannabis products.

This is because B2B cannabis companies require a well-thought-out, strategic approach to the cannabis media. A PR firm experienced in cannabis public relations has great relationships with media and experience in creating compelling business narratives and campaigns that impact business media outlets and the cannabis sector.

A PR Plan

At every stage of a cannabis brand’s development, B2B companies require a cannabis PR plan informing potential customers about the benefits of additional services. The aim is to reiterate your brand’s authority, trust, and competence to your target audience, like in B2C education.

Recent data on PR strategies indicates that press releases are the most reliable material. They present great opportunities to highlight your skills, set yourself apart from the competition, and promote your compelling value proposition.

Moreover, because of the restrictions, PR opportunities that connect you with industry leaders, associations, and media outlets might benefit your reputation, brand development, etc. Lastly, public relations may assist in creating targeted strategies for every scenario your business might encounter now and in the future.

Why Is Networking Important?

Building ties with other industry professionals requires attendance at industry events. This matters because it allows you to:

  • Improve your brand’s reputation
  • Find opportunities to expand your business
  • Scope out your competition
  • Be visible in the industry
  • Share knowledge
  • Seek assistance and guidance
  • Forge significant business relationships
  • Meet potential business associates

Additionally, sponsorship opportunities can exist, either at smaller state-level events or the federal level. Consider the National Cannabis Industry Association and the MJBizCon series by Marijuana Business. Both are highly significant national opportunities.

Cannabis Marketing vs. PR

Establishing a great cannabis brand and drawing in customers takes time because it requires the appropriate marketing plans to ensure your target market receives the right educational content for responsible use, which is highly important. Numerous strategies can assist you in creating a buzz for your company, but two in particular are worth considering: PR and cannabis marketing.

Which one, then, is best for your cannabis company?

Cannabis marketing frequently uses digital methods like website content, social media, and email to attract new clients. It may also entail different advertising strategies. Cannabis brands often employ various efficient marketing techniques despite the limitations on how they can advertise their businesses.

PR primarily concerns spreading the word about your company and developing a favorable reputation. It may entail speaking in front of the media, going to events, and working with regional media sources. While public relations tactics aren’t as straightforward as cannabis marketing tactics, they can greatly improve your brand’s image and recall and eventually draw in more clients.

Cannabis enterprises should use both marketing and PR tactics to promote their brand. Depending on which strategy works best for your company, you should give it more attention than the other.

PR emerges as a clear winner because celebrities or influencers cannot make this heavily regulated industry attractive. Rather, it requires the touch of experienced people in the industry, including journalists and high-ranking company officials who have been in the cannabis business for years.

When to Hire a PR Cannabis Firm?

Editors and journalists make plans months in advance. This plan implies that you should begin contacting PR agencies months in advance. The necessity of planning is one PR component that many newly established PR firms need help finding. PR firms, for instance, will require product descriptions and images months before.

Don’t box yourself in with a 420 PR campaign!

The cannabis business is most active in the fall. Events such as cannabis tradeshows and conferences for the cannabis business, the announcement of award winners, and the holidays — Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve — all present enormous financial prospects for cannabis companies. Fall is one of the best seasons of the year for consumer brands who are new to public relations to obtain editorial coverage. In fact, this time of year is a wonderful opportunity to pack a PR punch for consumer companies, with around 40% of coverage occurring during that period.

A slightly different equation applies to B2B cannabis PR. The editor and journalist must prepare ahead to fit the story into regularly planned publications, whether you are looking for a product launch feature or an executive. If you have great plans for the spring, it could be best for you to start B2B public relations in the fall. Cannabis industry exposure, speaking engagements, and thought leadership are examples of B2B PR that have additional dependencies, some of which are outside your control. These include the closing date for speaking engagement submissions. There are very few options available to you if you miss some at a certain event; the majority of them include paying a hefty price.

Final Thoughts

B2B marketing in the cannabis industry is difficult because there are many laws and regulations governing brands than in most other sectors.

A media partner can significantly impact brand image and recall because these specialists are well-versed in PR for cannabis companies. They are experts in their field, and their partners have access to millions of consumers in local and national markets. Their staff can assist your cannabis business in overcoming the numerous obstacles present in the sector.