5 Considerations Before Engaging a Cannabis PR Firm

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The text, '5 Considerations Before Engaging a Cannabis PR Firm' appears to the left of Dallas Evelyn, NisonCo Business Development Specialist, who is superimposed on cannabis leaves.

Written by: Olivia Swann

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Team post featuring advice from NisonCo Business Development Specialist Dallas Evelyn

Entrusting a third party with your brand’s image and reputation can be a giant leap for some, especially in the constantly changing, high-stakes world of cannabis. It can be challenging to select the best cannabis PR firm for your company or brand’s specific needs and ensure they understand the cannabis industry intimately. 

With more states legalizing cannabis nationwide, cannabis businesses, smoke shops, and CBD brands are popping up overnight. Competition is stiff as multi-state operators (MSOs) expand their territory and brands carve out their market position. Whether you’re a startup or an established player, you may have considered engaging with a public relations firm for the first time or reevaluating your PR strategy to set yourself apart from the competition. Making an informed decision is vital to get the most out of your relationship with a PR firm. 


1. Identify and Locate Your Target Cannabis Audience

Before engaging with a PR firm, you must know your target audience. Identifying your audience involves researching where your target customer lives, their age range, gender, desires of this specific group, shopping habits (e.g., online or in-store), social media apps they use the most, etc. 

Creating what’s known as a “buyer’s persona” can help pin down some of the details. Going to a PR firm with a clear picture of who you’re trying to reach will be an excellent jumping-off point and make the process smoother. 


2. Establish Clear Cannabusiness Goals With Milestones and Targets

Cannabis PR firms are not there to tell you your goals but to help you achieve them. So, you must approach a PR firm with clear goals in mind of what you hope to achieve. Also, establishing some easily identifiable milestones is necessary to signify you’ve reached a goal. Some ideas for what a milestone or target could look like include the following:

  • —Telling a brand story successfully
  • —Thought leadership for key team members
  • —A new or improved product launch
  • —Securing strategic partnerships
  • —Expressing an opinion on relevant, attention-grabbing, or newsworthy topics


3. Which Cannabis Outlets Would You Like to See Yourself In? Why?

Establish news outlets you’d like to target and list the ones that would be “huge wins” if you were to land them. It would be useful to your PR firm to understand why these outlets are of particular interest to you and what getting a piece published by them would signify. This information can help with your overall strategy.


4. What Does a Major Cannabis Media Win Look Like to You?

Another important consideration is what a significant win in a PR campaign looks like to you or the company. Determining “win” KPIs is something that you need to talk through with your team. A win can take on any number of forms including, but not limited to:

  • —Article quantity
  • —Articles on a specific topic
  • —Increased investor activity 
  • —Brand awareness growth
  • —New customer targeting
  • —Published editorial leadership for key leaders


5. Website, Marketing Materials and Cannabis Products Are Press-Ready

Ensure an SEO-optimized website, marketing materials, and products are polished and ready to send to reporters and media outlets. Being marketing-ready will make implementing a PR strategy more efficient because your team can hit the ground running and start contacting reporters immediately with the approved materials.


Take Your Cannabrand Coverage to the Next Level with an Award-Winning Agency

Whether this is your first time engaging with a cannabis PR firm or you’re trying out a new tactic, be sure to check all of these boxes before employing a PR agency or firm so they can navigate the complex world of media and public perception and take your brand to the next level. Remember, great media coverage doesn’t happen overnight, but coming to the table prepared can often expedite the process.

If you’re ready to get started, contact the team of PR experts at NisonCo to learn more about the psychedelic and cannabis public relations services that we offer.

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