Cannabis PR Pro Gina Epifano on Remote Work, News Monitoring and Client Relations

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Written by: Johanna Bloomquist

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The people here at NisonCo cannabis PR make our company great, and we’re excited to share the next installment of our employee Q&A series. This month, we sat down for a virtual conversation with Gina Epifano, one of our incredible PR account managers. We talked with her about her favorite parts of the job, how she keeps up-to-date with the news, and how she splits her time working remotely from Hawaii and North Carolina. 


Welcome, Gina! Could you tell us your location, your role at our cannabis public relations firm, and how you got to NisonCo?

Gina Epifano: I’m an account manager, and I’m based out of Charlotte [North Carolina] and Hawaii depending on the time of the year. 

I started in event production, leading me into a public relations role working as a freelancer. I eventually grew into an agency, based out of Hawaii — that was the last agency I worked with. We worked in lifestyle and hospitality, and with shopping centers. Now I am with NisonCo


What does a typical day look like for you as a cannabis public relations account manager?

Gina: It depends on the day! Some constants — I always check my calendar first thing in the morning and just kind of work my day around that. I always try to do a bit of pitching and follow-ups with cannabis journalists and reporters

I’m always reading the news — checking to see if any coverage has happened. 

Then, depending on the day, I’ll either have calls with clients, do some media list-building, or support the account managers. 


Where do you primarily get your cannabis industry news from? 

Gina: Newsletters in the morning are the first thing I look at. And I love Google! If you’re well-versed in different ways of how to Google, you can find what you’re looking for. Google Alerts are great, too. 


What is your favorite part of being a cannabis PR account manager?

Gina: I love talking to clients. It also could be the most stressful part [laughs], but it’s my favorite part too. Hearing new developments, what they’re up to, seeing their company grow, and just touching base with them.


Six people including NisonCo cannabis PR Account Manager Gina Epifano stand cliffside at Ho'okipa Beach in Maui, Hawaii.

NisonCo cannabis PR Account Manager Gina Epifano and her group of fellow volunteers at the annual Great Whale Count at Ho’okipa Beach in Maui, Hawaii.


Is there anything that stresses your coworkers out that you know you can do well?

Gina: I’m very patient with clients. [For example], recently, we had a little bit of a gap — it was August, reporters were out — so there was a minimal lag in coverage. I’m learning to listen and be patient with small dry spells, but I also feel like I’m very good at receiving minimal information and still delivering. 


What does the future of cannabis look like to you?

Gina: Immediately, I’d love to see some form of SAFE banking in place. I hope it becomes available in a way that works for everybody and doesn’t become monopolized.


How long have you been in the cannabis industry?

Gina: Two years with NisonCo. 


What hobbies or social causes are you into outside of your cannabis PR work?

Gina: One of my main hobbies is antiquing. I love shopping for antiques, but I also love refurbishing furniture and selling antiques, so I have a little booth locally here where I sell at an antique mall.

One of the causes I’m involved in is the Pacific Whale Foundation, so I volunteer when I’m in Hawaii. They have an annual whale count, which is a very tedious count where you have to count the number of breaches — the number of whales you see and what they’re doing. But all of that information goes towards their helping the whales and research. 

I’ve never been out on the boat, but I think there are five different observation points on the island. I go out on the North Shore, stand out there for four hours, and just scan in 15-minute intervals. There are remote volunteer opportunities, too. 


Thank you so much, Gina!

Gina’s hard work, eye for news, and ability to connect with clients are invaluable additions to the NisonCo team. You can connect with Gina on LinkedIn here

Tune in next month for a conversation with NisonCo’s head of HR, and keep in touch with us in the meantime by keeping an eye on the blog and dropping us a line here.

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