Cannabis is swiftly becoming one of the darlings of media buzz.  Growing at lightning speed, this industry is alive and crazed with press clamoring over the next big moment or product. As a 30-year veteran in entertainment marketing, I’ve worked consistently with media outlets around the world, perfecting strategies to get my clients noticed.  

You’ve seen it in action as a cannabis business owner. A company makes an announcement of a new product and the industry is wild with excitement. You suddenly see coverage everywhere. 

  • Why and how does that happen?  
  • How do you get multitudes of people to anticipate your every move?  
  • What stories are worthy of being on air and in print?  
  • How does cannabis press go from industry specific to mainstream media?

It’s time to start thinking like a Public Relations professional. The media likes to play show and tell, so if you can create a story that relates to what you are promoting, you may have a chance to impress the press and, as a result, get some press. Additionally, public relations tactics ignite social media efforts organically.  

I recently attended the Cannabis Wedding Expo in California and was impressed by the number of media outlets present. How can you as a business owner capitalize on the existing coverage and expand your media reach?

Position your press. It is human nature to want to feel “in the know,” and the press is no different. What are they currently covering in your market? Is there a way to ride the wave of existing press happening on a certain niche or topic? Press breeds more press. Follow their lead.

Be strategic. Look at your target market. Where and how are they obtaining their information? What blogs and articles are they reading? Who do they consider influencers?  This is an excellent outreach list to consider when deciding where to spend your time and effort.     

What are other industries impacted by your service or product? For example, are you a cannabis packaging company? Are you creating strategies for the cannabis market AND the packaging industry? Let’s say you design an incredible edibles Easter basket. You need to reach beyond the edibles market. Are you reaching out to florists? Culinary press? Sending non-infused versions of your basket to press in non-legal states? Get creative in your outreach avenues.

Create a story.  The press is bombarded with people who believe their product is worthy of coverage, so it’s critical you think like an editor and decide to be coverage-worthy. While the press may not necessarily be interested in covering your new product launch, perhaps there is a story related to your product that IS press worthy. Did your product have a life-changing impact on a customer? THAT is press-worthy. Be authentic in your passion for the impact your company is having on the industry. Passion is infectious and can motivate coverage from the press.

Make It Easy for The Press.  Do you have your style guide ready for the media to pick up the information they need to cover you?  Are you accessible to them? Do you have incredible photographs of your product ready?  The easier you make it on people to find you and find the information they need to cover you, the more likely you are to be covered.  

A few DON’TS for press coverage:

DON’T send cannabis directly to media.  Your intention is to get your idea across and develop a relationship with media outlets.  Save the smoke-sesh for celebrating your coverage!

DON’T allow uninteresting people to represent your product in interviews.  Have an interview coming up?  Prep. Know your product, your target market, and your goals.  Be charismatic. People buy into the people behind a product just as much as the product itself.  

Commanding excitement for your product or service and understanding how and why people choose to follow certain campaigns and companies can be intimidating.  It’s essential you think about how and why your story is worthy of coverage and manifest your efforts around that belief.  You have the power to design your story and share it with your audience. Make yourself memorable.

Remember, go as far as you can see and when you get there you will see further!

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