Cannabis Companies Can Earn Positive Media Coverage And Attract New Business

By Bill Bongiorno

Earning positive media coverage by being a source to the media builds credibility and visibility for cannabis companies. Being quoted in a newspaper, magazine or being a guest on TV as an expert source carries a lot of weight with the public.

The media acts as a third-party endorsement. It’s also the best and fastest way to reach a mass audience.

Here are some ways for cannabis companies to earn positive media coverage:

  • News releases – even simple news sent to local media can result in coverage.  For example, a cannabis company announcing a new deal that involves a local company. These two pieces of information can be shared with local regional newspapers and business journals.  These also will find their way on the Internet. Earning positive media coverage will aid search engine optimization to get found by potential consumers and investors.
  • Interviews with reporters covering cannabis are another tool for cannabis companies to be quoted in news stories. Reading current cannabis news and paying attention to who the writers are is essential.  There is cannabis news on a daily basis and cannabis company executives can offer to be expert sources supplying information, guidance and opinion.  Often the writers contact information is available at media websites.
  • Byline articles are another great way for cannabis companies to help the investing public and showcase their financial knowledge.  If you have a regular newsletter or cannabis commentary you send to clients, rework it to get published to a wider audience as a byline piece or guest blog.  Writing articles and letters to the editor that get published in media read by a cannabis company target audience, positions the company as a thought leader.  It displays the value proposition to customers and investors.
  • Follow cannabis writers on Twitter and LinkedIn and interact with them.  Sometimes they post what stories they are working on and the types of sources they need.  This is another way in today’s social media world, to stay connected. It helps to build a relationship to say you’ve read their stories and comment on them. A retweet or sharing a link on LinkedIn and FB is always welcome, particularly with cannabis reporters.
  • Develop news hooks based on the time of year to earn positive media coverage.  With Halloween coming, a story hook on infusing the day with cannabis would be a good topic. When the Christmas season is upon us, a story about a gift that keeps giving, cannabis, would be cool, not to mention as a stocking stuffer.  TV loves these kinds of stories because it offers great visuals. This is another avenue for cannabis companies to gain some positive media coverage. Often having been quoted in the media and having had articles published will help cannabis execs get on TV.  Typically, TV follows print in the stories it covers. Look at the news of the day in print and offer to be a guest talking about a top cannabis news story.

By employing some of these media tactics, cannabis companies can be positioned as experts along with their value propositions. While increasing name recognition, credibility and visibility to attract customers and investors.  Think about earning positive media coverage for your cannabis company today.


 

Bill Bongiorno is President of Blue Chip Public Relations, Inc., a firm specializing in working with financial and alternative investment companies including the cannabis industry. 

 

Cannabis Financing Companies Need To Infuse Good PR

By Bill Bongiorno

With the passage on the ballots in nine states last Fall, cannabis is now legal in some form in 29 states.  Everyone wants to get into the game and the cannabis rush is on.  This includes more traditional bankers and Wall Street executives.  The trend is growing of more leaving the tired landscape of stocks and bonds for a different kind of green – financing cannabis companies in the U.S. that are in desperate need of capital.  Why?  Because cannabis is still federally illegal.  Typical bankers, investment firms, accountants, lawyers and the usual suspects of consultants are now entering the scene as well as financial advisors.

But how does a financial company, be it publicly traded in Canada or a private equity firm based in New York establish itself as credible, legitimate and viable in an industry that has a stigma of the stoner?

Enter public relations, which doesn’t have the barriers to entry or legal requirements of say an accounting or legal firm.   That is the beauty of it.  Traditional media have flocked to covering cannabis as the trend towards legalization is clear. The rise of cannabis journalism is also undeniable as Cannabis Now magazine recently wrote about it its latest issue.

Financial companies operating in the cannabis space are letting priceless marketing slip through their fingers as savvy companies such as iAnthus Capital Management swallows up the media attention, along with stock volume, investors, and deal flow.

The need for a clear and concise message, along with astute company positioning and a winning traditional and social media strategy are imperative as the business landscape in cannabis becomes ever more competitive.  A recent Forbes column by a great cannabis journalist Julie Weed points to the need to use social to drive a business or product:

So how does one go about getting this media attention?  It always comes down to telling a great story.  This is how you win your share of “ink.”  Also going to the right cannabis reporter at the right time with that right story is key.

Playing off the constant stream of news in the cannabis space is also an imperative.  Having the talking points and quotable quotes set to go to the right journalists when news is imminent or breaking is how you get into mainstream media, such as Bloomberg, US News and others.

Friday Night, Inc. is the perfect example of how our firm seized the opportunity around the full legalization in Nevada and the cannabis shortage news after implementation by securing national top tier media coverage:

The coverage secured helped the tiny public company trade above 3 million shares.

It’s great to be in Cannabis Now and Cannabis Business Daily and talking to people with an interest in the space, but for high impact, having a name brand household name media outlet cover you is like gold.

The articles become marketing material to use in pitch decks, investor meetings, and other business worthy endeavors when proving your business model and value proposition is paramount.

So, when planning your cannabis business strategy, don’t forget to get some hits in the mainstream media and infuse your growth with some public relations grow.


 

Bill Bongiorno is President of Blue Chip Public Relations, Inc., a firm specializing in working with financial and alternative investment companies including the cannabis industry.