As more states legalize cannabis on some level, the number of new cannabis start-ups is growing. So how does your start-up standout from the others? Investors looking for their next play or consumers searching for a cannabis product or service often can only differentiate one start-up from another by the articles it finds. Particularly in a new legal industry such as cannabis, an investor or consumer relies on the credibility of a media outlet as an endorsement of a source as serious and qualified
In the cannabis business, startups need to communicate they are reliable, dedicated to quality, and adhere to the other attributes of serious commerce. It’s even more important given the long history of the pot culture and the stigmas attached to it.
One of the most effective actions a cannabis company can take to prove itself to the market as a well-run business is through a thoughtful, well planned and executed public relations campaign. The power of the third-party endorsement that comes from being an expert source in media articles is a powerful tool.
An article in a local or national newspaper, or an interview on radio or TV drives investors and consumers to your product or company. It begins the process of steering them your way by introducing you and having them want more information. You have the opportunity to tell your story, through a journalist. It’s important to have your messages, talking points and quotes you’d like to see in a story ahead of time to get the best possible outcome. Despite the constant political news climate, there is still real media traction covering the sector, including cannabis trades and mainstream consumer news media. Public relations coupled within a marketing/advertising program makes sense. A well-rounded media campaign should also news stories still capture the news and evolution of products and services in the cannabis industry.
Consider three different companies of similar size in the exact same market niche. One has no media exposure; the second has bought an ad in the town’s newspaper; the CEO of the third appears as the subject of a profile in the same paper. Who do you think is going to look best to a potential investor or customer?
Often a small, locally focused business, doesn’t need national exposure and a local news story does the trick. With the Internet, even “local” stories have global significance in searches. While an article in USA Today is great promotion and a boost to an ego, being profiled in a cannabis trade or recognized as a source in a local business journal also reaches your target audience.
So, the next time you’re wondering how you can reach new customers or gain more investors, remember where it is you go for information about options and reading through news articles when making decisions. Those stories can include you next time with a quote, a picture or maybe even a profile.
Janet Vasquez is founder of JV Public Relations NY, a boutique healthcare PR firm working with medical cannabis companies.