You need your brand to connect with customers in a meaningful, memorable way. Here’s how communications agencies like Grasslands execute on strategies for PR and content marketing that outshine your brand’s competition
Editor’s note: Curious about Cannabis Marketing, Public Relations and Thought Leadership? We’re sharing intel about what works and what doesn’t in this special Grasslands video series. Get the inside story about the best ways to deliver messaging that resonates with B2B and B2C audiences, as well as getting the right media placements for your brand.
Hello, and welcome to “Cannabis Marketing 101,” a show where we take your questions about cannabis marketing and marijuana PR and break them down with the experts. I’m John Svoboda of Grasslands, and as always feel free to send any of your cannabis marketing and PR questions directly to me at John@mygrasslands.com. Of course, I’m here as always with my colleague Ricardo Baca, a.k.a. AdCann’s Marketer of the Year, as well as the CEO of Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency. Ricardo, what’s up?
What’s up? Good to be here with you this morning, man.
Great to see you this morning. We have been gathering questions from our friends and colleagues throughout the cannabis industry, that have been related to PR and marketing and in the cannabis industry. We wanted to address some of those questions, and do these minicasts in order to share some education to our friends and network throughout our social media channels. Is that kind of the idea behind this?
I love it, dude. You know, rising tide. Let’s educate people while we’re still stuck in our homes and help raise the quality of marketing in the cannabis industry.
Phenomenal. I’m all for it and looking forward to the next few episodes. Let’s get right into the question. This episode’s question is from Julie in Michigan. She asks, “My competitors are in publications like MJBizDaily and Forbes. Why am I not being interviewed in these various outlets?” What’s she doing wrong, Ricardo?
How to Get Press Coverage for Your Cannabis Business
Well, good question. Appreciate the question. I think so many people’s first interaction with the media is maybe they’re at a parade and a journalist approaches them, or maybe they have a neighbor who is a reporter, and they get interviewed for a story, so they have that relationship one way or the other.
The reason why she might not be getting featured in these publications is because she doesn’t have the relationships. You know, John, people, these cannabis professionals, they do not have time to be developing these relationships with reporters who are all over the U.S., Canada, oftentimes South America, and the world. That’s why they work with agency partners like Grasslands.
This is what we call earned media. Public relations creates earned media opportunities, and when you’re quoted in MJBizDaily, which is obviously one of the biggest cannabis business trades in the world, or Forbes, which is one of the biggest business publications in the world, that can be really meaningful for your brand. So you should be asking yourself, “How can I find my way into these publications?”
What is the importance of being placed in a publication like that? I mean, many businesses, especially in the cannabis industry, use a lot of their marketing budget on things like sponsorships of events, making sure their banner is out there with their logo. What really is the best use of their marketing spend? Is it getting that earned media? Or is it the sponsorships? Is it a mixture of both? What do you think?
The sponsorships and the advertisements, those are important, too. Let me break it down for you really quick, because the media paradigm, as it exists, you have owned media, paid media, and earned media.
We’ll start with owned. You own these channels, and you own the opportunity to control your messaging. That is social media, your website. That’s your owned media channels. When it comes to paid media, that’s the sponsorships, the advertising, the sponsored content that you were just talking about, John. That can be really valuable, too. But you know what? The modern consumer sees through advertising and sponsorships. They recognize that you can pay for that inside cover ad in the magazine or the ad that runs right before your favorite show. You can pay for that.
What we practice at Grasslands, primarily, is really earned media. You hire us to be your PR agency, and we go out and secure that earned media coverage for you. And the value of that earned media coverage is that it’s the most trusted media in the world. We know this after decades of polling, by pollsters like Gallup and Pew. Americans and people across the world trust earned media, because it’s that third-party reporter, journalist, blogger, podcaster coming out and saying, “Yes, we have vetted this company, this executive.”
They’re giving them their credibility. They are including them there, and there’s no money changing hands. This is an earned media placement, and that’s why it’s so immensely valuable when compared to sponsorships, advertising. You think about it, anybody can do that. Not anybody can secure earned media.
Those are great points. Thank you so much for that. I’ve learned a bunch today. Thanks so much, Ricardo.
As always, you can learn more about all of this and so much more at our website, mygrasslands.com. Please follow us on LinkedIn. You can find us at Grasslands Agency. Again, I’m John Svoboda. Feel free to email any of your questions about cannabis marketing PR to my email address at email@example.com. We will see you tomorrow with another episode of “Cannabis Marketing 101.” Thanks, Ricardo.
Thank you, John.
Got a question of your own? We’d love to hear from you, and are happy to talk shop anytime about cannabis marketing, thought leadership and PR. Drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org