GRASSLANDS IS IN THE BUSINESS OF PERSUASION.
Our communications philosophy is centered on a journalism-minded, Aristotle-modeled approach to content creation, marketing, public relations, branding, social media management, events and more.
That means using only vetted information, distributing professionally written copy, getting things right the first time, listening actively to our clients and media partners, and thriving on tough deadlines. Our team proudly offers superior industry knowledge and a deep understanding of the issues that affect our clients across multiple highly regulated sectors—and their customers.
We also approach each daily task via the Modes of Persuasion, as taught most famously by Aristotle back in the day at the Platonic Academy. We know how to use classical strategies of persuasion and influence to create meaningful results in the modern world, and our clients will hear us discussing Aristotle as much as we do Godin or Bernays.
Another aspect of our communications philosophy that helps us stand apart from other agencies: Grasslands leverages our news judgment and editorial savvy to distill our clients’ ideas and expertise, and works with them to develop timely op-eds, singular panel ideas and meaningful media placements meant to spark conversations, inspire curiosity and solidify thought leadership positioning.
When we say we tell stories, build brands and amplify value, that is exactly what we do.
GRASSLANDS CULTURE & SOCIETY
We are centered around a journalism-minded approach to content creation, marketing and public relations. That means using only vetted information, distributing professionally written copy, getting things right the first time, listening intently to our clients and media partners, and thriving on tough deadlines.
Our team proudly offers superior industry knowledge and a deep understanding of the issues that affect our clients and their customers. We value honest, meaningful expression and clarity of thought.
We utilize our news judgment and editorial savvy to distill our clients’ ideas and expertise, and work with them to develop informed op-eds. We secure media placements and interviews to spark conversations, inspire curiosity and solidify thought leadership positioning.
WILLIE’S REMEDY: AN AMERICAN-GROWN HEMP-DERIVED CBD BRAND FROM WILLIE NELSON
Launch a new brand and product line in a crowded marketplace.
Start a fresh conversation in the hemp-derived CBD (cannabidiol) space to address the growing segment of the public that has yet to try CBD as a wellness alternative.
Grasslands helped secure over 500 international media placements, including dedicated coverage in Forbes, Now This, Simple Most, Rolling Stone and cable news and broadcast stations.
The company sold out in its first week on the market and has steady buzz built for additional product lines to follow.
Thought Leadership: Speaking Engagements
EBBU: A BLEEDING-EDGE BIOTECH RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT LABORATORY
Strategically position a high-level, science-savvy biotech start-up in front of investors, peers, industry and consumers.
Secure speaking opportunities at key domestic and international conferences to solidify and amplify ebbu CEO Jon Cooper’s thought leadership.
Grasslands helped secure 10-plus high-profile speaking engagements for Mr. Cooper throughout the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands in less than a year, elevating his public profile—and his brand’s value.
ebbu was acquired for $348 million USD by Canopy Growth Corporation.
OUR CLIENT’S TAKE
“As my colleagues and I were conducting groundbreaking scientific research at ebbu’s laboratory in Colorado, we needed an agency partner to open some strategic doors for us so that we could tell the world about everything we were doing—and Grasslands opened those doors and had our backs with each opportunity. From speaking engagements throughout the U.S. and Canada to brand features in Rolling Stone and USA Today, Grasslands leveraged its extensive relationships in international media and conferences so that I could tell ebbu’s story where it mattered most.”—Jon Cooper, CEO, ebbu
MARY’S MEDICINALS: AN INDUSTRY-LEADING NATIONAL CANNABIS TOPICALS BRAND
Introduce new branding in a thoughtful, experiential way while educating key audiences on product lines and company mission.
Roll out the fresh look with a timely, trendy, interactive educational event that surprises and delights along the way.
Grasslands ideated, planned and produced the brand-centric activation Mary’s Urban Market, an experiential evening of live music, food trucks, signature CBD cocktails and an exclusive pop-up bazaar featuring artwork, jewelry, textiles and more.
Exposure for the leading cannabis brand to over 350 budtenders, thought leaders and influencers, increased brand affinity through unique event engagement, and increased product awareness through stationed educational centers throughout the event.
OUR CLIENT’S TAKE
“When we first engaged Grasslands to produce an elevated event for Mary’s Medicinals, we knew it had to transcend event status—that it needed to feel like a memorable, experiential happening. And even on a modest budget, the Grasslands team had a never-ending list of fun, creative and unexpected ideas to create special touch-points for attendees. Grasslands communicated clearly and efficiently throughout the planning process, and once the doors opened to our special guests it became clear to me that every single detail of the event exuded Mary’s in the most meaningful way. And it wasn’t just an event—it was an experience, which is exactly what we wanted. We were thankful to work with an event production partner who listened to our ideas and translated our vision into such a remarkably on-brand experience.”—Elle Welch, Marketing and Communications Manager, Mary’s Brands
Writing & Editing Project: Website Content Refresh
SMART GROW PROS: A BIG-AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANCY SPECIALIZING IN HEMP AND CANNABIS OPERATIONS
Overhaul existing website wireframe and draft crisp, compelling and SEO-focused web content to clearly communicate the company’s mission, vision, values and services with prospective clients, partners and investors.
Research competitor sites and work collaboratively with company executives to sculpt a cohesive corporate narrative and establish a clear editorial voice to communicate effectively with target audiences.
Grasslands delivered a complete website wireframe and drafted copy for all web pages, including key information about company founders, services, capabilities and contact channels.
Overhauling the website helped increase the company’s brand awareness and establish a strong corporate voice, as well as enhancing business development capabilities.
COMPASSIONATE CULTIVATION: TEXAS’ FIRST LICENSED MEDICAL CANNABIS DISPENSARY
Launch and drive traffic to a brand-new website with no SEO for an unknown state-licensed cannabis brand in a conservative state.
Build and maintain a blog that organically attracts digital search traffic via targeted SEO, market-relevant information, strategic SEM and compelling education.
Grasslands ideated, wrote and produced 50+ blogs since September 2017 .
Compassionate Cultivation’s blog attracted 1,000+ blog views on opening day—on a brand-new website, no less—and its year-over-year analytics show meaningful, brand-elevating growth, including: a 57% rise in total users; a 59% increase in new users; a 50% rise in sessions; and a 50% increase in overall page views.
Thought Leadership: Content
IRON PROTECTION GROUP: A VETERAN-FOUNDED NATIONAL SECURITY FIRM KNOWN FOR HIRING AND SUPPORTING VETS
Elevate brand positioning and messaging for Iron Protection Group, a security firm specializing in highly regulated industries. conservative state.
Position Hunter Garth, Iron Protection Group’s Managing Director, as an industry thought leader on issues ranging from safety in security to the importance of employing veterans.
Grasslands worked with Mr. Garth to ideate and write a first-person column on the importance of hiring and supporting veterans, and the agency coordinated the placement of that bylined column in the November 2018 print issue of Entrepreneur magazine (and GreenEntrepreneur.com).
Mr. Garth’s phone and inbox lit up when Entrepreneur hit newsstands, and lead generation directly resulted in new client contracts for Iron Protection Group in key markets.
OUR CLIENT’S TAKE
PLANTLIFE CANADA: A THOUGHTFULLY CURATED RETAIL DISPENSARY CONCEPT
Create and develop a brand-new Canadian retail concept meant to educate, entertain and encourage sales and customer loyalty.
Through research of existing retail environments, in-depth client interviews and our own industry expertise, Grasslands helped create an elevated customer experience that is as memorable as it is meaningful.
Plantlife stores see strong retention of customers, whose feedback says they appreciate the education-forward retail environments and the thoughtfully curated selection of products.
Plantlife’s early successes have emboldened their future expansion plans, and the brand will be opening more stores throughout Canada in the coming months.
OUR CLIENT’S TAKE
“When we realized we needed an external perspective on branding and operations, we knew we needed an experienced team with unquestionable industry expertise and a strategy-forward approach that would help us stand out in a crowded market—and we were lucky to partner with the team at Grasslands. With Grasslands’ help, we created and implemented a creative-but-relatable brand name, an education-forward retail experience, a thoughtfully curated inventory, a sales-savvy showroom and a memorable customer experience. And as our business continues to grow, we hope to engage Grasslands for public relations and other marketing services.”—Roger Newton, Director, Plantlife Canada
Social Media Creation and Management
COMPASSIONATE CULTIVATION: TEXAS’ FIRST LICENSED MEDICAL CANNABIS DISPENSARY
Launch social platforms and build up community for an unknown state-licensed cannabis brand in a conservative state.
Create meaningful content that educates and engages while positioning Compassionate Cultivation as an industry leader in advancing medical cannabis programs, increasing covered medical conditions, and conducting research on treatments for patients in Texas.
Strong platform, robust growth and 100% organic engagement, with nearly 600,000 impressions and more than 62,000 page and post engagements in the most recent year.
Facebook leads as the number one referral source to Compassionate Cultivation’s website, a reflection of Grasslands content development and strategic engagement.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO WORK WITH RICARDO BACA AND THE GRASSLANDS TEAM? HERE’S WHAT SOME OF OUR CLIENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE.
Building a meaningful brand story and supporting it with consistent messaging and PR strategies may be a more intricate endeavor in modern cannabis and hemp than nearly any other industry. Willie’s Reserve and Willie’s Remedy are both inspired by Willie Nelson, so shaping distinct roles and communications for our related-but-different brands requires an in-depth understanding of the benefits of the plant, and an appreciation for the constraints of the marketplace. Grasslands has been an invaluable partner on that complicated front. Grasslands is the rare public relations agency that strategically educates and informs as it gets the word out.
—ELIZABETH HOGAN, Vice President of Brands at GCI Inc. / Willie’s Remedy
When we first engaged Grasslands to produce an elevated event for Mary’s Medicinals, we knew it had to transcend event status—that it needed to feel like a memorable, experiential happening. And even on a modest budget, the Grasslands team had a never-ending list of fun, creative and unexpected ideas to create special touch-points for attendees. Grasslands communicated clearly and efficiently throughout the planning process, and once the doors opened to our special guests it became clear to me that every single detail of the event exuded Mary's in the most meaningful way. And it wasn't just an event—it was an experience, which is exactly what we wanted. We were thankful to work with an event production partner who listened to our ideas and translated our vision into such a remarkably on-brand experience.
—ELLE WELCH, Marketing and Communications Manager at Mary’s Brands
Ricardo Baca and his team at Grasslands are some of the best in the communications biz. Through Grasslands' large network of industry professionals, they have connected CannAmerica Brands with like-minded executives and industry-leading companies, helping us secure meaningful connections and long-term working relationships. When working in a space that evolves so quickly, it’s always helpful to have well-connected industry professionals to help your business grow.
—FRANK FALCONER, CCO & Co-Founder at CannAmerica Brands
Grasslands’ content team is stacked with experienced journalists, and they have a way of breaking down the complex science that defined and differentiated our brand and translating it so that non-PhDs could understand what we were doing—and its implications on an emerging market. The only reason we’re no longer with Grasslands is because we were acquired by Canopy Growth in late-2018—in part because of the elevated international profile Grasslands helped us attain via high-level public relations and thought leadership work.
—JON COOPER, CEO at ebbu
Any veteran of the cannabis and hemp industries knows how campy and tired cannabis parties can be. But working with the Grasslands team gave my colleagues and I the opportunity to breathe new life into industry events that we were proud to put our name on. Grasslands' approach is creative, forward-thinking and inclusive, and the thoughtfully curated guest lists are always stacked with the names and faces you hope to see. Now, not only do we never miss a Grasslands Party, we never miss a chance to sponsor one.
—BOB HOBAN, President & CEO at Hoban Law Group
Grasslands consistently gets the job done on deadline, unquestionably, but more importantly: Everything Grasslands does on our brand's behalf is informed by a communications strategy that we've developed collaboratively. As Coda Signature expands into California and other markets, we know our brand needs to be more visible in national publications as well as strategic local outlets—and so we engaged Grasslands to help us connect with highly specific demographics that will include our future customers, partners and investors. And Grasslands implements our strategy daily with accountability and follow-through. When we ask them to handle something, we don't have to ask them again. We know it's taken care of. And that accountability is everything when working with an agency partner.
—MARK GRINDELAND, CEO & Co-Founder at Coda Signature
While many PR teams create a client strategy and barrel forward in that direction no matter what, I'm thankful Grasslands knows that a successful PR program is one that evolves and changes course with the ebb and flow of a client's business and its priorities. Our business is a complex organization, with coast-to-coast licensing agreements, public company listings in multiple countries and exciting LOIs in the U.S., Latin America, Europe and beyond; Grasslands has not only executed our most essential needs of the moment, they have also become our trusted advisors as we discuss long-term corporate planning for public relations, marketing, communications and events.
—DAN ANGLIN, CEO & Co-Founder at CannAmerica Brands
For years, journalists and the cannabis industry alike have looked to Ricardo Baca for insights and perspective. Ricardo knows the consumer and the cannabis business with unparalleled depth and breadth.
—ROY BINGHAM, Co-Founder & CEO at BDS Analytics
Ricardo’s integrity and background as a highly respected journalist made bringing him onto the team an easy decision. We are lucky to have someone with his level of thoughtfulness, commitment and character working with us side-by-side on our mission to improve the quality of life of conscientious cannabis consumers everywhere.
—MICHAEL RAY, CEO at Bloom Farms
As my colleagues and I were conducting groundbreaking scientific research at ebbu’s laboratory in Colorado, we needed an agency partner to open some strategic doors for us so that we could tell the world about everything we were doing—and Grasslands opened those doors and had our backs with each opportunity. From speaking engagements throughout the U.S. and Canada to brand features in Rolling Stone and USA Today, Grasslands leveraged its extensive relationships in international media and conferences so that I could tell ebbu’s story where it mattered most.
—JON COOPER, CEO at ebbu
We've worked with Grasslands to develop and implement our thought leadership strategy for more than a year, and in that time we've had columns written by NCIA staffers on a wide range of issues publish in a number of local, national and international outlets, including International Business Times, TechCrunch, Green Entrepreneur and others. Thought leadership is an essential part of NCIA's communications strategy, and Grasslands is a valuable partner helping us promote the responsible cannabis industry.
—MORGAN FOX, Media Relations Director at National Cannabis Industry Association
Strategy. That's what I value most about our public relations work with Grasslands. With every decision, big and small, Grasslands encourages my colleagues and I to think long-term about our capital management group's primary business objectives—and how our PR program can help us achieve those goals. I've been especially impressed with Grasslands' ability to understand and roll with our sometimes-evolving priorities and create custom-tailored proactive pitches to the media outlets we need the most at that moment. And so a Denver Business Journal feature dedicated to CCMG was a huge win for us as we were looking to establish ourselves with Colorado investors, while our extensive coverage in Forbes, The Street and MarketWatch have been more meaningful as we connect with national and international investors and partners.
—RICHARD M. BATENBURG JR., Fund Manager at Cliintel Capital Management Group
Given my own background in journalism, I have high content standards, yet Grasslands superseded my expectations of what pro bono service might offer. They are sharp, thorough, and above all, humble. Regardless of our status, they showed us the utmost respect. No pride, no ego. Just smart, turnkey content delivered with care. I am completely and utterly humbled by the sincerity and dedication Grasslands demonstrated to storytelling, to the craft of journalism, to the neighborhood, to the arts, and of course, to the people—not to mention impeccable content to boot. Grasslands, we are forever yours.
—AMY DVORAK, Past President at Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe
The Grasslands Party sponsorship got Manna's name attached to several high-level networking events across the country—at SXSW and MJBizCon, in New Orleans and Oakland—where we collaborated creatively on how to best activate the Manna brand. We all had a wonderful time, and the parties provided a casual and interactive environment to showcase our identity to packed rooms of people from all walks of life. It was a good time to relax, have talks with industry executives, reporters, and cannabis consumers, and for them in turn to get to know the faces and names of Manna.
—NIAL DEMENA, CEO & President at Manna Molecular Science
I couldn't believe my eyes, seeing my byline and my words in a print issue of Entrepreneur magazine, a decades-old international publication read by so many of my mentors, peers and competitors—and potential customers, as it turns out. A few days after the issue first hit newsstands, my inbox was flooded with biz dev opportunities—other entrepreneurs who appreciated what I'd written and connected with my perspective and wanted to discuss bringing my security company on as their security provider. A few days later, I'd inked my first deal based on the thought leadership column—a CEO who knew he wanted to work with me after reading my column. And that was the first of multiple doors that opened thanks to Grasslands' strategic and relentless thought leadership work on my behalf.
—HUNTER GARTH, Managing Director at Iron Protection Group
When we realized we needed an external perspective on branding and operations, we knew we needed an experienced team with unquestionable industry expertise and a strategy-forward approach that would help us stand out in a crowded market—and we were lucky to partner with the team at Grasslands. With Grasslands' help, we created and implemented a creative-but-relatable brand name, an education-forward retail experience, a thoughtfully curated inventory, a sales-savvy showroom and a memorable customer experience. And as our business continues to grow, we hope to engage Grasslands for public relations and other marketing services.
—ROGER NEWTON, Director at Plantlife Canada
To say Grasslands is generous is an understatement. I am beyond grateful for the dedication to community, flawless content, and utter humility. Through its pro bono content marketing and social media management, Grasslands truly transformed our all-volunteer organization, providing the strong marketing and communications foundation we strove for but did not have the staff to achieve. Thanks to their services, we raised the bar and nearly doubled our social media following. But more importantly, through Ricardo Baca’s and his team’s efforts, we were able to provide quality, agency-produced content for local working artists and small businesses in Denver. The Grasslands team authentically told their stories and promoted their work, helping to preserve art and culture in this corner of the city that is integral to the fabric of Denver and its history. And we’re grateful.
—AMY DVORAK, Past President at Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe