For cannabis entrepreneurs looking to raise capital and attract investors, positioning yourself as a trusted and respected industry power-player is a non-negotiable. A well-executed PR plan can help build credibility and generate positive media coverage that positions a cannabis business and its leadership in a way that attracts investor interest. In this article, we’re going to unpack the power of an effective PR strategy when raising capital for a cannabis startup.
Building credibility and trust with investors
Cannabis is still a highly regulated and stigmatized industry, and many investors are wary of putting their money into a business that operates in this space. The market has developed a volatile reputation for itself, and investors are not taking that lightly when considering who they’re placing bets on. A strong PR strategy helps build credibility and trust with potential investors by showcasing a cannabis business's strengths, values, and success stories through a variety of media coverage, public speaking opportunities, strategic alliances and partnerships, and more.
Communicating company values and goals
Investors want to know what a startup stands for and what it aims to achieve. With a relatively short track record compared to more well-established businesses, it’s important for startups to hone in on what they are, what they aren’t, and how they intend on communicating this message to stakeholders. It’s the narrative and story that’s developed and told publicly that helps investment groups determine whether or not a business is even worth considering to invest in. From working with various cannabis startups raising capital, we understand the importance of not only utilizing a strong narrative to attract investors, but to attract the right investors that are aligned with your company values, goals, and long-term vision.
Educating the public about the cannabis industry
One of the challenges facing the cannabis industry is a lack of understanding among the general public about the plant’s benefits and potential. Sure, there’s plenty of high-level buzz out there about the plant’s potential to be used medicinally, but how many people have an understanding of the intricate science that supports the promising long-term impact this plant medicine may have? A well thought out PR strategy helps educate potential investors about cannabis consumers, trends, and how the economics of a particular sector work. This type of messaging, along with a consistent effort to communicate it with the public, can help build trust and establish confidence with investors, especially with those on the outside of the industry looking in.
Creating a strong online presence
In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for any business looking to attract and connect with investors. Does your name or your company’s name appear in relevant search engine results? In today’s media landscape, a majority of coverage publishes in a digital format. This makes building a strong digital footprint that much easier. An effective way to leverage media coverage is by incorporating it into your digital marketing strategy. Having quality coverage to add to your website is not only a great way to showcase who’s talking about you, it’s also a great way to build healthy back-links and boost SEO.
Building relationships with investors
Communicating regularly with new and existing investors, providing updates on the company's progress, and responding to any questions or concerns they may have is a must. This type of public facing, consistent communication can build trust and confidence in your cannabis startup, which can lead to increased interest, investment, and support. A few ways to push the message out in front of your target audience is by distributing press releases (be careful not to over do it on the press releases!), connecting with journalists and reporters about market trends, being open to sharing insight into how your business is being impacted (hopefully in a positive way!), and being a guest on podcasts you know potential investors listen to.
At the end of the day, public relations should be in every cannabis startups’ toolkit to help attract the right investors and take their business to the next level. Don’t leave opportunities on the table by neglecting a PR strategy that supports the momentum you’ve built up until this point. By building credibility and trust, creating omnipresence, and establishing a strong online presence, the right public relations team can help your cannabis startup position itself as an industry leader, and attract the investment needed to grow and succeed. Reach out to Green Lane Communication today to get started on a PR strategy that will support your next capital raise.