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Cannabis Marketing: Is PR the Missing Link in Your Marketing Strategy?

Cannabis Marketing: Is PR the Missing Link in Your Marketing Strategy?

Cannabis marketing is tough. To be honest, marketing in any industry can be difficult. Finding the perfect blend of strategies to reach and engage your audience is challenging. But this is especially the case when advertising restrictions on cannabis products and brands are in play.


These restrictions (which we’ll get into later in this article) inhibit marketing initiatives for cannabis brands and often: 


  • Prevent businesses from reaching their marketing and sales goals

  • Hinder consumers from hearing about new cannabis products on the market

  • Further instill the false ideology that cannabis is “bad”


What if there was a way to circumnavigate these restrictions (legally, of course)? What if you could reach your target audiences through major publications without paying for an ad? What if you could add credibility to your brand by winning awards and being recognized by mainstream media?


With strategic public relations (PR), you can. In this article, we’re exploring a crucial yet often overlooked aspect of cannabis marketing—PR. Read on to uncover why PR is the missing link your marketing strategy needs to remain steadfast. 


The Cannabis Marketing Challenge

Before we dive into the benefits and use cases of PR for cannabis organizations, we first need to look at the marketing challenges cannabis businesses commonly face. While cannabis consumption for recreational and medical use is legal in many states, usage is still illegal at a federal level. This discrepancy leaves cannabis brands in a gray area when marketing and advertising their products and business. 


According to the Cannabis Media Council (CMC), cannabis brands must ensure their advertising strictly complies with all governing regulations. CMC’s recommendations declare, “Advertising must follow all state and local jurisdictional laws pertaining to the sale and consumption of cannabis, and should in no way imply noncompliance.” 


With laws and regulations varying from state to state, it’s difficult to keep up with the changes. Additionally, this means e-commerce cannabis retailers are limited to advertising and selling their products to consumers in certain states. 


This relates to not only physical advertising locations but also marketing online via social media and Google. 


In fact, Meta’s guidelines state social media ads on Facebook and Instagram can’t:

 

  • “Solicit, buy, sell, trade, donate or gift (such as freebies) illicit, recreational, or other potentially unsafe drugs, products or supplements”

  • “Encourage the consumption of illicit, recreational, or other potentially unsafe drugs, products or supplements”

  • “Promote the sale of drug-related paraphernalia, such as bongs, rolling papers and vaporized delivery devices”


So what cannabis marketing and advertising solutions do these restrictions leave brands to leverage? Public relations is the surefire way to promote your cannabis brand effectively and legally. Let’s get into it.


What is Public Relations and Why Should Cannabis Companies Care?

Public relations is the ongoing act of establishing a brand or individual’s presence in the media and the public eye. It’s all about having your story told the way you want to tell it through mainstream media outlets such as magazines, podcasts, industry events, and the like. The primary goal? To enhance visibility, establish credibility, build stakeholder trust, and foster long-term success.


In the competitive cannabis industry, PR is no longer a luxury item—it’s a must-have to marketing your brand effectively. 


PR circumnavigates the cannabis marketing challenges mentioned above. Here’s how: with PR, you’re not paying for digital ads on social channels with strict advertising regulations. So, you’re not risking paying thousands in advertising for just a few people to actually see your ad. Instead, a publication, like Forbes, for example, is featuring you and/or your brand in an article tailored to your ideal audience… for free. 


Essentially, what you get is:


  • Promotion in top industry and mainstream media publications, adding credibility to your brand

  • High-quality backlinks to your website from major media outlets

  • The ability to share your earned media placements on social media, via email, and through other means of marketing

  • A surefire way to avoid cannabis marketing roadblocks


And the results of all the above? PR enables you to:


  • Build authority and credibility in your niche

  • Attract more of the right people for the right reasons

  • Grow your customer base and increase your topline revenue

Cannabis Marketing & PR: Are You Ready to Maximize Your Impact?

Not sure if you’re ready to kick off a PR campaign? Get our readiness checklist to determine whether public relations is a valuable option for you and your cannabis business.



Final Thoughts

A PR expert can help you craft a compelling narrative that resonates with your target audience(s) as well as key journalists and media outlets. With the right PR strategy and partner, you can promote your brand by securing valuable media coverage from feature stories in top-tier publications to mentions in industry-specific articles, and guest spots on podcasts. 


At Green Lane Communication, we’re ready to help you gain share of voice in your market and further build your brand’s legacy. Get in touch with us to get started.

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