As a new quarter approaches, many cannabis brands are gearing up for exciting new product launches. However, a common mistake that marketing leaders and founders make is thinking they can wait until just a few weeks before their product launch to kick off PR efforts. The truth is, waiting until the last minute can be detrimental to the success of a product launch. Instead, brands should turn on their PR engines months ahead of time to build momentum and hit the ground running with quality coverage and publicity once they’re ready to go to market. We’ve all heard the ol’ saying, “Timing is everything.” So, let’s take a look at how to give yourself a competitive advantage and generate the greatest return on investment when it comes to your PR efforts, goals, and objectives.
Building Relationships with Journalists Takes Time
One of the primary reasons to start PR efforts early is to build relationships with journalists and media outlets. It takes time to establish trust and credibility with reporters, and reaching out to them a month before a product launch is simply not enough time to build a relationship that can result in earned media coverage.
By starting PR efforts between two and three months before a product launch, brands can begin to build relationships with journalists and media outlets. This includes researching and reaching out to relevant reporters, sending them pitch ideas, and building a rapport over time. This way, when it's time to launch the product, brands have established relationships with reporters who are more likely to cover their story.
In addition, if there’s little-to-no coverage about a brand or its founder online, it can make pitching a product launch more difficult than it needs to be. Earning media coverage that helps introduce your target audience to who you are, what you do, and why you do it, is a great way to set yourself up for a successful round of media outreach later on that will focus solely on a product launch. The tough news we have to deliver to brands is that depending on the product launching, nobody will care enough to cover it unless there is a unique perspective that a founder or talking head of a company can offer due to a one-of-a-kind background, career, experience, etc… This is why we recommend brands continuously push their brand narrative out into the marketplace, and develop strategic thought leadership for their talking heads and C-Suite leaders.
Crafting Compelling Pitches
Pitching is an art form, and it takes time and effort to create pitches that will grab the attention of journalists and earn coverage. By starting PR efforts a few months ahead of a product launch, brands have enough time to research and understand the types of stories that journalists cover, and craft pitches that align with their interests. Brands can also take the time to refine their messaging and ensure that their pitch accurately represents their brand and product.
By starting PR efforts early, brands not only build relationships and craft compelling pitches, but they also give journalists and media outlets enough time to plan and prepare their coverage. This means that brands will have a better chance of securing coverage, as journalists will have more time to plan their stories and schedule interviews.
Moreover, by securing coverage ahead of time, brands can build buzz and excitement around their product launch. This can create a domino effect, where journalists and media outlets start to compete for coverage of the brand's product launch, resulting in even more exposure and visibility.
Keep in mind, just because you get interviewed or submit a story on Monday, does not mean it will be published by Wednesday. This is not because the journalist, editor, or whoever you’re collaborating with at a publication is lazy or doesn’t want to run your story. They have editorial calendars, news cycles, and a handful of other factors impacting when certain stories will publish. So be patient, account for the lead time it takes for a story to publish, and don’t be that person who keeps checking in and asking, “When will this go live?” This is the quickest, sure-fire way of having journalists not wanting to work with you.
The power of preparation is essential for the success of any cannabis product launch. Properly timing your PR efforts will play a significant role in helping you build relationships with journalists, craft compelling pitches, and secure coverage ahead of time. This not only increases the chances of successful earned media coverage, but it can also create buzz and excitement around the product launch ahead of time. If you’re excited about an upcoming launch, send us a message now or book a discovery call to learn how we can help bring your products, services, and solutions to the mainstream.