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When is the Right Time to Prioritize Public Relations for Your Cannabis Business?

When is the Right Time to Prioritize Public Relations for Your Cannabis Business?

Succeeding in the cannabis industry goes far beyond cultivating premium strains or inventing the latest canna-tech. Having the highest quality product or most efficiency-driving tools is all well and good, but it means little if you’re not connecting with your ideal consumers at the right time. Which begs the question, when is the opportune moment to prioritize public relations (PR) for your cannabis business?

From product launches, business wins, and thought leadership development, we’re sharing our tips on how to find the perfect time for your cannabis business to engage in strategic PR moves—all in this article.

Let’s dive in!

What is Public Relations and Why is it Important for Cannabis Businesses?

Public relations is the ongoing act of establishing a brand or individual’s presence in the media and the public eye. You get to share your brand’s story through mainstream publications such as magazines, podcasts, industry events, and the like. The results of your efforts include enhanced visibility, established credibility, secured stakeholder trust, and long-term success.

But PR is especially important for cannabis businesses to leverage when there are advertising restrictions on cannabis products, hindering your chances of marketing effectively. For instance, most social media channels have strict regulations on the types of ads a brand can publish—any mention of cannabis and/or cannabis related products and paraphernalia is unaccepted. 

PR helps you legally circumnavigate these restrictions by having publications feature you and/or your brand in an article tailored to your ideal audience. The best part? PR isn’t “pay to play.” Instead of paying thousands for an ad in a major publication like Rolling Stone, all you need is a killer story and your brand can be featured in the magazine and/or online publication for free.

4 Signs It’s Time to Kickstart a PR Campaign for Your Cannabis Business

So now you know why public relations is important for cannabis businesses. But is there a best time to leverage PR? Yes, there is. Let’s take a look at a few of the top signals indicating your cannabis business is in need of PR:

1. You’re Gearing Up for a Product Launch

Bringing a new product to market in the coming months? It’s time to create hype around your business and to get people excited about your latest product. We recommend kicking off a PR campaign with a public relations expert one to two months prior to the date of your product launch. This will allow the PR partner you work with to get you onboarded and to start pitching your story to the right publications and news outlets. 

Keep in mind that many publications have their own editorial calendar that dictates the types of topics they plan to cover in any given week or month. So it could take these publications a while to publish any material about your product. Which is why it’s best to prepare ahead of time!

➡️ See how Cannabis Regulator, spotlighted the launch of Northern Heights, a craft cannabis brand by Oregonix, in an article titled, “Oregonix Brings Craft Cannabis to the Illinois Market.”

2. You’re Announcing Your Dispensary’s Grand Opening

For those of you in the physical retail space, gaining local media attention for your dispensary’s grand opening is crucial to the success of your store. Attracting local news outlets, influencers, and reporters to your grand opening ensures the most people in town hear about your dispensary, what you sell, why you got started, etc. 

Having the ability to connect with residents in your town is vital to ensuring your store is one people want to walk into. Again, we recommend connecting with a public relations expert about a month or two before the grand opening. 

➡️ Check out how the Chicago Tribune featured the grand opening of Socíale, Park Ridge’s first cannabis dispensary, and the first‌ Indian-American woman-owned cannabis dispensary as well, in this article.

3. Your Unique Vantage Point Lends Itself to Thought Leadership

Not launching anything new or opening up a store but still want to get your name out there? It’s totally possible and recommended! Through strategic thought leadership, you can share your expertise in what you know best. 

In the example below, a pre-roll automation expert shares his knowledge on the struggles pre-roll manufacturers face and how automation can solve them. As an expert in this field, he is able to showcase his expertise in a non-promotional way, while still getting recognition for his name and the name of his company.

➡️ Take a look at the byline for Cannabis & Tech Today, “Challenges to Scaling Up Pre-Roll Production and How to Solve Them,” written by Kyle Loucks, the Founder and CEO of RollPros

4. You Can Serve as a Go-To Source for Media Covering the Cannabis Industry

One often overlooked way to leverage public relations for cannabis businesses is for business leaders to provide insights on various topics. These insights can serve as expert testimony reporters can then add into their articles. 

This not only beefs up the reporter’s article with credibility, it also intensifies the brand awareness for the experts being mentioned and for their associated businesses. It’s a win-win!

➡️ Here’s an example of how Kevin Hart, CEO Green Check, (among many other cannabis industry experts) provided commentary on the 2024 Cannabis Industry Forecast for Ganjapreneur

Final Thoughts

There are many ways in which you can squeeze the most juice out of public relations for your cannabis business. The key is knowing when you need PR. For some, you might require PR for a product launch only. For others, you might want ongoing PR efforts to keep your brand top of mind for consumers and continuously gain market share in your field. 

If you’re struggling to determine if public relations is right for your business at this time, our readiness checklist will help you decide whether to take action. Download your copy here for free!

Have more questions and would like to chat with us? Schedule a time to meet with us here.


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