cannabis marketing

Cannabis has increasingly become a focal point of international attention. In the United States, nine states have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes, and another 30 have legalized it for medical use. For entrepreneurs hoping to advance their brands, this boom in legal cannabis presents an incredible opportunity to convert media coverage into positive brand capital- if they know how to do it.

Brand Building

For the majority of businesses, branding should come second to forging your identity. Once an identity is developed, creating a single, cohesive message is not hard. A strong message is crucial to accumulating social value. Just as your company needs to develop, so does your brand.

Still, a brand’s financial value is not derived from a sophisticated logo or motto. Rather, brands are valuable because business owners work hard to ensure they regularly deliver on what they promise, whether that be social responsibility, customer service, the quality of their products or how their business is run. Brand discovery takes time: you may be looking at a year or longer.

One only needs to look as far as the litany of celebrity cannabis brands to know that this is true. Despite the fact that celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and Tommy Chong have cannabis brands, no single brand has emerged as a household name in the cannabis industry. Once again, branding takes time, especially in an industry as complex and convoluted as this.

Public Relations

One of the most essential components of any company or brand is visibility. In order to achieve the level of attention necessary to solidify and advance a brand, you must have a strong presence in the media. In order to accomplish this, you must include public relations as part of your core strategy.

You can have the best product, concept or brand in the world, but none of that will matter if no one knows about it. This is especially true in the cannabis industry, where strict advertising regulations limit what you can do.

The biggest mistake you can make is viewing public relations as a luxury instead of a necessity. Building a product or company is only half the battle — PR and marketing comprise the other half.

Regardless of whether your public relations campaign is done in-house or through a public relations firm, it is imperative that you work with a professional who has built the necessary relationships and can effectively and efficiently execute a campaign to compete with established cannabis brands.

Digital

Within the cannabis space, social media influencers and well-managed, strategic page campaigns can be some of the most effective avenues to reach consumers. Blogs are also helpful ways to get attention. As you reach your target audience online, media may take notice and become receptive to covering your brand.

Utilize platforms like Meltwater, AxisWire and Cision to help manage your digital communications and monitor the data from your campaigns in order to evolve your strategy as needed. These tools can help you create your media lists, distribute your news releases and influence your industry.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations (5WPR).

Ronn Torossian

 

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.