Public relations is an essential – and often overlooked – component of any business. Every industry has stakeholders and audiences to please, but none so complex as the modern cannabis space.
I got my start in the PR industry fifteen years ago, working with very different types of clients than I do today! I went from working with food and technology brands to launching a few cannabis industry campaigns related to those verticals. What I learned is that there are so many different kinds of reporters and press outlets becoming interested in the cannabis culture as something fresh and new. For me, it’s made PR a fun and exciting field for years to come.
In addition to the positives, there are many hurdles that come with working in the cannabis space. Luckily, they’re problems that can be solved with good PR. The following are just a few reasons why the cannabis space needs public relations a little more than most.
A Century of Stigma
Many people who have been working in the space for some time, tend to forget that there is still rampant opposition out there to cannabis use, even if it’s medicinal. No matter what kind of evidence is uncovered to prove the efficacy of this plant in treating disease, there will always be an opposition ready to lump cannabis in with the rest of the harmful drugs out there.
Every day, PR practitioners must take into account opinions coming from all sides, even those that aren’t supportive of our cause. That’s something that the marketing field simply doesn’t cover.
Thanks to decades of bad drug policy, the cannabis space is faced with lots of limitations. Purveyors of cannabis products have their hands tied when it comes to the types of advertising they can partake in, and especially the claims they can make about their products. Many states are still operating systems of prohibition, after all.
Service providers who specialize in serving cannabis clients have a little more leeway when it comes to describing what they can offer. However, the message is the same for everyone in the industry: if you want your story told, you’ll have to get creative. That’s where PR wins over advertising and marketing.
Penchant for Philanthropy
Ask anyone in the cannabis industry what drives them to do what they do each day. I bet their answer will be, in some way, related to that individual’s burning desire to help others.
The vast majority of cannabis entrepreneurs have made it their mission to provide relief for the sick, jobs for their community, and a sustainable, healthy future for generations to come. All of that tends to get lost among the regulatory tangles and stigmatized messages of the opposition. That’s why I love working with clients in this industry and helping them to amplify their messages.
Whatever your reason for joining this global movement, know that you’re now in a position to make a big difference in the world of cannabis.
Ready to take over? Call us today at (917) 583 6349.