Like other mainstream industries, public relations and press releases are extremely valuable for Canadian cannabis brands, especially when done right. Press releases and PR can create benefits for every type of cannabis company, not just publicly-traded organizations. Unfortunately, cannabis companies cannot purchase mainstream advertising such as Google ads or television commercials. However, press releases and paid media are fully available to cannabis brands to use for similar purposes.

Public Relations and Earned Media

Earned media is media that is native content and is not paid for. Developing relationships with journalists and publicists and feeding them newsworthy stories that feature your brand can sometimes result in free media coverage. Cultivate these relationships and create shareable content that news organizations would want to publish. Publicists and PR agencies can help cultivate these relationships and pitch stories for your organization. 

Another strategy to earn media for your cannabis brand is to cultivate personal brands for founders and employees within the organization. Publicists and journalists frequently need quotes – being an established thought leader will allow you to build a profile in the media and have your title “Marketing Manager of X Brand” featured to help spread awareness about and build SEO backlinks for your company.

Press Releases

Press Releases can produce value for all types of cannabis brands, both public and private. Press releases offer many of the benefits of mainstream media coverage but these promotions are done compliantly through B2B-focused communications. By getting your press releases syndicated through Cision PR Newswire and other sources, your announcement will appear on mainstream online news channels and will likely be discovered and shared across social media.

This boost can bring awareness to your brand and products among investors and consumers alike. Press releases are a great way to build Search Engine authority for your brand and related terms and build backlinks to your website (since Newswire and related websites have strong SEO prominence and authority to begin with).

Paid Media

Paid media is media that you directly pay to have published. This can take the form of sponsored content, pay-per-click advertising, and display advertisements. There are certain limitations for cannabis brands in Canada when it comes to paid advertising, but there are still many loopholes and creative solutions. 

Types of paid media for cannabis brands:

Display Advertising

  • Snapchat Advertising (ads appear as sponsored content between user’s friend’s videos) 
  • Twitter Advertising (high spend, managed services available to cannabis companies) 
  • POS / Digital Menu Advertising (Buddi offers display advertising for cannabis companies)
  • Private Retail Advertising (some stores offer paid preferred spots on web/online menus) 
  • Geo-located display advertising tools (services that verify a user’s age through an external means and serve them advertisements wherever they visit online)

Content Marketing

  • Paid news articles in cannabis-related publications
  • Paid news articles in non-cannabis publications 
  • Paid press releases on Cision Newswire and similar web syndications 
  • Social media content collaborations

Want to Learn More About how Cannabis Brands can use Public Relations?

We’ve got more information about PR for cannabis brands in the Cannabis Brand Marketing Guide we’re releasing at the end of the summer. We’ll be sharing some best practices and types of press releases for cannabis brands to use. The guide will be full of useful tips and tricks for navigating this highly-regulated and difficult-to-navigate industry.

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Last Updated on August 2, 2022 by ADCANN

Colin Bambury

Colin Bambury

Colin Bambury is the founder and head editor of ADCANN. With roots in the industry since 2016, Colin has lead marketing initiatives at some of the world’s largest cannabis media companies, retailers and producers. His work has been published in a variety of digital and print publications and he continues to be the primary content creator for ADCANN. Colin prides himself on breaking stories and exploring lesser-known, niche topics related to cannabis marketing.