Press attention can have a big impact on your brand. It’s not always an easy feat, though. You can send many press releases to journalists in the cannabis space and never hear back about your story idea. Though this can feel defeating, there are some actionable steps you can take to improve your relationships with the cannabis press. Who better to share these steps than prominent journalists and editors in the cannabis space?
Proven Media partnered with the Cannabis Marketing Association to host a “Meet the Cannabis Press” webinar on December 12th to discuss this topic. The panel included Iris Dorbian of Forbes, Javier Hasse of Benzinga, Patricia Miller of Cannabis & Tech Today, Garrett Rudolph of Marijuana Venture, and Michelle Simakis of Cannabis Business Times. The notable journalists and editors discussed what it takes to get your press release noticed, their pet peeves in the cannabis press space, and many other illuminating topics.
“The first thing that I always tell people is ‘be human,’” said Javier Hasse of Benzinga, kicking off the discussion with nods of agreement from the other panel members. He explained that his inbox sees more than 800 emails daily, and many lack crucial information or don’t approach him like the busy human he is.
Proven Media CEO and panel moderator Kim Prince agreed and emphasized to the audience–composed of brands, marketing and public relations agencies, and various members of the cannabis community–that their pitches need to get to the point, and fast. “Be brief and concise and get to your point right away,” she told the attendees.
While the experts discussed what their publications are looking for and how others can get their attention, the Zoom chat was alive with chatter from the nearly 100 attendees. The audience members shared their brands, email addresses, and LinkedIn accounts, along with their elevator pitches about the brands or agencies they represent.
As Garrett Rudolph of Marijuana Venture pointed out pitches deeming brands as “the best on the market” are not compelling enough to put in print, Kim Prince made another key point: “If you are sending a sales pitch to any of these editors, just go ahead and put it in your trash. They’re looking for news stories, things that have relevance in the marketplace.”
The journalists and editors covered many topics, including the debate of whether publications should allow subjects to read articles about them before they go to print. Though the consensus was that it’s not a good practice, Cannabis & Tech Today’s Patricia Miller pointed out that, from a fact-checking perspective, it can sometimes be beneficial, especially for small teams. She added a key caveat, though. “If you’re fortunate enough for a journalist to allow you to do a fact check, please don’t come back with a rewrite. It’s insulting,” she said. “Correct any facts that might be wrong and the rest you’re going to have to go with.”
The webinar was lively and insightful, bringing together some of the industry’s powerhouses for an authentic discussion—a rare opportunity in the busy world of cannabis press. As the panelists wrapped up their thoughts and shared their final tips for getting noticed, Lisa Buffo, Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association hopped back on to thank every participant and remind everyone interested to drop their contact information in the chat. She encouraged attendees to reach out with feedback and let them know what they need help with in 2024, which drove home the overall purpose of the panel: to support one another.
With this successful Meet the Cannabis Press webinar behind us, we are proud to have brought some of the industry’s brightest minds together to share knowledge and provide support. We can’t wait to bring the next Meet the Cannabis Press panel to new markets in 2024 including the Lucky Leaf Expo in New Jersey next April.