CLAB Meet the Press: Cannabis and Media

The issues with cannabis and traditional media are not new. Buying ads, using social media, and other marketing avenues are closed. Paid media continues to … Read More…

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AUTHOR: Heather Allman

PUBLISHER:  CANNABIS LAW REPORT

CLAB / Cannabis LAB, or Cannabis Law, Accounting, and Business —

FOUNDER: Robert Friedman 

EVENT REPORT: Meet the Press: Media & Cannabis, May 14, 2020

EXPERT GUESTS:

MODERATOR: Charles Felix, Cannabis News Florida

 

KEY DISCUSSION:

The issues with cannabis and traditional media are not new. Buying ads, using social media, and other marketing avenues are closed. Paid media continues to be a struggle while earned media seems to be the emerging area of opportunity. We have invited journalists, publishers and public relations experts to explore the landscape, debunk myths and talk about what is real in the world of cannabis and media.

KEY INSIGHTS:

Straight from the experts, here are the key insights that were highlighted at this May 14, 2020 CLAB panel; let the well-crafted, unique editorial submissions begin.

– According to Samantha Gross: “There must be a clear line between sponsored content or paid media, such as ads, and earned media (public relations and editorial content). With editorial content, you esentially receive neutral third party coverage of your product or services.

– According to Charles Warner: “Submit a story that’s balanced, accurate, and without bias and you’ll get my attention.”

– According to Jonathan Small: I want to print 700-800 word stories that accomplish one or a combination of the following goals: to inform, educate, inspire, entertain, or add to the conversation… but it also must be backed by facts and statistics for accuracy.”

– According to Durée Ross: Working with clients in CBD, HEMP, and CANNABIS, I discovered that while all three are essentially the same industry and in the same sphere, they are very different. This is due to cannabis being an illegal scheduled drug, while CBD and hemp are legal through the 2018 Farm Bill. Concerning social media, LinkedIn and Twitter are more professional and not as discriminating against cannabis content as Facebook and Instagram.”

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. For editorial or earned media, media avenues are indeed open for cannabis and hemp companies and services.
  2. You have to do your homework: know who you are pitching and know what they cover.
  3. You need to build a credible professional reputation with publications and editors when opportunities arise by being balanced, accurate and unbiased.
  4. You need to be flexible and creative— your media content must adapt according to the news or media outlet to which you are pitching.
  5. Do not tie your main business email address to a social media account. Take the extra step of creating an email specifically for each social media account; if your account is flagged, your professional business or credibility are not jeopardized.
  6. Paid media continues to be a struggle while earned media seems to be the emerging area of opportunity.
  7. An outlet’s earned media (PR) and paid media (advertising) must be balanced and work together to provide fair, unbiased content to their target audience or readership.

 

CURRENT EDITORIAL INTERESTS:

– From Jonathan Small at Green Entrepreneur:

“I’m interested mainly in how-to submissions, or content that provides a service. Editorial content must bring value to our readers.”

– From Samantha Gross at the Miami Herald:

“My main focus is on Florida stories, especially hemp licensing in Florida and new licenses. Of course, I am always interested in cannabis and CBD content. Just keep in mind that the target audience you are attempting to reach with your content should determine your target media outlet. “

– From Charles Warner at CannaTech Today:

“I’m drawn to innovative stories and stories concerning innovation, whether in hemp or cannabis. I want content that highlights new opportunities in business and outright addresses where these opportunities can be found. Focus your content on problems of any type that need to be solved.”

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Concerning cannabis, CBD, or hemp in print or social media, in order to successfully catch a news outlet’s attention, you must know the difference between PAID MEDIA and EARNED MEDIA, or editorial content.

Be original and innovative in your editorial content submissions.

Finally, generate editorial content aimed at the target audience of the media outlet to which you are submitting.

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Heather Allman


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