Cannabis Dispensary Digital PR & Online Public Relations

Learn Cannabis Dispensary Digital PR & Online Public Relations

You are more than likely familiar with traditional PR – brand recognition in newspapers, magazines, or in blogs – but we would like to introduce you to an even more comprehensive look at how online PR, in particular, can benefit your brand. To be successful, you must employ a variety of channels, but it will greatly benefit your dispensary and bring more customers through your front door.

What is Online Public Relations?

Online PR is about storytelling. It’s about giving a face to your brand and context to your dispensary and what you can offer. Like we had mentioned above, online PR can involve traditional media, but it also encompasses an array of other channels that we’ll list out for you further into this article. Whether your communications are direct or indirect, online public relations is about influencing your target customers and bringing awareness to your brand. It’s about positioning your dispensary as less of a storefront and more as a living, breathing brand. It’s about both what you say and do and what other people say about you.

What Is The Difference Between Offline and Online PR?

Offline PR is considered to be any communication done outside the digital sphere. This could include speaking at conferences, being interviewed on a radio show, contributing to a print publication – It’s engaging with audiences in an in-person or tangible way. Online PR is a strategy of reaching audiences on the internet. This could include engaging with blogs, forums, or social networks while also including any SEO-optimized press releases, guest blogging, or connecting with influencers.

Why Online Public Relations?

PR is about building your reputation and is crucial to differentiating yourself from the surrounding competition. By engaging in online public relations, you are not only establishing credibility and bringing awareness to your brand; but you are also capturing the attention of new customers. If you’re not engaging in online PR strategies, you are greatly misrepresenting your brand and leaving room for your competition to succeed and acquire those customers themselves.

Online Public Relations Strategy

While there are certainly no shortcuts in public relations, it can be incredibly powerful and even inexpensive when you employ the right strategies. You’ll want to be deliberate and authentic with your approach. Below are a few ways you can use online PR to help you grow as a business.

Attract Visitors through Search

Don’t underestimate the power of SEO-optimized content and PR. It can drive customers online to your website or your Google business profile and can ultimately result in sales.

Engage & Dialogue

Consumers are becoming more and more drawn to brands who humanize themselves. Talk to your audience, start meaningful conversations, contribute insight or value in your approach.

Build Campaign Buzz

Online PR can be used to promote your other digital marketing campaigns and build buzz and excitement around upcoming product launches, in-store promotions, etc.

Defensive / Crisis

A damaging article is published on your dispensary. Online PR can be engaged to promote the image you want your dispensary to have while discrediting or overpowering the bad PR.

11 Online Public Relations Tactics

You undoubtedly realize the untapped potential that online PR can offer to grow your dispensaries customer base. So, where can you start? How can you identify and approach some of these opportunities? Well, to start, you need to be clear on your target customer demographic. Then, it’s qualifying opportunities based on that platform’s audience. Is it a good fit?

Next, it’s approaching online PR in a comprehensive way and engaging in multiple opportunities. These could include:

  1. Industry Websites. These would include any cannabis consumer publications or local organization blogs. Pitch them a piece about your dispensary that’s in-line with their content.
  2. Niche Website. Are there any niche websites that are relevant to your target customer? Perhaps an edibles review website or a local wellness website?
  3. Influential Social Media Accounts. Influencer marketing is an upcoming tactic that’s been very successful for brands. Identify influencers on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter who can add value to your PR campaigns.
  4. Media-sharing Websites & Social Networks. Utilize your channels as well as partnering with other accounts,  including Youtube and Flickr.
  5. Forums: Topic-focused, Industry-related, and Niche. Forums are core to conversations. Engage in a dialogue and contribute or initiate a conversation around your brand.
  6. Wikis. Add your information to Wikis; Wikis are websites that allow for collaboration on its content.
  7. Twitter Feeds. Twitter is great for generating buzz about your brand. Content and captivating messages are very shareable on the platform.
  8. Google Plus: Events, Hangouts, and Other Groups. Google Plus is another social network where users engage in groups and hangouts. Do your best to get involved in these.
  9. Linkedin: News and Groups. On Linkedin, a website for business professionals, you’ll find great opportunities to share content and communicate to your audience through its groups and news feed.
  10. Personal Blogs with Niche Audiences. Quite often in-line with social media influencers, working with bloggers is an opportunity to engage their curated audience.

Cannabis Digital Brand Properties

Online Press Release Distribution Channels

Another way to generate awareness of your brand and to succeed with your online PR strategy is by creating SEO-optimized press releases to high-quality distribution networks. Below are ones we’d recommend considering:

Tools for Tracking & Managing Media Relations

If you’re looking to capitalize on the opportunities of online PR, we’d recommend looking at investing in some of the tools and software below to help amplify your efforts.

  • Muck Rack. A great resource for finding journalists and bloggers based on their location, topics they cover, and even what they recently tweeted about online. There are a lot of advanced search capabilities. With its Pro Plan, you can build your media lists and set up brand mention notifications.
  • Meltwater. A PR and social media monitoring tool that allows your brand to curate content, track competitors and their emerging stories, while also offering advanced tracking and results data.
  • Mention. Receive notifications to your mobile device or desktop whenever your brand or a member of your leadership team is mentioned online.
  • Coverage Book
    Coverage Book makes it easy to track your results by capturing online mentions and press. You can even dive into specific articles and measure the results gained from that one piece of coverage.
  • Cision. One of the most popular PR software available, and sites you could distribute your press releases through. They have an expansive database of more than 1.6 million journalist, influencers, and editorial contacts.
  • Brand24. Built to help give you a more precise representation of how your brand is being spoken about online, Brand24 has the capability of setting up PR alerts that can be shared with members of your team for follow-up.
  • Anewstip. Anewstip is a great resource for tracking content on keywords relevant to your dispensary. Stay on top of trends and use its search features to find key influencers and writers.
  • Agility. Software built by PR Newswire, Agility helps your distribute and analyze your press releases and PR-related content. They also offer
  • Brandwatch. Brandwatch is particularly useful in online brand reputation crisis situations. It’s an enterprise-level tool that tracks topics, mentions, and coverage from high-ranking sites.
  • Critical Mention. The paid version of this tool includes 24/7 support and full account management. Monitor mentions on TV, radio, online news and social media.
  • JournoRequests. Receive a free daily email directly to your inbox by signing up for JournoRequests.
  • Help a Reporter Out. Also known as HARO, Help a Reporter Out is a platform where journalists list their needs for expert sources. This is valuable for identifying upcoming media opportunities.
  • Augure. Augure is a cloud-based software for your PR managers. It has a CRM-style interface.
  • PRWeb. PRWeb is an affordable option for distributing your press releases.
  • Marketwired. Sign up to receive relevant news updates and track your performance results from PR campaigns.
  • Business Wire. Distribute your press releases to 89,000+ media outlets worldwide.
  • Radio Guest List. Radio Guest List is focused on audio PR. Sign up for email notifications from producers and journalists looking for experts or niche thought leaders.
  • BlogDash. BlogDash is a great platform for helping you and your dispensary reach out to relevant bloggers. Set campaign goals and create your outreach list.

So, what are you waiting for? Start with one of these above software solutions if you haven’t already and work together with your team to generate some buzz around your brand!

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