MJBulls 0019 Things to Know When Raising Cannabis Capital (Part 6) Public Relations

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Ricardo Baca: [00:00:18] These investors when they're looking at your business and trying to see what public facing presence is out there they are going to be judging you. And how does your Web site look at it is that sharp. Is it well written. Is Your Social Media maintained. Have you not hosted on Twitter for three months because that looks pretty precarious.


Dan Humiston: [00:00:42] From Buminit media. It's the MJ bulls podcast a show about raising cannabis capital. I'm dan humiston. And on today's show part six in our series things to know when raising Cannabis Capital. Ricardo Baca and Shawna McGregor from the grasslands talk about public relations


Dan Humiston: [00:01:07] Today we're continuing our series things to no one raising Canada's capital. We're talking public relations and to help us with that. We have Ricardo Baca and Shawna McGregor from grasslands. Ricardo shawna welcome to The Mjbullspodcast.


Shawna McGregor & Ricardo Baca: [00:01:20] Thanks much. Thanks for having us.


Dan Humiston: [00:01:23] We're really excited to dive into this. This is a topic that sometimes is not thought about until afterwards in the cannabis industry is just exploding and funding is flowing in to the industry. Everyday you hear about another company successfully raising capital. And it puts a lot of pressure on entrepreneurs to just jump in and start raising money. And we put the series together to help them prepare so that they're better prepared for the before during and after and all those boxes are checked. But one of the critically and I and I believe often overlooked components of a capital raise is supporting it with a sound public relations strategy. Maybe we could start off by just talk about some of the basics like what's the difference between a public relations and an investor relations.


Shawna McGregor & Ricardo Baca: [00:02:06] So Dan you're totally right. Public relations is really important when you're going through capital raises especially in the cannabis industry because the cannabis industry has even less communications channels and tools than other industries by it is very important and public relations  a lot of different audiences whether it's policy makers regulators consumer academia whereas investor relations is laser focused on reaching the investor community real different channels of earned media as national media and other tactics says


Ricardo Baca: [00:02:45] Yes as investor relations his laser focus public relations is the more broad approach.


Dan Humiston: [00:02:55] If you're thinking about this process when we do engage in communications.


Shawna McGregor: [00:02:59] So if you're smart he'll you'll find your agency partner as soon as possible because you want to have enough of a runway to get all of your tactics and your collateral dialed. And there are things  your website has a robust Newsround making sure that your deck is Polish and your and you've got your social media channels up and running and those are all important and you know you need to have a top leadership calendar lined out for you because you're going to want to be positioning your executive team. Your CEO Yes. As the leaders in this space and they need to be speaking at those important conferences you know the best conferences out there are putting their speakers six months in advance so this is planning that can be done and should be done in .


Ricardo Baca: [00:03:53] And when we approached our leadership here grasslands also looking at the lines that we can help our clients with you know because a major part of modern leadership is leading the conversation and not just following it. And when you're writing original columns in other words that are being placed in targeted outlets. And that gives you a unique opportunity to lead the conversation because then you as an executive you're not depending on a journalist to call you to get your reaction to a story or to the day's news. You are reacting to the day's news in a piece that appears on your byline. And so you're flexing your own leadership muscle. And I think that's really important in those days before starting to raise the capital.


Shawna McGregor & Ricardo Baca: [00:04:38] Also during this time quite honestly you should be starting to educate the reporters and the media in your sector in your space. I mean everyone want you. I don't know a single entrepreneur who's in the midst of raising capital. Who wouldn't want to be in Wall Street Journal article or a New York Times article. And if your company deserves to be there it will be if you have the right communications the right education and it just might take time and education.


Dan Humiston: [00:05:13] Now let us jump forward and now you're in the middle of a race. What are some tactics that you like to use with your clients when they're in the middle of a race.


Shawna McGregor & Ricardo Baca: [00:05:20] You're in the middle of the raise you're going on your road show you're hitting New York City Boston San Francisco Toronto while you're on the edge so we can be helping to fill in the need of downtime and being a little as he says here. So is media in this market safe your clients had Cannabis Company or technology Cannabis Company in San Francisco. There are a lot of the reporters that are in that market that used . Let's share your narrative about that. I think that that's one of the big changes.


Ricardo Baca: [00:05:55] As a longtime journalist myself I can speak to the importance of these briefings. You know sometimes you hear from a communications professional saying hey we have a new client and they're being kind of quiet right now because exciting things are in the pipeline. But I think you want to be in front of them and I can tell you a little bit about it. And those are always exciting calls to get especially as there's an element of exclusivity being discussed. But as a journalist that's one way of getting their attention they say there's something not a lot of people know about yet and has not been written a lot. But we want you to be one of the people who helps us share the story.


Dan Humiston: [00:06:31] So it really works for both sides especially if you're in that city and you can meet with them face to face. It's sometimes even better.


Ricardo Baca: [00:06:38] Of course I mean New York is this country's most important media and it's very convenient that a lot of our clients are going through there when raising capital because then we can put them in front of them and get them a face time with some of our friends in the media who are passionate about telling them story. And of course  PR never stops throughout this process whether we're talking about before during or after the PR push is strong the social media campaign that is kicking into high gear. These investors when they're looking at your business and trying to see what public facing presence is out there they are going to be judging you. And how does your Web site look. At it is it sure is that well written is your social media maintain. Have you not hosted on Twitter for three months because that looks pretty precarious.


Shawna McGregor: [00:07:29] And you see above all of these important forward facing communications elements on top and looking sharp some partners also like to add when it needs a slide here Dack about the brand awareness and exposure that the company has received a great way to provide metrics around that is the media coverage they can receive from these initiatives and efforts which tie in your deck right into this whole thing is another really effective tool that's.


Shawna McGregor & Ricardo Baca: [00:08:01] And then also as your going you know hitting these markets have these stories are running and being able to share that coverage with your potential investors is also greatly to continue to keep them informed. Another touchpoint and another way to soften the beach.


Dan Humiston: [00:08:19] Just a quick thank you to one of our sponsors. bridge West LLC is one of the first accounting firms in the world to focus solely on the cannabis industry. It is your one stop provider for accounting audit tax and advisory service. They're offering a free 30 minute intro call to one of their leadership teams to all Mjbulls listeners go to bridgewestcpas.com And now back to the show.


Ricardo Baca: [00:08:44] closed and everyone's happy and everyone's excited and they want to get the word out. But lo and behold you have a bunch of new partners who all have their own communication advisers who all have their own message that they want to get out. And there's a coordination effort that most people don't think about. Give us some tips on that cause I can just see some conflicts in the early days with your investors just if you get the communication incorrect then inevitably you're gonna have a lot of people coming to the table throughout this entire process.


Shawna McGregor & Ricardo Baca: [00:09:14] But I think it speaks to the value of choosing an agency partner who can truly be a partner on multiple fronts and help you with a variety of these concerns.


Shawna McGregor: [00:09:23] I would love to jump in here and say one of the most interesting things that happened for me after the race has close company may be filing with the FCC and then you have in these markets you have the business journal reporters and other importers that are watching these filings and they are gonna see if you're filing something they're going to get new call and one attack and see what's out. I've had a lot of clients who are a little shy about this because I think that they're afraid adds some sort of S.E.C. regulation or else really what I want to stress is that there's no reason why you cannot speak to the media whether it's Dan going on your show or speaking with that business journal or whatever the energies might be to talk realistically and truthfully and transparently which is very important to us about your company's narrative and not be afraid to speak with media. They're not our enemies they're are our friends.


Dan Humiston: [00:10:28] We've been speaking with Ricardo Bačka and Shawna McGregor from the grassland agency. Guys can you tell us a little bit more about your agency and if people want to get in touch with you. How did they go about doing that.


Ricardo Baca: [00:10:39] Sure. You know grasslands is a journalism minded agency our cornerstone offerings are public relations style leadership and content. And you know we're based out of Denver but we're opening an office in Los Angeles. And you know we specialize in working with highly regulated industries cannabis in Hamburg. Certainly a major passion of ours.


Dan Humiston: [00:11:00] And you know people can find us on the web at my grasslands dot com grasslands information will be on the MJ bulls website including Ricardos and Shauna's email address. Ricardo Ashara thank you. It's been super helpful and I know everyone is going to be taking a lot of misinformation and applying it to their re. So thank you so much for doing this with us.


Ricardo Baca: [00:11:21] Dan thank you so much for joining us.


Dan Humiston: [00:11:26] just a quick shout out to one of her former guest C2 LLC which is a crypto currency business to business payment platform. You can listen to that show or any of our previous podcast on iTunes


Dan Humiston: [00:11:41] Thanks for listening to the mjbullss podcast. Learn more about today's geust or to apply to be a guest. Visit our Web site atmjbulls dot com if you like our show. Give usa review on iTunes. Today's show was produced by buminit  media I'm Dan Humiston And you've been listening to the mjbulls podcast.