CANNABIS WORKSHOP: PR 101 with Brittany Whitmore

Grow Tech Labs is hosting an event series in Vancouver this month to help start-up cannabis companies learn and grow.

The latest in the series is an afternoon workshop on public relations, hosted by “professional noisemaker” Brittany Whitmore.

Whitmore is a a public relations professional and the founder of Exvera Communications Inc., which specializes in PR for disruptive technology and emerging industries.

“Exvera works with clients to help them clarify their message and generate exposure for their brands,” notes Grow Tech Labs in an post. “She and her team work with top-tier media both worldwide and locally including Forbes, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, The Globe and Mail, BC Business, Business in Vancouver and many more.”

In a recent interview with BotaniQ Magazine, Whitmore shared these PR tips:

  • Get clear on your key messages

What are the three key things that you want the world to understand about your company? Don’t try and be everything to everyone – focus. These should be specific and as simplified as possible. The goal is to integrate these into all of your messaging, whether you are writing a press release or being interviewed – always bring it back to your three key points.

  • Show, don’t tell

Don’t tell the world what you are doing, tell stories that demonstrate your values and your expertise. Don’t talk about the fact that you believe that your product is the best, show people what problems you are solving, talk about how you do what you do differently, and share what your customers or partners are saying.

  • Understand what’s going on in the industry

The media does not exist to shill your products, it exists to share timely, relevant and important information with its readers, listeners and viewers. So, how do you get your brand to be a part of the larger story? Make your story relevant to what is going on in your industry – figure out how to make your company fit into the larger narrative and add value.

  • Leverage your networks

It’s not just about media coverage, you can build a buzz at a grassroots level by getting involved in relevant communities and participating in events. Again, the goal when approaching these opportunities is not to focus on selling your products – but adding value to the community at large. This could mean presenting interesting or useful content at conferences, hosting your own events, showcasing others on your blog or sponsoring others’ events. The more you give, the more you will receive.

  • Precision and quality

A key aspect of a strong communications strategy is solid communication. This means that all communications should be well-written and free of errors. Avoid jargon and idioms. Always have someone proofread your work and always do at least two drafts – you will be amazed at what you notice when you revisit a piece you’ve written the day before.

In addition to her PR work, Whitmore is also the founder of TEDxGastownWomen, a seasoned emcee, keynote speaker and advisor to startup companies.

She was named to BC Business Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 in 2017 and was selected as the winner of the 2017 Outstanding Alumni “Rising Star” award from Langara College.

Her workshop is set for Friday, April 26 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Grow Tech Labs (#300-128 West Hastings St., Vancouver).

Click here to learn more.


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