CanPay Case Study: Making the Most of a Speaking Situation

November 8, 2017

At Barokas Communications, one of the key services we offer our clients is speaking and event support. Recently, one of our cannabis clients—CanPay, the first legitimate debit payment solution for the cannabis industry—sent its CEO Dustin Eide out to speak on a panel at the New West Summit in Oakland, California. Chosen because of his industry expertise in cannabis banking, Dustin joined a collection of the most influential people in the legal cannabis marketplace.

CanPay Debit

Where there are industry experts, though, media and influencers tend to follow. And the New West Summit was no exception. Typically, the first step on the PR pro’s end is to reach out to event organizers and inquire about a list of confirmed media attendees, which is exactly what the Barokas Communications CanPay team did. In this case, the conference did not release the list of names, a frequently encountered hurtle when working on events. From there, it was up to the team to do a little detective work. Read on to find out how we went about it.

Step 1: Use your resources.

We combed through the list of panel speakers and scheduled presentations to identify which thought leaders in the cannabis industry were attending. This allowed us to find members of the media who were going to be at the conference presenting on topics like, “Not Another Cannabis Media Panel”, as well as others hosted by High Times, a leading cannabis publication.

Step 2: Hit-up social media.

After investigating the New West Summit’s social media hashtag and exploring the event’s social channels, we were able to identify media members who were following the conference and/or tweeting about it. 

Step 3: Pitch, pitch and pitch some more.

Once we had a healthy list of names, we hit the appropriate channels—email, phone and occasionally, social media. We reached out to each media contact with an intro to Dustin and the offer to meet up for coffee or drinks, depending on schedules. The timeline was tight, but we hustled to ensure we had a touch point with our key targets.

Media Results

On a strict schedule and with only one day in Oakland for the conference, Barokas Communications was able to secure three interviews with key media members and industry influencers, each set to result in coverage ranging from contributed bylines to placement in Entrepreneur. Not bad for a 24-hour trip!


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