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Even in 2023, cannabis still has a rather negative public image. Due to a lack of knowledge or misperception, it is often(in)directly linked to the drug scene, addiction and illegal activities. In the medical world, relatively little is known of the effects cannabis-based products – with or without the sedative substance THC – may have. After Belgian health start-up CBX Medical was granted 573.500 euros for cannabis research, it asked Walkie Talkie to write a narrative that highlighted their milestone ànd provided the necessary context for the general public and health professionals.
Some challenges arose. How to counter potential sceptical cannabis-related questions? And how to maximize media attention, while most journalists don’t know that much about cannabis-related health products?
Panel talk and field trips
Our team addressed these opportunities by preparing a thorough Q&A to help the CBX Medical founders tackle prejudiced questions. We also advised the start-up regarding its panel talk with several professional health-related stakeholders. And we invited and co-hosted field trips to CBX Medical’s hemp plantations – which included a non-psychotropic cannabis lunch – in Herzele (Flanders) and Lasne (Wallonia). All of this to create a credible, enjoyable setting in which journalists could learn more about the company, medicinal cannabis and the largest Belgian funding ever for cannabis research purposes – in collaboration with the Université Libe de Bruxelles (ULB).
The results? Over 55 qualitative clippings, including numerous television and radio interviews, as well as several product tests. Together, we raised awareness among the Belgian press – and thus consumers – about medicinal cannabis. And while at it, portrayed CBX Medical as a thought-leader in this area.
- Develop and create PR hooks around a touchy subject such as cannabis research for health-related purposes
- Invite journalists and co-host field visits and a panel talk on both sides of the language border
- Copywriting & editing of a press release, and Q&A
- Position CBX Medical as a thought-leader in a rather untapped – and thus unknown to many – sector
- Press mailings