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Member Spotlight: Shawna Seldon McGregor

by | Aug 21, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

CMA Member Spotlight: Shawna Seldon McGregor,

Founder & CEO, Maverick Public Relations


Member Shawna Seldon McGregor, Founder and CEO of Maverick Public Relations, provides insight into her role and her choice to become a member of Cannabis Marketing Association.


What is the nature of your day-to-day job?

Every day is different. The nature of this business can sometimes feel like sustained chaos but perfecting our workflow helps us plan ahead, organize tasks, and create some real magic for our clients. I start every morning by catching up on the news of the day to find interesting news hooks to leverage for our clients. My day-to-day activities usually include:

*Client management: I manage client needs, provide personalized support staffing everything from events to interviews, and ensure that they are satisfied with the services MPR provides.

*Team management: I manage my team of PR professionals, oversee initiatives, and ensure that deadlines are met.

*Media relations: I work every day to maintain relationships with journalists to offer our experts and secure coverage on key topics.

*Strategic planning: I develop strategies for each client initiative, outlining the goals, objectives, strategies and tactics needed to achieve success.

*Content creation: We’re also heavily involved in creating content for clients, such as press releases, social media posts, and bylined articles.

*Budgeting and finance: As the agency owner, I’m responsible for managing the finances of the agency, including projecting costs, budgeting, invoicing, and managing expenses. This is truly the activity I dread the most on a monthly basis. I have delegated as much as I can out of this bucket to amazing financial and management professionals. However, at the end of the day, I still spend at least 15 hours a month managing Accounts Payables and Accounts Receivables.

*Business development: I constantly look for new business opportunities that align with Maverick Public Relations’ offerings. Everyone I meet in this industry could potentially be a new client so sometimes, this means attending events to network with other professionals in our industry to stay informed about trends and build relationships.


What brought you to the cannabis industry?

I have been a fan of cannabis for more than two decades, but I never imagined that I would work in this incredible industry. I began my career in New York City in 1998. In June 2012, I moved with my now-husband to his hometown of Denver. We’re both political junkies, but when we went to register to vote and received ballot measures, I had no idea at the time how close Colorado was to passing Amendment 64. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Still, I was focused on my core industries at the time, agri-business, sustainable technologies, and representing media companies. When a business associate of mine asked if I could handle the public relations around an upcoming cannabis summit he was organizing, I didn’t hesitate and jumped at the opportunity. When that event was held in April 2014, every single major news outlet, from CNBC to The New York Times, attended. I have been representing cannabis clients ever since.


What do you bring to the cannabis marketing community?

As a PR professional, I bring my expertise in creating strong brand messaging and story development that wins new audiences and, subsequently, helps expand market share. I help cannabis brands develop long-lasting relationships with influencers and journalists. At Maverick PR, we often collaborate with full-service marketing agencies to maximize the impact of cannabis brand marketing campaigns through thought leadership and earned media.



What do you want your peers to know about you?

I am dedicated to ethically serving the industry and, as a recognized woman-owned business, it brings me joy to support the amazing women in my circle who lead their own successful ventures.

Tell us a bit about your personal relationship with cannabis. Do you use it? How?

I truly believe that cannabis is one of the most transformative plants in existence. I love a good pre-roll at the end of the day or before a concert. I’m absolutely obsessed with wellness products such as my client Wana Brands’ Optimals line, including Quick Calm and Stay Asleep, for addressing wellness needs with a scalpel.

Why did you join CMA?

I joined CMA to stay on top of my game. Marketing cannabis is unlike nearly any other industry. From paid advertising to sponsoring events, cannabis brands cannot market the same way as other CPG products. This makes earned media all the more important. We have to educate and inform through news channels, and that’s getting harder and harder every day as the media landscape goes through a disruptive period of contraction.


CMA’s mission is to bring a positive perception to, and authentic understanding of, cannabis and its consumers around the world. How are you working to bring a positive perception to cannabis and its consumers?

At MPR, we strive to help our clients define cannabis culture through a professional business lens and subsequently change public perceptions of the industry, the type of consumer who uses cannabis, and the positive impact legislative reform will have on society.


What is a little-known fact about you or anything else you want readers to know?

I’ve done a ton of multi-day bike rides, specifically Climate Rides between Eureka (the Emerald Triangle) to San Francisco, as well as rides between New York City and Washington DC.


Connect with Shawna and hundreds of other cannabis marketers by becoming a CMA member today!

To read more member content, view the CMA blog here.

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