It’s no secret that the people are what make a company, and that’s especially true in a community-centered field like cannabis. This month, we’re highlighting Dallas Evelyn, who fills a business development role here at NisonCo and works out of Atlanta, Georgia. Read on for a Q&A with Dallas about his role at NisonCo, how he ended up in the cannabis industry, and what he likes to do in his free time as a remote worker.
NisonCo: Could you tell us a little about your role at NisonCo?
Dallas Evelyn: I’m on every intake call, so I get to learn about clients’ goals and strategize ways we can help and determine if they need PR or SEO services. Then, I coordinate with each team to let them know when clients are onboarding, help manage their expectations, and gather preliminary information to help prepare our own team.
I do all the contracts as well — at least the initial ones — so I do a lot of negotiation. Most of the time, it’s pretty straightforward, but we luckily can be flexible, which helps the whole process.
I also manage the Salesforce data that comes in. We use this data to help determine the best way to grow as a company and be analytical in our decision-making. My main focus is to handle client communications and ensure they understand what they’re paying for, what’s included in their scope of work, and provide clear expectations.
How did you end up at a cannabis public relations firm like NisonCo, Dallas?
Dallas: After college, I did end-of-life healthcare sales, which is like hospice. And so I would go to senior living facilities, do presentations, hang out with seniors, and just do different activities.
There was a lot of face-to-face and cold-calling, so I would be speaking with doctors if I weren’t talking with patients. And then, we would also hold events that I would run. They were often accreditations for healthcare professionals, so we would host these accreditation courses so they could continue getting their credits for work. Then at the end, I’d have a 15-minute chance to say what our company did and how we could help them. I got a lot of public speaking [experience] from doing that. It was a win-win situation, making my time doing that fun and integral to my future.
I was already living in Atlanta then, and I started a craft service and catering company with a friend for the film and TV industry in the south. I ran that company for about five years, and I still participate in ‘Hollywood South’ activities as much as possible.
During COVID, I started looking for remote cannabis jobs because I’ve always been involved in cannabis in one way or another. I’ve been interested in the healing aspects of it for most of my life, but as I grew older, the business side of cannabis piqued my interest. I didn’t know how I wanted to get involved in cannabis, but I started looking at jobs, eventually found NisonCo and fell into this role here.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
Dallas: I really love music — I go to concerts at least twice a month. My music taste is all over the place. Being in Atlanta, I go to many rap concerts, but we also have a lot of massive venues here; so many big names of every genre come here to perform, which gives me the ability to see my favorite EDM and house artists as well.
I also like kayaking, hiking, and just getting outdoors in general. As long as I’m on the water, I’m happy.
What is your favorite thing about your job at a top cannabis communications agency?
Dallas: I would say speaking with all the different types of companies. That was why I liked working in the film industry: I got to work with various people on different sets, and people come from all around the country to work in Atlanta. That’s my favorite thing about working in general — just meeting people.
I like this role precisely because we work with so many fantastic cannabis companies and also psychedelic companies. Recently, I feel like we’ve just had a bunch of opportunities to work with apps and different companies I didn’t anticipate getting to work with. I get bored very quickly, and I’m not getting bored working here because we have so much new stuff coming in all the time that it keeps it fresh. It’s not just working with dispensaries. When I started working here, I wasn’t quite sure what I would get, so I’m happily surprised!
What do you think the future of the cannabis industry looks like?
Dallas: I think international cannabis will move further and further toward being medical-focused.
For cannabis in the United States, companies will start leaning back into that medical side. I think that’s a better way for states to approach it. I believe going fully adult-use causes many issues, and the underground market thrives due to high adult-use prices. Due to access and pricing, many people will just continue to purchase things from the legacy market.
What do I feel about Georgia cannabis? I think we’re screwed. The people in charge of handing out licenses are making poor choices for patients at large and not giving smaller names a chance to compete. So my outlook on Georgia cannabis is not good. That’s just my opinion — I think we’re going to move forward eventually, but it has been looking bleak based on recent decisions.
What does negotiation with cannabis companies entail?
Dallas: Most of the time, it’s done by email, so you have time to think about your responses carefully. At NisonCo, we often collaborate in a group setting. So we take a lot of time to ensure the contracts are good before hitting send.
Most of it is just about timing and pricing. We don’t often negotiate price; it pretty much stays standard. We give bundle deals if clients take on SEO, PR, content creation, or a combination. However, there’s a large enough discount — and our prices are fair compared to other PR firms — so we rarely engage in price negotiations.
That makes sense, especially as many business owners attempt to do it all themselves.
Dallas: Yeah. Some people do public relations for themselves just fine. But they still want extra help because we’re the experts. And that’s what we’re selling — that we’re the experts on the topic.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Dallas!
Even though he wasn’t quite sure what he was getting himself into when he started looking for jobs in the cannabis industry, Dallas is thoroughly enjoying his role in business development here at NisonCo. He’s an integral part of the team, and we couldn’t be happier to have him here. Check back next month for another post highlighting one of our incredible employees and what they do here at NisonCo, a top cannabis, psychedelic and emerging industry marketing agency.
Are you seeking help from our experienced psychedelics, cannabis, CBD and crypto/blockchain PR, SEO, and marketing team? Let us know if you need help researching trends and topics, crafting communications, or securing news spots by contacting NisonCo here.