Effective comms strategy is the key to a successful Merger and Acquisition
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) often can create uncertainties and discomfort for employees and stakeholders. You can ease some of this stress with an ‘effective and accurate communications strategy.’ Without it, you run the risk of rumor mills, perplexed brand messaging, disappointed employees and distrustful customers.
Delay is equal to damage – Companies often involve its communications team at a later stage without realizing that this may lead to a long term or permanent damage. Delay in communications also builds post-merger integration issues. So, don’t wait for your communications team to step-in when the ink dries on the deal.
Here are few tips to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition:
Confidentiality is a must – It’s no surprise that M&A news travels faster than the speed of light -sometimes even earlier than expected. This is where your PR team needs to steps in. Your team will help you keep you announcement behind the curtains and control the messaging to the external audience.
Consistency is the key – While it’s important that the key messages are uniquely tailored to each audience, the messages must be consistent so there is no misunderstanding or any element of surprise.
It’s not a one-day show – For a seamless communication process, it’s critical to develop unified messaging tailored to each audience and set objectives for the coming months. Expect for it to take some time for your audience to absorb your new brand positioning.
Did anyone say, ‘social media’? – Before creating a social media strategy ask yourself: How many times do I need to talk to my audience about the change? Make sure you don’t beat them over the head with too many reminders. Additionally, don’t miss out on monitoring messages and responding to questions throughout the merger. Its not ideal to leave your audience unattended!
Your external audiences include not only your clients, but also the public at large. They already have a set perception of your company which will take the right consultancy, strong messaging and time to change. Therefore, do not look at your PR agency as a mere press release distributing and news monitoring mechanism. Not involving your agency will only increase the risk of having a poor transition thereby affecting your company’s image.
By Komal Mishra, Communications Executive, Active DMC
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