Announcing an M&A deal tactfully
Company mergers and acquisitions are an important event for both parties. In addition to changing staff size, members and roles and building the new company's brand, business acquisitions often receive publicity — perhaps more attention than a company would normally get. The announcement can also have an effect internally, with employees wondering what will happen next. That's why it's essential to announce a merger gracefully.
PR Daily contributor Jessica Robnett offers the following tips for a successful merger announcement:
- Fill your employees in on the details before going public, and coach staff members who might be approached by the media on how best to represent the company and the merger.
- Once you've informed the people who make your company run, it's time to break the news to shareholders, clients and affiliates. "You don't want them to hear about the situation through the media first," writes Robnett, "particularly f you're in a business that goes by a 'customers always come first' credo." She recommends sending a letter or email and keeping investors and customers updated as plans develop.
- Lastly, announce your M&A deal to the public via social media and contacts at various publications and/or news outlets.
Robnett also advises companies to inform the three main audiences mentioned above "in rapid succession." This will give you a better handle on the situation than letting the news spread on its own, giving both companies the ability to present the facts and minimize speculation.
These tips underscore the importance of carefully managing an M&A deal from a PR standpoint to ensure that employees, investors, shareholders, customers and business partners feel they are well-informed, and that the public at large is given accurate information.