When Multiple Brands Combine Their Identities, PR Mediates

It's an issue ripe for the picking: increased globalization, overseas expansions, mergers and acquisitions - all of these trends have brought the corporate re-branding conversation to a head, as effectively aligning and integrating multiple brands and corporate cultures is a business imperative. Communications is the secret (or, hopefully, not-so-secret) weapon for executing a strategy in a timely manner, as experts say that six to 12 months is the recommended timeframe for full integration after a merger or acquisition. Some organizations are pushing communications to the forefront, in order to intercept re-branding challenges: PricewaterhouseCoopers was formerly Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, but the two entities merged in 1998 and re-branded; Dow Jones began the process of acquiring Factiva in late 2006 from venture-partner Reuters; and umbrella organization Observer Group changed its name to Cision just last week in order to streamline the 10 names across the company. "Communications is paramount when you are trying to bring together two organizations, or when you are trying to communicate worldwide," says Mike Davies, director of global communications at PwC. "Communications has to be very high up on the agenda.

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