COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORMS TO USE DURING M&A


Charles Carr, director of corporate affairs at Celerant Consulting, cites a password-protected extranet as an essential platform for providing all stakeholders with up-to-date M&A information, but that’s not the only vehicle in communicators’ arsenals. Consider the following tools for disseminating messages throughout the M&A entire process: • Intranets: For Jose Zavala, director of global communications at Fox Mobile Group, an Intranet proves critical to keeping internal stakeholders informed. “[At the last company I worked with,] there was a special Intranet exclusively for the merger where we posted frequent updates, including Q&As from employees, legal statuses, new opportunities, etc. It also included a mailbox where employees could send questions or concerns that were quickly answered.” • Town hall meetings: “We scheduled a town hall meeting a few days after the M&A announcement,” Zavala says. “During the meeting, the CEO discussed what the merger meant to the industry and to employees, stressed the opportunities resulting from the merger and then opened up the session to Q&A.” • Internal newspapers: When helping with the acquisition of a European supply chain business, Carr says, “An internal newspaper produced and printed in eight European languages was a great tool for educating everybody about the new group and building a sense of belonging, particularly in some of the more out-of-the-way places.” • Web videos: “[We] created videos introducing the new management team and executives,” Zavala says. “They were fun videos of select executives discussing the merger and the opportunities [it presented].” • Employee satisfaction surveys/communications audits: According to Julie Wright, president of (W)right On Communications, when she was the marketing director for a credit union that merged with another institution years ago, “these two feedback tools helped show where the merger was springing leaks. For instance, the weakest links were managers who did not make the extra effort to communicate or listen at their branches during the transition period.”

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