2014 was the year of mergers and acquisitions. If there’s even an inkling that your company may be acquired or merged with another or vice versa, don’t wait to get your communication efforts in order. Now is the time to smartly plan your communication strategy to make sure you have a comprehensive, thoughtful plan in place leading up to and past the big announcement. It’s not uncommon for an organization to think about the news release as the end-all be-all of information communication. In fact, there is much more to consider. Proactive communication planning is integral to your overall culture as it undergoes a massive change. Consider the following:
- Target audiences should be discussed thoroughly and could include employees, stakeholders, boards, media, community members, social media communities and competitors.
- If you don’t currently have an active PR presence, fire up the engines. Shore up your relationships with both the media and consumers. Tell the good stories that need to be told. This is also helpful (for many reasons) if you are being acquired.
- Determine the “why?” to your merger or acquisition, and then figure out how to communicate that in a way that is easy to understand. Boil down your message so it can be easily repeated by others.
- Develop and utilize key messages to get your point across, whether it’s in a media interview or talking with your neighbor. Consistent key messaging is critical to your story.