In business, a merger and acquisition (M&A) is a common way for two companies to join forces in a mutually beneficial way. Typically, a larger company will acquire a smaller one to gain its business assets. The smaller company, in turn, views the transaction as a way to grow.
In 2021, the value of global M&A deals reached $3.4 trillion, of which $2.6 trillion occurred in the U.S. Needless to say, M&As are big business, and your company could benefit from the right deal.
However, a successful M&A deal requires more than just two willing companies. It takes careful planning and a good PR strategy. Here are seven steps to optimize your PR during an M&A:
1. Determine the why
Before you go through with an M&A, get clear on the reasons behind this major decision. Is it to add a new service, enter a new market, or grow your staff? The sooner you establish the reason, the sooner you can begin crafting an effective PR message regarding the M&A.
2. Identify your audience
Next, you need to identify who you will be announcing your M&A to. The entire industry, your customers, or investors? What about your employees? You should have a PR strategy for breaking the M&A news to each of these groups. After all, different groups may have different concerns regarding an M&A, so you may want to tailor your message accordingly.
3. Develop a media outreach plan
Create a list of media contacts with whom you want to share the M&A announcement. Then, prioritize these contacts based on which ones will have the biggest impact. From there, you can organize press conferences, give interviews with journalists, and build positive relationships with important industry players.
4. Write a press release
Hire a professional writer to help you craft an official press release regarding the M&A. This should be a polished update to a general audience that includes basic details regarding the M&A. Be mindful not to share any proprietary information that you wouldn’t want the general public to know.
5. Share the press release
Once the press release is complete, you can send it to news distribution services and journalists for them to share. Just be sure to not let the word out until the deal is finalized.
6. Conduct crisis management
As the M&A takes place, you may run into challenges. To minimize any potential damage, develop contingency plans, monitor public sentiment, and respond quickly to any negative feedback. Try to communicate a sense of control despite unexpected hiccups.
7. Provide updates on the transition
To ensure a smooth transition during the M&A, make sure to communicate progress updates, address integration challenges, and reinforce the ultimate vision and value of the new merger. This will help reassure stakeholders and the public about the overall success of the M&A.
The bottom line
At the end of the day, PR plays a vital role in the M&A process. It helps you maintain effective communication and protect your company’s reputation.
Businesses that are serious about ensuring a smooth M&A process should invest in PR ahead of time. This might mean partnering with a PR agency, hiring in-house PR staff, or developing a PR strategy from scratch with this guide.
The key is to be proactive and not let the M&A come and go without a plan to communicate it.