Last night I attended a Bentley University alumni event at Oracle in which the presenters — Jordan Olin, principal sales consultant, Oracle, John Ioakimidis, account executive, Oracle and Chris Mello, area director, Oracle, spoke on the topic of acquisitions. They highlighted much of the behind the scenes activity necessary to bring an acquisition to fruition and the value of such business deals. Throughout the presentation they offered up various examples of companies that Oracle itself has acquired. As the names of the acquired companies flashed up on the screen, I recognized many of the names (some former clients) and I got to thinking about PR’s role in M&A.
In my short 12 year career, I’ve been involved in more than a dozen acquisitions – whether my client was the acquirer or being acquired. That is a lot in a short period of time and I must say, I’ve learned a lot. As part of a PR agency who’s been through countless M&As, we’ve been able to offer quite a bit of guidance before, during and after such a major business undertaking. In fact, I’m sure many people out there would be surprised to learn just how involved PR is in the closing of an acquisition.
For more information on mergers & acquisitions check out, A people-focused approach to M&A.
Over the years we’ve helped clients large and small navigate the ups and downs of proper communications. This includes not only the formal announcement to the media, but also ensuring that the two companies involved have properly prepped the executive spokespeople; have communication strategies in place for employees –including explaining the legalities of what can and cannot be said about the acquisition (you’d be surprised how many employees have no idea what can happen with the FCC, if they discuss the news with anyone outside of the organization) and communications with partners and customers. We’ve also helped many clients post-acquisition to position or in some cases re-launch the newly formed organization.
The bottom line, unless you’ve made a career out of counseling companies during M&As, few organizations have the experience in executing a proper M&A communications strategy, as those within a PR agency. I say this not to blow my own horn or to bolster PAN’s capabilities (as any agency worth their salt should be able to offer such guidance), but rather as a reminder to those organizations who may be going through this for the first time or who’ve been down this path before, that there are many resources at your disposal inside and outside your organization and to take advantage of those who’ve been there as it may make your experience a better one.