Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Communicating effectively through a merger or acquisition

By Marc Wright

Mergers and acquisitions are two of the most important drivers in increasing the need for internal communication in both buying and target companies. In this article you can find out the 7 key steps you can take to optimise internal communication when your company is acquiring another, or is being acquired or merged.

Mergers put a huge strain on communication managers as they find themselves truly between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, senior management go into purdah as they jostle behind the scenes for the upper hand in negotiations while, on the other, staff panic about losing their jobs and related position, lifestyle and pension.

Most communication professionals go through a merger or acquisition only once in a decade so you can afford to pull on a wide variety of external help and skills to get through a process that will stretch and develop you more than any other professional experience. There is usually a management consultancy on board, who have come in to help with the rationalisation and restructuring of the merged business. They always put a high emphasis on the importance of communication. Studies by Booz-Allen & Hamilton indicate that over 70% of merger objectives go unmet, and just 23% earn their cost of capital. However, change consultants are often involved flat out on their task of bolting two disparate companies together so they will have little time and expertise to help out the beleaguered communication manager stuck in the middle.

So what should you do when those first indications of a merger start blowing in the wind? Here I suggest a 7 point strategy: More...

Taken from The Gower Handbook of Internal Communications

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