The champagne corks are popping! Healthy new bank balances are being admired! But for most of the people this is not the end, it’s a new beginning. The task may now be to take the business to the next stage on the road to reaching its full potential. Some of the original founding management team may have gone – or be going – but what difference does that make to the majority who are left behind to get on with the job?
There is of course an immediate communications task: tell the world what you have done and why.
Present the deal as a huge benefit to customers and employees. There is always a tendency to imagine that people will be nervous or negative about a deal. Nobody likes change is the mantra. But evidence shows quite the opposite, so long as the advantages of the deal are spread before the target audiences like a sumptuous banquet. Don’t set out to reassure, set out to blow people away.
Be busy with your communications. Get lots of fresh content across your whole range of channels to demonstrate how the deal has created an immediate impact. Ensure your website is awash with comment, news items, new opinion pieces and videos.
The worst thing you can do is to hunker down and go quiet. If you want to create nervousness in the market, then inactivity on the communications front is a sure fire way of doing it. Don’t forget that acquisitions create waves and your competitors will be looking for any opportunity they see to start rumours and cast doubts.
However, in the background you should be planning a whole new marketing and communications strategy that allows you to show the world that you are bigger, more robust and more powerful before.
Perhaps the deal will take you into new markets and different regions of the world. This will have a huge impact on how you position yourselves and how you plan your communications. The deadly assumption here is that new markets are more or less the same as the old, and that copying and pasting success strategies over will achieve the same results.
New regions and markets may require a radical change of messages and approach even for similar audiences. The challenge here is to adapt whilst retaining the brand awareness and goodwill previously built up.