Merger Communication Plans
M&A Communications Plan
Objectives of Communication Plan
Plant-Level Communications Site HR Responsibility
Organization Structure Announcement
Preparing to Communicate
Communications: Lessons Learned
Mergers & Acquisitions Communications Plan
- Level-set on M&A integration communication best practices
- Understand M&A integration communication approaches and progress-to-date
- Define Charter and Operating Model for Communications Team
- Define a set of integration communication Guiding Principles …
Acquisition Integration Communications Plan
- Keys to Integration Success - Strategic Imperatives
- Integration Communications - Strategic Implementation
- Integration Communications - Approval Workflow
- Communication Objectives
- Communications Task Force
- Message and Materials Development
- Pre-Day One Communications
- Integration Toolkit
- Internal Branding Strategy
- Day One - Strategy and Tactical Overview
- Day One - External Stakeholder Outreach
- Announcement Schedule - Day One and Beyond
- Day One Internal Tactical Elements
- Integration Expectations Survey
- First 100 Days - Strategy
- Day 100 Celebration and Evaluation of Success
- Culture Building and Re-Branding
- Communications Timeline
Global HR Integration Process
Communication Restrictions - EMEA
Distribution Process - EMEA & AP
Distribution Process - AP
Communication / Translation Process
HR Recommendations - Organization Structure
HR Recommendations - Processes
Communication Plan Post-Integration
- Objectives of Communication Plan
- Communication Components
- Strategic Conversations
- Communication Action Items
- April Communication Calendar
- May Communication Calendar
4 Key Communication PMI Deliverables
- A Plan for Managing External Communications / Press Releases Related to the Merger
- A Plan for Managing Internal Communications / Events Related to the Merger
- Communications to Ensure an Issue Free Day 1
- Communications for Managing the Successful Onboarding Orientation and Cultural Assimilation of Employees from Acquired Company
Mergers & Acquisitions Communications Team
Chartering the Integration Communication Team
Purpose—To ensure we are all in agreement about the objectives of the team, we will document what we will deliver, how we will measure success, how we will communicate with other project teams, what our resource needs are, and possible barriers or constraints.
M&A Communications Prior to Day 1
M&A Communications Plan: Announcement to Close
Communication Plan includes over 300 tasks from Announcement to Close for:
Customers & Partners
Employee Meetings: Announcement, Day One, and Post-Close
Critical communication meetings with employees occur:
1. Announcement Day
2. Close Day
3. After Close–Benefits Briefing
These meetings are prime opportunities to inform people, engage them in the transition process …
Day -3 Through Day 1 M&A Communications Plan
- FTC gives indication that clearance is likely
- Confirm all final communication documents are uploaded to SmartSheet
- FTC Clears transaction to close
- Press release related to HSR completion
- Issue Corporate Acquired Co Investors Press Release ...
M&A Communciations Day 1
Post-Merger Integration Communications Plan for Day 1
- Communications Plan
- Pre-Close Communications Meeting
- Pre-Close Communications Meeting Agenda
- Key Events
- Day1 Town Hall Webcast
- Week 1 Onwards - Group Function Engagement
- Senior Leadership Meeting
- Key Messages
- All Employees
- Manufacturing – Plant Employees
- Homepage Template
M&A Day One Integration
- Day 1 Implementation
- What Must Happen on Day 1
- Three Phases of Integrations
- Managing Expectations
- HR: Day 1
- Headquarters Day 1 Event Schedule
- They Won at HQ Will Be Telecast Worldwide
- They Won Employee Welcome Package
- Guidance for Field Force and Shift Workers
- IT Accessibility for Acquiree On Day 1
M&A Day 1 Readiness: Dry Run Session
- Meeting Objectives
- Drive Run Rolls Detailed Process for Scenario Dry Runs
- Exit Criteria
- 2nd Day Feedback Session
- Process Flow - The Path of The Scenario
- Variables Description
- Framework - Defining the Scenarios
- Additional Scenarios to Test
- Scenario Number 1 - XM Satellite Radio
- Scenario Number 2 - Citigroup , Inc.
- Scenario Number 3 - Royal Bank of Canada
- Documentation Requirements
- Gap Identification and Remediation Template
- Outlier Template
- New / Modified Plans
- Parking Lot Template
Day One M&A Communications Playbook - $25 Million Acquisition
Day 1 M&A Communication Plan
Covers 150 communication tasks in areas such as Message Development, Logistics, Branding, Signage, Intranet/ IT Updates, Key Messages and Internal FAQ, Day One Announcement, Video Production, Intranet/ IT Updates, Employee Town Halls, Give-aways, Management Tour to Sites, Press Materials, Media Outreach, Website Updates, Stakeholder Outreach, Public Affairs Outreach, and Issues Plan.
Day One Post Merger Integration Overview
Day 1 Welcome Packets
Message from CEO | Safety Overview | Basic FAQs | New Company Infographic | Company Vision | Email structure | FAQ process | Acquirer Swag | Pay & Benefits reminder | Checklist | What to expect soon | IT Access …
M&A Day 1 Readiness Checklist
Checklist of 270 tasks.
|Status||Preparation Completed by Day 1|
|On Track||Playbooks: SC Review|
|On Track||Corporate communications / IR review|
|On Track||Supplier-facing Webcast|
|On Track||Employee-facing webcast with HR professionals|
|On Track||Day 1 Timeline Completed|
|On Track||Meet with Heads and Leads to incorporate "alignment" tactics for Day 1|
Post-Merger Integration Day 1 Checklist: Over 500 Tasks by Work Stream
Workstreams include: Finance, Communications, Human Resources, Safety, Information Technology, R&D, and Procurement
Day 1 Finance:
- Coordinate with IT and business units regarding closing of periods and end of period processing
- Ensure Acquired Co. Letters of Credit remain in place under new banking arrangements
- Communicate Acquirer limits of authority to Acquired Co.
- Execute funds transfer at close
- Provide Acquired Co. exposure and claim data to Acquirer brokers to confirm existing carriers will cover acquisition on Day 1
- Confirm no change in control issues and existing carrier will continue coverage and list Acquirer as named insured on all policies as back up ...
Post-Merger Integration Day 1 Deliverables Checklist
Day 1 Deliverables
Day 1 Preparation
Detailed employee census, access to Acquired Co. leadership
Seamless day 1
Access to Acquired Co. systems and analysis of how they do things, review change in control
Change in control
All change in control issues and potential challenges resolved (Banking, Insurance, etc)
Review staffing, Acquired Co. & Acquirer practices around tax (payroll, S&U, income, property)
SOP for finance
Limits of authority, accounting methodology/framework, month-end procedures & etc.
Day 1 Post Merger Integration Plan
Day Before Close
Day 1 Upon Completion of Close
Sample Day 1 Run of Show
Day 1 + Welcome Week Strawman
Day 1 M&A Integration Checklist
Day 1 Checklist in Excel of 131 tasks for:
- Financial System Integration
- Human Resources
- It Infrastructure
- Purchasing /Supply Chain Management
- Sales and Business Development
- Project Operations
- Real Estate
Merger Announcement Letter to Employees
SUBJECT: Merger Announcement
Acquirer, Inc. announces that the merger with Acquiree, Inc. is now complete. Today marks the beginning of a new era for our united companies.
News of this merger is very positive for our customers, our employees, and our communities. The combination of our companies brings ...
Day 1 M&A Communications
Deliverable and Spokespeople
- Employee Playbook - Managers (Acquirer & Acquired Co.)
- Customer Playbook - Sales & Marketing Organizations (Acquirer & Acq. Co.)
- Supplier Playbook - Supplier-Facing Teams (Acquirer & Acq. Co.)
- Welcome Week Playbook - Welcome Week Teams …
M&A Communications Timelines
Day 1 M&A Communications Objectives
– Mark the completion of the transaction as an opportunity to honor the past and recognize the contributions of the employees
– Promote the strengths and benefits of the new company, its brand and growth strategy …
Day 1 Plan by Site and Function
Day 1 Event
What will the celebration consist of? | How many attending? | Dialing in? | Who will make presentations? | Information welcome packets? | Who will create? | Audio/visual equipment required? | Signage changed? | Who will remove/install? | What will employees receive on Day 1? (Badges, IDs, Business Cards, Phone Cards, Credit Cards, Building/Parking Access Cards, etc.) …
Acquisition Signing Day Communications Schedule
- Steering Committee Call to Review Communication Plan
- Acquirer Press Release Distribution
- Acquired Co. Press Release Distribution
- Send BU Meeting Invites
- BU Employee Calls
- BU Customer Calls
- BU Customer Email
- Supplier Calls …
M&A Day 1 / Week 1 Letter to Acquirer’s Leaders
Once we receive confirmation of the close date, a member of each team should reach out to facility managers/site contacts at each of the locations you’re planning to visit to discuss the day and time of each site event and your travel logistics.
Email all facility managers a copy of the Facility Managers Guide and your Welcome Week Schedule. Both are available on the Communication Document library in Smartsheet.
It may also be helpful for you to discuss any key issues or concerns the workforce has, as you prepare for meeting with employees during your visit. Some questions to consider...
M&A Communication Playbooks
Day 1 M&A Playbook: Employee Communications - $1 Billion Acquisition
Sixteen page document that includes answers to seventy-five employee FAQs, plus communication guidelines, and important talking points and messages.
|Key Messages for Employee||4|
|Employee Talking Points||5|
|Impact on Operations||11|
|Compensation, Benefits, and Incentives||13|
|Sales Professionals FAQ||15|
|Question Specific to New Employees||16|
Customer Communications M&A Playbook - $95 Million Acquisition
What is the purpose of this Playbook?
The 10-page playbook was developed to help customer-facing employees share accurate, timely, and consistent information with their customers about Acquirer’s acquisition of Acquired Co.
What are materials in this playbook?
The following documents are for internal use only. Do not distribute these materials to anyone outside the company:
- Customer Key Messages
- Customer Talking Points
- FAQs: Customer Facing Employees
- FAQs: Customers and Distributors
These documents may be tailored and shared with customers, as approved by your respective business sales & marketing organizations:
- Customer Letter
- Customer Letter Attachment
M&A Integration Communications Playbook - $75 Million Acquisition
Covers all the tasks acquirers should follow to ensure all constituencies, including customers, employees, and investor relations, are well informed. An owner, due date, and priority are assigned to each task.
- Develop special communications/plan for key customers/contracts, prepare talking points
- Develop a plan to manage employee expectations / reactions
- Identify ways to promote the Acquired Co's image within the acquirer
- Identify areas subject to name or identity change, plan process of change over and begin ordering new stationary, supplies, signs, banners, business cards, company forms, etc.
- Update communications guidelines as necessary
- Develop and conduct communication training for the Implementation Team to ensure consistent messages
- Identify list of personnel authorized to make public statements
- Work with Human Resources and Communications counterpart to develop key HR strategies for the communications group ...
Communications Playbook: Media, Social Media, & Websites - $76 Million Acquisition
Five-page playbook covers media plan, talking points, letter to state and local officials, and posts for social and media websites.
Provide an image announcing the deal is complete, along with the following text:
Acquired Co. has recently become part of the Acquirer Group. For more information about Acquirer including its acquisition of Acquired Co., please visit Acquirer.com.
Twitter Post: Provide standard text that suppliers, customers, and brand sites can retweet or copy
It’s official! @acquirer has completed its acquisition of Acquired Co.. #gamechanger #acquirer #our industry [link to press release]
Day 1 M&A Playbook: Customer Communications - $1.0 Billion Acquisition
Easily customized Word document that includes answers to FAQs, sample letters to customers, and critical talking points and messages.
Customer Communication Guidelines (excerpt from page 3)
- Adhere to the information set forth in these documents and do not elaborate or expand upon the information provided.
- If a customer asks a question that is not included in these materials, it is likely something we cannot answer at this time. Capture the customer’s question and pass it to your manager.
- Maintain the very highest ethical standards and remain focused, as always, on serving the needs of our customers.
- Do not call out comparisons to other industry mergers or acquisitions.
- Do not speculate on the future state, leadership, outcome and people ...
Supplier M&A Communications Playbook - $240 Million Acquisition
Six pages of communication guidance for supplier-facing teams that includes key messages, talking points, sample supplier letter, and supplier FAQs with answers.
Supplier Key Messages
- Our mission is to create a great place to work for our team members, great products and partnerships with our customers and suppliers across the markets we serve, and a great business that supports local economies.
- Nothing changes in the near term.
- We will act with purpose, focus and transparency to integrate our two companies working closely with our stakeholders every step of the way.
- Our relationship with our suppliers is critical to our future success. Our focus on delivering the best products and services to our customers and maintaining strong supplier partnerships ...
Day 1 M&A Playbook: Supplier Communications - $1.0 Billion Acquisition
Includes answers to FAQs, sample letters to suppliers, and important talking points and messages.
Answers to 13 Supplier Frequently Asked Questions
Will my point of contact at Company change?
There are no changes today; however, if there are changes as we work to integrate the two companies, we will inform you as quickly as possible. Our relationship with you remains a priority.
What is going to change?
For the time being, please continue to work with us as you have in the past. Company and Target will keep existing practices in place for the short-term. As we work to integrate the two companies, we expect to identify ways to consolidate and streamline our policies and practices. But until advised further please continue to do things the same as you do today. Prior to any change we will inform you of the changes ...
Merger Communications Best Practices
Communication Guidelines for Acquirer
Communication Guidelines for Acquiree Interactions
- General Guidelines for Answering Questions
- General Guidelines for Addressing Difficult Audience Members
- Know Your Audience
- Visual Aids
The 15 Most Common M&A Integration Communications Mistakes
1. Shaving the truth
Protect your credibility by "telling it like it is," no matter how painful "it" may be ...
5 Things You Should Never Say When Announcing the Deal
The next time you see or read about a top executive announcing a merger/acquisition, pay close attention. I’m betting the boss mismanages expectations by making at least one of these five common but wrong-headed remarks ...
Sugar-Coated Merger Announcements Leave a Sour Aftertaste
If you’re announcing a merger, don’t forget that you’re dealing with adults. They prefer truth over dubious promises. They’re irked by an unrealistic positive slant …
Communication Advice From A Hit Man
You’ve probably never heard of a guy named Robert Valentine Braddock. He’s a hit man who hangs out in Tennessee, and he has a killer reputation ...
Merger Integration Communication Lessons Learned
Key Findings: Misses
–Large (e.g., 500+ employee) town halls in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Phoenix
–Recorded phone messages from CEO
–Several days with excessive communications and mixed messages from multiple sources
Make A Sales Pitch For The Deal And Point Out The Warning Label
An integration initially produces more problems than solutions.
This is the “it gets worse before it gets better” phenomenon. And it’s totally predictable ...
Merger Communication Best Practices
27 Merger Communication Best Practices including:
- Manage expectations.
- Articulate the compelling business rationale.
- Be honest and candid.
- Create opportunities for two-way communication...
Building Employee Commitment in M&A
Business Unit Leaders should:
- Articulate a compelling business rationale for the deal
- Make key decisions quickly regarding organizational structure, staffing, product rationalization, core processes, resource allocation, and performance management ...
M&A Insights Drawn from a Nobel Prize Winning Psychologist
When directly compared or weighted against each other, losses loom larger than gains.
You can measure the extent of your aversion to losses by asking yourself a question: ...
Ignore Social Media at Your Own Peril During Merger Integration
Communication problems have always ranked #1 on the list of generic problems during integration. But they’ve hit a far higher threat level now because of today’s communication technology …
Why Do "Staggered Experiences" Foul up M&A Communications?
"Executives are in New Beginnings.They want to communicate the vision, the inspiration about how great the merger will be. Initially, employees are in very a different place. They have not had as much time to digest the news. They want information much more than inspiration. They tend to tune out the inspirational talk ..."
M&A Communication Tools
8 M&A Communication Tools
Suggested Core Message Content for Stakeholders
Employee Communications Survey
Communications Planning Matrix
Example: Communications Planning Matrix
Communication Effectiveness Criteria
Communication Event Evaluation Form
Acquisition Press Release Outline
Announcement Presentation Outline to Acquirer’s Employee
Announcement Presentation Outline to Acquired Company’s Employees
Post-Merger Integration Communication Plan Checklist
9-slide presentation covers checklists for assumptions, actions, process steps, and communication vehicles.
M&A Integration Communication Matrices by Function
Matrices completed by five work streams on M&A integrations. Includes instructions.
Complete the 8 columns of the communication matrix with the following information:
What type of message is being conveyed?
· The type of announcement; the main subject of the message
Why is the message being conveyed?
· To announce the merger/acquisition
· To answer the “me” issues
· To communicate the financial impact of the merger/acquisition
· To provide reassurance and commitment to continued partnerships ...
Merger Communications Plan Checklist
- Build and present the Peer-to-Peer Matrix for Target Co. employees
- Build agenda/outline of events
- Draft speeches, rewrites and edits
- Define all stakeholders (Presenters, audience, support staff, etc. to execute ALL day tasks/functions from food, audio, laptops, hotel, etc.)
- Create invite to Day 1 (email, letters, webinars, voicemail etc.)
- Set date for invite(s) to go: First one immediately after Press Release and Investor Call, and a reminder early in the morning of Day 1. Include location address and specific times
- Website: make all adjustments and key information for Target employees available online. Include investor link and provide a FAQ's link for employees
- Invite all off-site employees into webinar/audio for Day 1 event
- Have appropriate HR personnel onsite for Day 1 to address questions/issues/concerns about new benefits…
M&A Communications: Core Messages Example
The example of a merger core messages document serves as content for various M&A announcements and helps ensure consistent communications throughout the organizations. The Core Message Word template is also provided.
Company Merger Announcement Template
The following includes the information to cover when announcing a merger or acquisition plus the guidelines to follow when writing the announcement.
Acquiring Company to Acquire Acquired Company (possibly mention price)
Other notable information
Paragraph 1: Announcement
Acquiring company announced today
- Amount (cash, stock) ...
M&A Communication Planning Matrix
All current contracts remain in force and will be honored. No interruption in invoicing or bill paying process. All valid outstanding invoices will be paid timely.
No changes in existing organization, all current management positions are unchanged. Merger is good for the business and will stimulate growth, but there is work to do to integrate with new entity. Function/ department specific message as determined by responsible Executive Committee member. Key message point to be delivered to employees in groups and reinforced in
Merger will strengthen company and add to its capability to deliver top products ...
Stakeholder Analysis Template for a Post Merger Integration
Spreadsheet that includes the following columns for each stakeholder group:
- Stakeholder concerns
- Ability to influence
- Change impact
- Resource requirements