M&A Communications

Free plans, presentations, and playbooks for M&A communications to employees, customers, and suppliers that can be tailored to the particulars of a deal. Communication documents to get ready specifically for Day 1 can be found at M&A Day 1.

During an M&A integration, employees and customers who are left out of the communications loop or receive mixed messages are more likely to feel marginalized and taken for granted. Unfortunately, in the throes of an integration, it is easy for communications to be de-prioritized and neglected. To help ensure all stakeholders receive frequent, accurate, timely information, communication plans should be developed with clear accountabilities regarding who is going to say what, to whom, and by when.

Plans should cover not just Day 1 and Week 1, but also the 180-day period after close. The flow of information needs to be continuous and specific to maintain a sense of continuity and reduce uncertainty. Stakeholders tend to react negatively to ambiguity. While acquirers can't immediately answer all questions, they can still explain their objectives and commit to answering questions at a specific pace and time.

Answers to Employee FAQs

Expect These M&A Questions
Expect These M&A Questions

The deal will create numerous questions in the minds of stakeholders. By anticipating their concerns in advance, you’ll be better prepared to address them. We have compiled lists from our M&A integration consulting projects of the most common questions asked by:

  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Vendors/Suppliers
  • Community
  • Media

Common Employee Questions

We refer to the first ten questions on the list as “me issues”  because they are focused on the most common personal concerns of employees. Until these “me issues” are resolved, people are …
 

M&A Communication Planning

M&A Communication Best Practices

M&A Communication to Employees

Communication Advice From A Hit Man
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.

Now to be clear, Bobby Braddock’s fame is in the world of country music. His hits are songs, and they have made him a living legend on Music Row in Nashville.

Bobby is the only living songwriter who’s had at least one song reach the top of Billboard’s country chart in every decade for five decades running. He has written some thirteen #1 hits, and was inducted as the youngest living member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1981.

Country artist Toby Keith recorded the biggest hit of his career with a Braddock song. It’s not about mergers. But the words to the chorus should be tattooed onto the brain of executives. Maybe then they’d remember the song when talking to their employees about being acquired and merged.

Bobby’s lyrics describe precisely what employees want their boss to talk about. The words go like this:

“I wanna talk about me, wanna talk about I

Wanna talk about number one, oh my me my...”

Instead, top management is typically preoccupied with trying to sell the workforce on the wonderfulness of the deal. They talk and talk and talk. The employees may listen, but really what they’re dying to hear is how they’ll personally be affected by the merger. They want to know, “Will I still have a job? Who will I report to? What will happen to my pay and benefits?” and so on.

“I Wanna Talk About Me” was #1 on the charts for five weeks back in 2001. And no question about it—the “me issues” will be #1 in the minds of your people when they’re being acquired and merged.

That’s what you should talk about if you want to be a hit with your people.

M&A Communication to Customers and Suppliers