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3 Mistakes to Avoid When Communicating a Merger: Tips from an Expert

Mergers are complex – and when they go wrong, they can cause serious damage to a company’s reputation. When buying and selling a business, there are common communication mistakes that you’ll want to avoid. Our expert advice will help you make sure that your merger is communicated as smoothly as possible!

It’s never too early to start planning

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not taking enough time to plan how communications will be distributed throughout the merger or acquisition. What will be said, when it will be said and who will receive the communication are all important to have pre-planned. Even if the merger date shifts, you can never start planning the proper communications too early.

Some audiences to consider relaying this message to include:

  • Current employees
  • Future employees (from the company being merged with yours)
  • Stakeholders
  • Customers
  • Media

For each of these audiences, a different form of communication may be appropriate. For example, you may want to announce the transaction to employees in-person to address any questions.

Strategizing these communication channels and audiences ahead of time can help ease stress during the actual process.

READ MORE: Internal communication is key during a merger or acquisition

What will go wrong?

When two companies go through a merger or acquisition, there will always be problems – it’s simply unavoidable. However, you can minimize these problems by anticipating and planning for them ahead of time.

Think through all the possible roadblocks you may run into during a merger process. Some examples could include:

  • Not having access to an email list for distributing messages
  • Website updates that don’t happen on time
  • Website crashes
  • Vacations
  • Media catching wind before you tell your identified audiences

Murphy’s Law states “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” This holds true when planning for big announcements. By thinking through every possible scenario of what could go wrong, you can make your life a lot easier by having planned for these things on the front end.

Think of a merger like a crisis

The best way to approach a merger, is to think of it like a crisis. This doesn’t mean making rushed or hasty decisions under pressure, it’s actually quite the opposite. Crisis plans are operational plans help companies outline possible crises and have plans in place to deal with them. These plans make handling a crisis much easier because there is an outlined process for a company to follow, eliminating rash decisions made in the heat of the moment.

Merger communications are no different. If you think of them like a crisis and create an outlined communication plan and approach, the process will run much smoother and your company will be prepared for what’s to come.

If you want to get ahead of an upcoming merger, acquisition or crisis, Red Shoes Inc. is here to help you create a communication plan tailored to your business. Contact our communication experts today to get started.

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