CFO Insight LLC
The deal is complete… the acquisition announcement has been made publicly and to the interested constituents … employees, customers, retirees, vendors, and throughout the network of potential customers, vendors etc.
Now what? The first question is, “Have you communicated with all the key constituents?”
In a well-managed integration, there are two parts to effective communication – outbound, and inbound. Let’s explore these topics:
Be thorough in your anticipation of all the constituent’s questions, document well thought-out responses, and don’t be afraid share the information proactively with key constituents. Lead the transaction, and don’t be reactive to dozens … hundreds … of questions. If you don’t lead, you will appear to be out of control.
Dedicate an outbound communications media to delivering the official message – e.g. set up a website … develop a newsletter … establish a routine communication from known leaders to build on the trusted relationships already established.
Don’t surprise the constituents with changes in terms and conditions … don’t try to hide from them in hopes that the questions will disappear quietly. If you are forthright and thorough in outbound communications, your chances of a successful transition will increase … remember, more than two-thirds of acquisitions fail to increase value.
If you haven’t prepared properly, it will be obvious, and you will have a more difficult time re-establishing the trust required to integrate operations. If you haven’t taken the time to establish effective communications with the constituents, you are projecting to all that they are unimportant. Is this the message that you want to convey?