April 3, 2019

M&A Communications: Designing & Implementing an Effective Program

This McKinsey memo addresses the importance of a well-designed communications program to the success of an M&A transaction.  Here’s the intro:

Structured communications play a critical role in mergers by preventing the distractions that often accompany them and could even damage the existing businesses. In addition, the communications plan lays a foundation for the combined organization’s future success. It is one of the few merger workstreams that go “live” immediately, as soon as merger conversations begin. The communications team announces the deal and then helps to develop, engage, and manage integration planning and execution.

A strong communications strategy and plan promote business continuity by ensuring that the right messages are communicated and reinforced to minimize the anxiety of employees, boost morale, and retain talent. They also convey the combined organization’s future vision and strategy to key stakeholders—both internal and external, including customers, regulators, vendors, and employees. In this way, the plan builds momentum and enthusiasm for the merger and corrects any misinformation and myths that might arise about it.

The communications plan is a vital tool to inform and influence stakeholders before transactions close, so it is critical to start early and get the message right, both before and after the close.

The memo reviews the role of communications across the deal’s timeline, from due diligence through post-closing integration, and outlines a process to build a communications strategy, to execute & monitor that strategy, and to improve communications about the deal.

John Jenkins