If your organization is currently going through a merger or acquisition, you probably have one big question on your mind: how do I announce to involved parties that this deal is taking place?
Well, there are generally a lot of stakeholders involved, and for each of these stakeholders you will want to handle the communication differently. But for this article, we will focus on how to notify the press that your organization is completing a merger or acquisition.
And if you would like templates for announcing your merger or acquisition to other stakeholders, make sure to check out our merger and acquisition communication plan.
Before we jump in, it's important to remember that any type of M&A communication you do will largely depend on your organization, who you are addressing, and other aspects. The samples provided here are to help you get started learning the best practices.
Okay, now let’s get started with considerations for notifying the press of your merger or acquisition.
Merger and Acquisition Press Release Considerations
There are several items to consider before your organization releases information about your merger and acquisition deal to the public (through the press).
First, you need to think about the timing of the press release. Do you need to notify other people before the news goes public? Do you want to let all of your stakeholders know on the same day? Depending on your situation, the logistics of sharing the news could be important.
If you let the press know about this deal before important employees, vendors, or clients, you could damage important business relationships that could then in turn damage the overall worth of your business.
On the other hand, it can take a very long time to make sure all important parties are notified of the deal. Think about huge organizations. How can the merger and acquisition team be sure that they can notify all stakeholders in time? If this process takes too long, it will be inevitable that the news will leak to the press before you are ready to make it public, and then you will no longer control the narrative of the deal.
Speaking of narrative, you will want your merger and acquisition team to decide on the narrative of this deal before it is released to the public.
There are several reasons for a merger or acquisition, and there are several different results that can arise from these different objectives. While you should never lie about your organization, you will want a polished narrative that puts all parties that are involved in the best light possible.
Thus, deciding on a narrative before your public relations team starts writing the press release is important. Make sure you can answer each of these questions, and then provide the answers to the person who is writing the press release:
- What is the objective of this deal?
- What is the long term vision for the new entity?
- How will this affect employees of both organizations, and the public community in general?
- What will leadership look like at this new entity?
Without this information, there is no way that your public relations team will be able to put together a successful press release.
Speaking of a successful press release, let’s discuss what should be included in one.
Merger and Acquisition Press Release Template
You can find our merger and acquisition press release template with the button below.
Now that you have downloaded the template, let’s go over the details regarding what information should be included.
You will want a title for your press release that is both catchy and genuine. Don’t be so overly click-baity that people feel fooled by your title after reading the press release. But also make sure to sell yourself!
Here are some great examples:
Jayhawk Manufacturing Co Merges with Jayhawk Shipping to Better Serve the Midwest Market!
Technological Synergies Realized: Aley Co Acquires Yogi Travel Inc
Ice Cream Just Got Better! Frozen Yum Acquires Company With Dry Ice Technology
All of these titles are interesting, but not so overly exuberant that they mislead readers.
Details About The Company
You will want to provide logistical information about the new company. This section can vary depending on how the structure of your organization will be setup after the transaction.
For example, if your organization acquires another organization, but you will operate separately, (think of eBay and PayPal before they split back off), then you will need to provide logistical information for both organizations.
But if your company merges or acquires another entity to form a whole new operation, you will need to provide company information about this new entity.
Each situation is different, but in general, there is some information that should always be included in this section:
- The name of the new organization
- This means you will need to have decided on the new name of the entity before the press release. Also, if you are acquiring an organization and keeping the original name of the parent company, make sure to specify that.
- When the deal will be finalized
- You need to let the public know when all of these changes will become effective for your organization.
- Objectives of the deal
- You will have to provide some background information as to why the companies took part in this deal. Did you acquire an organization to capitalize on certain synergies? Will their technology help your process? Will you be able to better serve a market? Make sure that you explain this fully.
- Goals of the deal
- What is the mission of the new organization? What are the values? And most importantly, what do you think this deal will accomplish for you? This is different than the objectives section above, in that you need to provide a much more high level and overarching statement. Yes, your organization acquired this other entity because of the technology, but what will this help you solve? In this case, it could be that the new technology will help you to continue to improve the quality of life for people across the midwest.
- Introduction of key leadership and quotes
- Ask the key leadership of the new entity (think of the CEO, the COO, board members, and any high impact VPs) to provide quotes about their vision of the future, and what they are most excited for. This will help you introduce these leaders to the public, and also show how they plan on leading the organization.
- Logistical information
- Make sure to include information about that new company website, new logo, business address, leadership, and press contact person.
- A visual
- It is always nice to share a picture! Including a photograph of the new office building or new leadership team is a great way to insight interest in the merger or acquisition deal.
Merger and Acquisition Press Release Template: Distribution
Now that you understand what to include in your press release, let’s go into how you should distribute it.
If you have a large organization, it could simply be enough to have your PR team contact a publisher and run the news of your new acquisition or merger. (Think about if Google and Yahoo merged! All they would have to do is call up The New York Times to get the news out.)
But if you are a smaller sized organization, it might make sense to call your local newspaper to get some coverage. If your organization has a PR person, they should have a contact at the local paper that they can reach out to.
If you don’t have a PR person, or if they don’t have a contact, you should be able to find contact information for a business editor at the publication on their website.
Finally, your organization can also put out a paid press release through online press release distributors. Organizations like PRWeb and PR Newswire, will push out your press release to hundreds of different publishers in your target area, for only a few hundred dollars.
If you follow these steps, you'll be well on your way to making a great press release to announce your merger or acquisition. To learn more, check out our downloadable sample here: