M&A Communications

Problem

A mid-sized biotech company developed a promising new drug and was acquired by a much larger company with whom it had previously partnered to market and distribute the drug. The partnership had been troublesome and uneven, and many employees were not in favor of the acquisition. Some employees believed that the company would have been better off remaining independent. After the close, the acquiring company laid off more than half of the smaller company’s workforce.

Action

  • Wordwright created an anonymous question box on the company intranet for employees to submit acquisition-related questions. Questions and answers were reviewed by the human resources, employee communications, and legal departments of both companies before they were posted online for employees.
  • Wordwright created and distributed feedback cards at all-employee meetings, both before and after the acquisition closed. Wordwright analyzed employee feedback and created trending reports to monitor employee concerns and questions.
  • Wordwright wrote and published biweekly intranet articles to introduce employees of the acquired company to their new parent company, including a series on site operational goals, an introduction to the parent company’s products and corporate structure, and profiles of new site leaders.
  • Wordwright created an Integration Updates section on the intranet to notify employees of policy, benefit, and system changes.
  • Wordwright promoted integration-related content, including policy notices, site events, and company news articles via a weekly email with links to the intranet.
  • Wordwright established a site Communications Council to generate ideas for new communications topics and give feedback on current programs and initiatives.

Results

  • All content for site communications is informed by direct employee input, either from surveys or representatives on the Communications Council.
  • Feedback indicates that employees who transitioned into jobs at the acquiring company know that their opinions and concerns are important to site leaders.
  • Feedback also indicates that employees understand how their work fits into the strategic goals of their site and how these local goals fit into the larger strategic goals of the overall company.
  • The site met all of its major milestones for the year following the acquisition. We continue to support ongoing communications for this client.
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