Try working from the café this week

Interesting collection of some of the best marketing promotions making advantage of the current Tube strike in London (last week, 2 days; and 2 days planned this week, but I am learning that Transport of London has just called the strike back).

Interesting to see, but not really a surprise, twitter and social are preferred channels for these real-time promotions, with few exceptions.

Humour is  broadly used across all campaigns. And so is sales discount, which is a good lever and works particularly well in situations like this.

Day1 is now!

Deal completed. At this point ISYS stocks have been suspended on LSE. ISYS is officially part of SE.

We got the “GO! GO! GO!” literally 30 minutes ago. It was an exciting moment.

Communications plan executed while I write. News Releases have been sent to the wire, email to clients and partners, several threads launched on media streams (ie Twitter), videos uploaded on youtube, labels (banners) applied to web sites, new pages live on the internal sites.

I am checking that all goes smooth around the globe. Middle East will start communications on Sunday. Japan on Monday. The rest of the world is live.

I need a couple of hours of rest, now…


Close to the deal

Everything is now ready for Day 1. All communications assets ready to go live. Two more days and the deal will be disclosed.

I am now definitely dedicating most of my time to the deal comms plan. I still cannot believe that everything has been completed, 48 hours before the deal. Let’s cross the fingers and let’s use the full day tomorrow to secure that all channels are ready to go live.

More to come.

ISYS M&A update

Back to work, huge workload, this is the week of the M&A announcement, which is expected to go live this Friday, early afternoon UK/European time. Everything is ready for the official communications, we are testing sites and graphics, and at the same time we are refining all documents that will be part of the communications kits and will be targeted to different external stakeholders.

I have to say that despite the stress due to the last week preparation it is extremely exciting to drive comms for a so huge M&A deal.

More info this week. A lot more details after the deal announcement.

Languages for communicating acquisitions

Once we started our comms plan for Day 1, the day of the public announcement of the acquisition, we had the challenge of the languages. Which languages should the assets (letters, social streams, newsletter and web contents, etc.) be localised to? Both companies are international and act in more than 50 countries around the globe.

So we decided to go with more than one language… and we ended up with 11 languages! Specifically: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, Dutch, Korean, Japanese and Russian.

Choice of the languages is dictated by existing presence and business potentiality of the territory for our specific field (Energy and Automation). So it might change, sector by sector.

The recommendation for critical communications as an acquisition could represent is always to go with several languages. This is what I call “reaching the last mile”. We are closer to the customers if we speak the same language.

Using social for M&A communications

We decided to use social media for both internal and external communications on Day 1, in addition to other channels. You might remember that “Day 1” is the way we call the day when the acquisition will be formally announced.

We use SocialCast, internally. VMWare SocialCast is a social network and collaboration tool for the enterprises. Few days ago I have created a group – it works like the LinkedIn groups – to answer all questions from employees and to post news about the acquisition/integration process.

Externally, we have created a full comms plan as you can expect from acquisitions of this magnitude (we agreed to be acquired for £3.4b). We will use social media as well, to communicate to customers, partners and external stakeholders. Joint plans (= from both companies) are already in place to secure consistency with the message and to align the communication streams on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook.

More to come.