A Detailed Public Relations Plan to Efficiently Handle the Merger of ABC Ltd with MNO Ltd Which is scheduled after 3 Months from Now
Public relations: It is the outreach of the media that has popularized the event of public relations to an enormous extent. The availability of the online social forums has granted enough liberty to a common man to sometimes get his “not so true” comments about a company or a product published. Not that all the claims made are false or “just misinterpreted” but there needs to be someone who is constantly keeping a watch on what is being said and thought about the organization to keep regulating the goodwill of the company in accordance. This is where the need of maintaining public relations comes into picture.
A public relations practice is about propagating that part of information that any organization in general would want the parties relevant to the company to know. Such parties could be the present and prospective customers, present and prospective employees and stakeholders. Such information which is being propagated essentially makes an effort to establish a desirable image for the company and its products and services in general. In specific, public relations also work towards clearing any misunderstandings or any bad images that the company has recently acquired or to handle any emergency situations that the company is experiencing. According to Kazoleas & Teven (2007, p. 21) “At the core of public relations, organizational communication, and management literatures is the belief that organizations must carefully monitor and manage their relationships with key stakeholders”.
Having understood the nature and importance of public relations and its practice for an organization in the present global environment, what forms the logical order of this study is to present a bird’s eye view of the two organizations that are planning to enter into a merger agreement within the next 3 months. After the brief on the companies, a detailed public relations plan in the wake of this merger shall follow.
Profile of ABC Ltd.: ABC ltd is a Dallas based an automobile company which is engaged in the production of manufacturing cars, trucks and other heavy-duty motor vehicles. This is a publicly traded company and is functioning in this field for almost 7 years. The company wishes to merge with MNO ltd which is another manufacturing company that provides the spare parts and other essential raw materials useful in the manufacturing process of ABC Ltd. If ABC Ltd procures these spare parts and raw materials from the open market, the process shall not only be time consuming for the company but also prove to be costly. Therefore ABC ltd desires to enter into a merger & acquisition agreement with MNO ltd.
Profile of MNO Ltd. MNO Ltd is a new entrant in the market and specializes in supplying raw materials to automobile companies which in turn makes use of these raw materials to manufacture the vehicles. MNO Ltd is not able to make the desirable profits owing to its new existence and also due to the abundant availability of such suppliers in the market. Therefore entering into a merger & acquisition agreement with ABC Ltd seems to be a profitable and more sensible avenue for MNO Ltd.
According to the merger & acquisition agreement, ABC Ltd shall remain as the owner of the merged companies and the name shall continue to be ABC Ltd. In the recent times, it has been noted that effective handling of environmental issues form the top most priority of any automobile company. This issue has become vital owing to the nature of activities performed by an automobile company. In fact cost reduction is seldom seen as a problem in the presence of these environmental issues. Due to the event of global warming and other climate changes issues, ABC Ltd has been facing the charges of producing vehicles that are not compatible with the current environmental needs. However, the current proposition of acquiring MNO Ltd works in favor of ABC Ltd in terms of manufacturing more cost effective vehicles that also reduces the emission of harmful gasses in the environment while favoring the prevalent global warming issues.
A detailed Public relations plan to be followed in the wake of the merger and acquisition deal discussed above is as follows: A public relations plan essentially includes 6 basic components which strive towards the achievement of the goal for which the public relations plan is being employed. These components are public, outcome, timing, media, budget and evaluation (Treadwell & Treadwell, 2001, p.90). A detailed draft that serves every single component for the public relations plan for ABC Ltd is as follows:
1. Problems that need to be sorted out through the plan: In the face of the global warming issue and other extreme climatic conditions, ABC ltd is being accused of producing vehicles that are not compatible of the current global warming issues and also not cost efficient. The merger and acquisition plan that is being considered by ABC ltd to be executed in the next 3 months strengthens the company’s capability to reduce its products costs as well as limit the emission of certain gases from the vehicles which endanger the environment. Therefore this plan aims to educate the general public and government and other private entities that are directly under or indirectly effected by this merger and acquisition deal.
2. Target audiences: The target audiences of this public relations plan are the present and prospective customers, employees, government agencies that keep a check on the environmental issues and industry critiques. The target audience of the plan shall be people of higher middle income groups and higher income groups who are families, working adults etc. The target audience shall be between the age group of late 20’s to any age. While making sure that the plan reaches the present and prospective customers is the most essential part of the plan, ensuring the reach of this plan to the customers located worldwide is another aspect of it.
3. Goals: The current plan wishes to improve the sales of the company through educating the present and prospective customers about the new and improved products that are being facilitated through this merger and acquisition deal. Also, it needs to win the accolades from the industry critiques which would be of very instrumental in nature to improve the global ranking of the company. Eventually such ranking can enhance the customer base and profits of the company while creating a desirable image of the company. Also, the company needs to put forth its clear intentions to the public and the government with regards to its efforts directed towards being considerate about the pertinent issue of global warming and environmental concerns. This shall also help in building a long term good will of the company while restoring the faith of its customers in the products and services of the company. The objective of assuring the concept of “value for money” to the customers is reinforced and effectively the proactive nature of the company shall become the unique selling price of the company. Consequently, through this plan the company wishes to improve its sales by 10%.
4. Budget and time for the public relations plan: The public relations plan needs to achieve all the above said goals in the time period of the next one year. As the increase in the sales can eventually happen only once the merger is materialized and the innovations that are proposed find their place in the end products. A part of the plan i.e. clearing the air about the blames (not being attentive towards the environmental issues and not being cost effective in pricing the products) being faced by the company need to be addressed within a shorter span of time. The budget of the plan shall not exceed $50,000 for the plan. The detailed segmentation of the budget being segregated among the various aspects of media coverage such as print publicity, online publicity and coverage on news channels. Etc.
5. Media coverage: The merger and acquisition deal shall be spoken about on online forums such as face book, twitter and the company website. Also the cost reduction and environmental advantages that the company’s new products promise shall be popularized in the print media by getting the literature published in the business magazines and news papers. Papers such as Deccan Chronicle, Asia One, Lurgan Mail, The Longfard Leader, The New York Times, Houston Chronicle, The Seattle times etc shall be resorted to in order to get the publicity done.
6. Strategies: The strategy that needs to be followed to execute the Public relations plan shall be more aggressive in nature. There shall be some press conferences organized in the premises of the office. Certain press release shall be done to more rigorously to ensure its reach to the maximum target audience through one or another way.
7. Coaching to senior executives: Sufficient coaching to senior executives need to devised in order to educate them about their role that they are supposed to play in the successful execution of the public relations plan. The senior management needs to be educated appropriately regarding how the workforce shall be educated towards the proposed deal and its outcomes and their roles to materialize the deal. Such education on the part of the senior management and the entire workforce shall definitely be of immense use since one of our strategies to popularize the company is adapting to publicity stunts on social networking sites which are also serving our workforce simultaneously. Hence if the general public or for that matter any outside person who wishes to know more about the plans of the company might try to approach any employee from the senior management or the workforce who are also the members of such social networking sites.
8. Sample Press Release: Dallas: April 10th 2012: ABC Ltd. In the wake of the global warming and extreme climatic conditions prevalence, plans to enter into a merger agreement with MNO Ltd. This merger shall take place after 3 months from now. According to the merger & acquisition agreement, ABC Ltd shall remain as the owner of the merged companies and the name shall continue to be ABC Ltd.
This merger shall not only help ABC Ltd to manufacture its motor vehicles at lower costs but also enable the company to make significant contributions towards the society by serving its customers with vehicle whose unique selling proposition would be minimal emission of harmful gases while functioning. Also, the time efficiency of the company shall be enhanced due to the direct availability of raw materials from a location so close contrary to the previous method of procuring them from the open market that was both time consuming and costly.
The above press release aims to reach the target audience while educating them on the prospective changes in the products and services being offered by the company that shall take place as an effect to the merger deal. Similarly, while publicizing on the online social forums, catchy one liner or witty yet educative one liner shall be used to grab the attention of the target audience. The above press release is very formal in approach while the one liner would follow an informal approach that would immediately attract the attention of the younger lot of the target audience.
9. Conclusion: the above draft of the public relations plan therefore serves the objective of not only increasing the sales of the company but also helping the company to get rid of the accusations of not being proactive towards preserving the environment. Due to the global warming issues, being proactive towards preserving the environment is of great significance in order to get a good mileage for the company. Especially the automobile companies are facing numerous challenges in meeting the standards that are being informally set by the government and many other private institutions which are working towards securing an economic friendly environment.
At the same time it is also of significance nature to ensure that the costs being incurred to give effect towards the achievement of economic friendly environment. In addition, the pressure being built upon the company due to a lot of educated and practical customers also needs to be efficiently handled to ensure that no negative publicity about the company gets accumulated in the view of industry critiques, customers, employees and government and private institutions.
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