Acquisitions are an exciting, yet uncertain, time for any SaaS company. They often involve complex transitions focused on aligning internal and external messaging to tell a cohesive brand story. Used correctly, PR serves as a critical tool for bridging the gap to a successful acquisition announcement, amplifying the news to new investors, stakeholders and customers.
Given ample time to prepare for the announcement, your PR team can develop an effective PR strategy around your goals. For example, suppose you’re interested in getting in the room with investors. In that case, the team may focus on earning top-tier coverage. Or, if you’d like to reach prospective customers, they may target trade outlets to highlight your growth plans.
Whatever the agreed-upon strategy might be, your PR team will offer recommendations on whether to pitch the news as an exclusive, share under embargo ahead of the announcement, or execute day-of pitching.
Here’s a closer look at three strategies for announcing an acquisition and the challenges and benefits accompanying them:
Offering an Exclusive
Why pitch the news as an exclusive? You’ve been working for months to finalize the acquisition details, so what’s the upside to offering a single reporter the opportunity to break the story? “Exclusive” is an enticing word for publications — this strategy allows your team to attract interest from a top-tier or national outlet while controlling the messaging.
On the other hand, an exclusive may reduce the likelihood of other top-tier publications covering the announcement and impact the total coverage due to a lack of early access.
Pitching Under Embargo
While an exclusive targets one media contact, embargo pitching refers to sharing the news with several reporters before the announcement date. Within an embargoed pitch, your PR team should only include enough information to entice reporters to request an interview or additional details and commit to an embargo date — the date when the acquisition announcement will be made public.
While the rule of thumb for embargo pitching is 48-72 hours ahead of the announcement, this timeline can be extended to a week or more depending on the target outlets and if your team offers an exclusive first.
Embargo pitching can garner more media coverage in the long run, providing reporters with the time needed to conduct interviews and gather outside information to run a story. But you run the risk of a publication breaking the embargo, so it’s important to consider the implications of pursuing this strategy.
Executing Day-Of Pitching
Regardless of your acquisition announcement’s goals, day-of pitching should be a part of your PR team’s strategy. A day-of pitch is shared at the same time you issue your announcement and should include everything a reporter needs to cover the news. These pitches may result in an interview request, a posting of your announcement press release, or a feature or mention in the publication.
The good thing about day-of pitching is your PR team can control the timing and message around the announcement, but reporters might not cover the news due to time constraints or other editorial obligations.
Well, it’s finally game time. Your PR team is ready to execute a winning PR strategy around the announcement of your acquisition of another company.
As the team schedules interviews, prepares briefing sheets for your spokespeople, and monitors and shares coverage, make sure to align your internal team with talking points and encourage them to share the news on social media.
Want to know more about the strategies driving your acquisition announcement? Check out our ebook on how to use PR to control and propel the message surrounding your acquisition of another company.