Top 3 Questions a SaaS Company Should Answer Before an Acquisition Announcement

Announcing the acquisition of another company is an exciting moment for any SaaS brand. You have an opportunity to share the news with the world and celebrate the milestone for both companies. 

A successful announcement requires a well-built-out PR strategy. Your PR firm will have several questions when building out the strategy. Ideally, you’ve told your PR team as early as possible so they have time to ask these questions and get the answers they need. 

There are many questions to consider when announcing the acquisition of another company. But we’ve boiled it down to a few of the key types of questions your PR team should be asking. 

What are the details of the acquisition? 

It all starts with the basics. Who are you acquiring? Where are they located? When will the acquisition be finalized? An important detail to share is whether you will be disclosing the terms of the acquisition. How many employees does the acquired company have? Are they all remaining on board? That’s an important detail to note, especially for local media. 

Additionally, you want to know whether the leadership team of the acquired company is staying on and, if so, what their new titles and roles will be. These are some of the key details needed to build out a press release and prepare for potential interviews with media. 

What’s the “why” of the acquisition?  

You and your PR team will want to figure out the ideal headline for coverage of your acquisition announcement. The best way to determine that is to talk through the “why” with your PR team. What drove the acquisition? Are you expanding into a new market? Adding new product capabilities? Unpacking the “why” should help shape the story your PR team tells through the announcement. 

What are the implications of this acquisition announcement? 

Announcing the acquisition of another company impacts several stakeholders such as prospective employees, customers and potential investors. It’s important to consider the implications for these audiences as you develop your PR strategy.

What does the acquisition mean for your customers and the customers of the acquired company? Is the acquired company’s brand going to be rolled into yours, or will the two companies continue to act independently? How will this acquisition augment your business? Consider the implications for the market. Does this acquisition change the competitive landscape? Are you planning additional acquisitions? These questions can help your PR team understand the goals for the announcement. 

Finalizing the PR Strategy for the Acquisition

As you flesh out the plan with your PR team, other questions will likely come up. You can address several questions by sharing any existing internal communication plans you have. 

Another detail to nail down is who will be the spokesperson for both companies. If the acquired company works with a PR agency, it would be good to get your PR team connected with them. An acquisition announcement has a lot of moving pieces, but by asking the right questions and putting a solid PR strategy in place, a successful announcement is possible. 

Do you have an acquisition on the horizon? Check out our guide to announcing your acquisition of another company to make sure you’re set up for success.  

When and How to Embargo News

To embargo or not to embargo, that is the question. At least, that’s the question for your PR team.

If you’re working in the SaaS space, you’ve probably heard the term “embargoed news” thrown around at least a time or two. But, what does that actually mean and how can you leverage embargoes for the benefit of your business? Just like offering an exclusive, embargoes can have their pros and cons.

FAQ About Embargoes

What is an embargo?

An embargo is when media is asked to keep specific news under wraps until a certain date and time. Essentially, you’re offering early information on upcoming news in exchange for an agreement to keep it private until the agreed-upon date. Because of this, embargoes are often used around confidential information, such as an acquisition, funding or new product launch. An embargo isn’t an unsaid agreement, though. Your PR team should get explicit buy-in to the embargo from each media contact before sharing details.

When can I embargo my news?

You have the option of embargoing news if no information about the announcement is already publicly available. Because you’re essentially offering early information to a reporter in exchange for them not sharing it until the agreed-upon date, you can’t offer that information as “secret” if it can be found elsewhere. Is there a tweet out there or a conference presentation recording that mentions the news? Wipe “embargo” from your vocabulary.

What is the benefit of embargoing my news?

Embargoes provide two noteworthy benefits: 

  1. Embargoes give reporters more time: One of the biggest benefits to embargoing news is that your PR team can pitch media ahead of an announcement. This means you’re giving reporters extra time to develop their coverage by allowing wiggle room to ask follow-up questions and conduct interviews before the news goes live.
  2. Embargoes build relationships: Embargoes bring the benefit of fairness. When you give reporters the chance to share news at the same date and time, it means nobody is getting the “scoop,” therefore nobody is getting the short end of the stick. When reporters have a fair chance at getting their story out, it helps build your relationship with them further by eliminating the possibility of alienation when they see someone break the news ahead of them.

What is the drawback of embargoing my news?

Embargos present two potential downsides:

  1. Embargoes create the possibility of a news leak: There’s always the possibility an outlet will break your embargo, whether it be on purpose or on accident. That’s why it’s important to weigh the implications of news being leaked early. For example, you don’t want your employees finding out from a Google Alert that your company has been acquired. If a leak could have a catastrophic impact on your business or team, you may want to consider holding your proactive outreach until the day the news goes public.
  2. Embargoes open the door to annoying reporters if your news isn’t newsworthy: The biggest frustration media often voice when receiving an embargoed pitch is that their time is wasted with non-newsworthy embargoes. Embargoing news that isn’t newsworthy is like promising your friend a big juicy secret and then telling them what you packed for lunch. Sure, nobody else knows yet, but was it really worth the hype? Before you slap “EMBARGOED” on your outreach, consider whether the news is important enough to label as confidential.

If you’re working with a smart PR team, you should discuss embargoes with every announcement. You won’t always need to embargo your news, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of doing so. Want a real-life example of how embargoed news assisted a brand? Check out how it helped propel an acquisition by Google forward!