Selling a business is complicated, and effectively communicating a corporate acquisition requires both coordination and precision. It’s important that the company’s key audiences hear the news with messaging tailored for them and in a way that answers questions they can be expected to have.
B2 worked with Tampa-based Quality Distribution, a global logistics and transportation provider, to coordinate and execute a strategy for communicating the sale of its domestic trucking business, Quality Carriers, while considering all of its various stakeholders. Without an in-house public relations team, Quality Distribution’s leaders called in B2 to help manage the news media and their corporate communications for the announcement.
Creating a plan for sharing the news about the sale of Quality Carriers to CSX started with detailing who would be affected by the sale: the truck drivers and other employees who worked for the division, the customers they served, the employees of CSX and its customers, the employees of Quality Distribution who would not be part of the sale, and key business partners.
B2 worked hand-in-hand with executives at Quality Distribution to create a communications plan for the corporate acquisition with specific messaging for each group of stakeholders. The planning also involved determining the best channels to use for reaching each group: This wasn’t as simple as sending out a press release and following up with an email blast to employees. Truck drivers don’t necessarily have access to email during their workdays, and key business partners needed a more personal touch in their communication about something as sensitive as a corporate acquisition .
Working with the teams at Quality Distribution and CSX, B2 helped identify methods of communication that would work for each audience. As the press release went to the news media, a memo went out to employees with a detailed frequently-asked-questions document, emails went to customers of Quality Carriers and of Quality Distribution’s other business, Boasso Global, and executives began their personal communications.
For the truck drivers, the company created video messages to share at truck stop terminals and through Facebook. For key business partners, each executive had a list of personal calls to make. And for employees, B2 helped create messaging for virtual town hall events that would allow employees to ask questions of the company’s leaders.
Having a minute-by-minute timeline of how the corporate acquisition communications would unfold on the day the sale was announced meant that no one was confused about who to call, when to send emails, or how to proceed.
Both employees and business partners appreciated being communicated with in a time-sensitive, transparent way, and executives were saved from the headaches that would have been caused by ill-timed or incomplete information. Local and trade industry news media covered the sale positively, with specific reported stories in Tampa, where Boasso Global continues to be headquartered.