Global merger and acquisition activity set an all-time high last year, breaking the previous record set in 2007. According to an EY survey in October 2015, 59% of executives planned to actively pursue acquisitions in the coming 12 months. Given that this number is significantly higher than the 40% reported in the survey a year ago, we very well could see another record-breaking year for M&A in 2016.
Our Blog: The Podium
It’s the ability to tell a compelling story that will get the investment community excited about your company. It’s also a great challenge for even the largest public companies in the country.
The ability to deliver a captivating presentation, whether at meetings, investor conferences or in a more personal one-on-one setting is challenging for most. Even those who are naturally gifted still need to practice to be their best.
A Halloween Lesson with Apologies to Charles M. Schulz
Every year Linus sits in the neighborhood pumpkin patch trying to impress Charlie Brown’s little sister Sally with a personal introduction to The Great Pumpkin. On Halloween, she forgoes trick or treating to wait for the Great Pumpkin as he “flies through the air and brings toys to all the children of the world.” When The Great Pumpkin disappoints, you can imagine the fury of a kid who has been cheated out of tricks or treats.
What to do if you are in The Great Pumpkin’s shoes, in desperate need of reputation management? Whether you are a corporate executive, a disgraced athlete or a fictional cartoon character, here are three essential steps for reestablishing a positive brand.
By David Calusdian, Executive Vice President & Partner
The firing of Red Sox manager Terry Francona offers a few valuable lessons in crisis communications, especially those relating to the unexpected departure of an executive. For those of you outside of Red Sox Nation, let me offer a little background: the only living manager of Boston’s professional baseball team to win a world series (twice!) is now unemployed after missing the playoffs following a disastrous September collapse. To be technical, Francona wasn’t fired; the team declined to pick up the option on his 2012 contract. While the debate over letting Francona go is an ideal subject for a sports-focused blog, the way the decision was communicated offers two valuable lessons to anyone in crisis communications.
1) Take a Deep Breath: When a decision is made suddenly to release a senior executive, care should be taken to think through the communications timeline. The Red Sox put Francona in front of the microphones the day after the final game of the season for no reason other than to discuss the final calamitous loss. If ownership had even an inkling that the team would be sending Francona on his way, why put him in front of reporters to awkwardly answer questions about his future? To make matters worse, the very next day Francona held a press conference to announce his departure, which was then followed by another media gathering by the Sox brass to discuss the action. Why two additional separate press conferences? The Sox would have been better served to have one well rehearsed press conference (including Francona and the Sox higher-ups) to address the disastrous end of the season and announce that the time was right for a managerial change. In any crisis situation, take a deep breath, think a few steps ahead and plan all messaging and timing of external communications accordingly.