By Anne Holland, President
A week and a half ago, I sent you a note about the fact that we are being acquired by another research firm, also in the 'what works in marketing' arena.
So far, it has been a heck of a crazy ride. Here are two main results you might find useful if you ever have to announce an M&A to your own company newsletter audience:
-> Congrats letters pouring in
It's terribly exciting when the reader response floodgates open in response to an announcement like this. Then the typing starts. And goes on, and goes on, and goes on.
I feel very strongly that if you write me a letter, you should get a swift personal response. My husband feels very strongly that since I married him earlier this year, I should come home in time for dinner. You can see where this is heading ...
Three other items on dealing with congrats:
o Folks who reach out and touch at a time like this often are your biggest evangelists, closest contacts and longstanding fans. Another reason not to relegate them to a form letter or make them wait for a thank-you reply.
o The word "congrats" spelled out goes directly into many Outlook junk mail filters. This means you'll have to dredge through your filtered mail more diligently than usual for a week or two.
o Some people send gifts. Honest to gosh. Thanks to Paramore Redd for the yummy cookies and Elie Ashery for the huge fruit basket.
-> Less reaction than you (dumbly) expected in the blogsphere
Oh, even with 20+ years of WIIFM (what's in it for me) marketing training on how to appeal to an audience, I still made the junior-league mistake of expecting the blogsphere to be hopping with posts about our acquisition.
What would they say? I clicked over and over and over again to blog-tracking services such as Technorati.com to track the world's response to our ground-shaking news. Yes, there was some. But not much.
In fact, blog reaction was limited mainly to people who pick up press releases in part or in whole and repost without comment (or sometimes caring). So, we were splog fodder and release reprint "news notes" but not anything more, except for a tiny handful of bloggers.
Strikingly, way more folks blogged, discussed and linked to Case Studies and other stories our editorial team had published that week than to our corporate news about ourselves.
Old lesson re-learned. No one cares really deeply about you being acquired except for you, your staff, your family, the people buying you and their PR firm.
Oh, and the local paper. It was way fun to pose among fulfillment stacks of our Search Marketing Reports for the photographer Providence Business News sent over.
Anyway, news about you may not be remotely relevant or useful to your marketplace. So, they won't blog about it.
That's a fact that folks who publish corporate newsletters overloaded with words such as "Us" and "Our" should consider before the next issue goes out.
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