Merger comms is focus of seminar

NEW YORK: Top PR executives gave their advice for planning communications during the white heat of a merger at a Conference Board seminar last week.

NEW YORK: Top PR executives gave their advice for planning communications during the white heat of a merger at a Conference Board seminar last week.

NEW YORK: Top PR executives gave their advice for planning communications during the white heat of a merger at a Conference Board seminar last week.

Sarah Opperman, global communications director for Dow Chemical, explained how in August of this year she had just a week to plan a covert operation that involved constructing a Web site and getting b-roll onto a satellite before her firm announced the acquisition of Union Carbide.

In retrospect, Opperman admitted, 'We did not have enough spokespeople ready to comment in Europe and Asia.'

She told corporate PR executives to watch for signs of a merger, which include the company having access to a substantial amount of cash, references to growth in reports and the development of a merger process. 'And listen to financial analysts - they know more about what's happening in the company than almost anyone.'

Tim Wallace of Makovsky & Company also spoke at the event. He said that only 17% of mergers add value for shareholders. Several that did not include AT&T, NCR and DaimlerChrysler.



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