PeopleSoft avoids leaks surrounding acquisition plans

PLEASANTON, CA: PeopleSoft's communications staffers are celebrating a leak-free announcement of the company's intent to acquire rival J.D. Edwards.

PLEASANTON, CA: PeopleSoft's communications staffers are celebrating a leak-free announcement of the company's intent to acquire rival J.D. Edwards.

"We kept a very tight lid on it," said VP of corporate communications Kara Wilson.

Due to concern about leaks, at first only the companies' CMOs were involved in the planning, followed by a few communications staffers, including Wilson.

"We had to reach out to every single audience - employees, the media, industry analysts, financial analysts, partners, customers, and shareholders," said Wilson. "And we had to make sure they all received the same message."

The messages addressed a variety of potential concerns, such as the rationale for the merger, customer implications, and the financial implications.

As soon as the press release hit the wires at 4am on June 2, Wilson was on the phone leaving messages for analysts at 4:05am. PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway sent e-mail and voice mail messages to all employees so they would hear the news directly from him.

"Every moment of every executive's day was planned out," said Rhonda Shantz, Bay Area GM at Porter Novelli, PeopleSoft's PR agency.

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