AECOM, a global company that provides support services to the transportation, facilities, and environmental markets, wanted to position itself effectively in the mind of Wall Street as it made the transition from an employee-owned company to a public one.
AECOM teamed up with Weber Shandwick's financial specialists to smooth its introduction into the public marketplace both internally and externally - all while complying with exacting Securities & Exchange Commission regulations governing IPO communications.
"We wanted to communicate as much as possible, as frequently as possible with our employees," says Paul Gennaro, AECOM SVP and chief communications officer. In addition to the internal communications program, the company needed to position itself as an industry leader in order to generate interest among large investors, analysts, money managers, and the media.
The PR team set up a "war room" in LA and mapped out how to use various avenues of the Internet and intranet to keep communication lines open. A video from the CEO and other materials helped inform employees about their new lives as shareholders. At the same time, WS helped coordinate the communications work of all of AECOM's global companies into a coherent message "to understand how new rules and regulations would apply to communications," says J.J. Rissi, WS SVP. The agency worked with the client and its financial and legal advisers to prepare for the all-important road show. WS also coordinated media coverage on IPO day.
AECOM's IPO was the fourth-largest IPO of the year when it debuted on May 10. Coverage in CNBC and The Wall Street Journal helped benefit the stock, and Gennaro says employee feedback was positive.
AECOM is now working with WS on a post-IPO visibility campaign.
PR team: AECOM (Los Angeles) and Weber Shandwick (New York)
Campaign: AECOM's IPO
Duration: January to May 2007
Budget: Approximately $75,000