Mergers can be complex, but the best bank merger communications are simple and transparent. It's essential to understand when to communicate, what to communicate, and to whom you should communicate.
Communication teams within a merger environment should ask themselves:
- Who will the merger impact?
- Who will be concerned about the merger?
- What information will help clients and business partners feel confident in the merger?
- What information is necessary to communicate for legal, ethical, or business purposes?
Before creating a plan for bank merger communications, conduct an assessment of all data and situational factors that will play a role in the merger.
Some situations to consider include:
- The capabilities of branches and offices to deal with the merger and communications
- How competition in the area may impact how customers deal with the merger
- Products available from all parties in the merger and how those will eventually be integrated
- The development of a single brand and management structure
Once you understand how the merger is likely to affect various organizations and consumers, write a comprehensive bank merger communications plan. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and what the timeline will be. Timing is often a fail point for project teams--you don't want to give too much information too soon and confuse people. At the same time, you don't want to appear to be hiding things or failing to communicate. Consider the vantage point of employees, business partners, and clients--what will be important for each group to know during each step of a merger?
Don't write a plan that has no flexibility. Build in time for approvals and data review, and understand that your timeline may need to be tweaked more than once as customer or employee needs change.
Of course, BKM Marketing manages several bank conversion programs every year and we are happy to discuss your current situation with you. Click here to learn more about our experience with bank mergers, or download our Guide to Bank Merger Communications Best Practices today.