Advisor on the Merger of Capital Colour and Priority Printing
In May 2022, two of Edmonton’s premier printing companies, Capital Colour and Priority Printing merged. For over four decades, the two companies have built a relationship established on trust and people-centric service. Their collaboration on client projects that utilized both company’s skills and speciality equipment to deliver on client expectations helped form a solid foundation for this formalized partnership. Their trust and clear alignment in values ultimately leads to a deeper cultural fit, which is a key success indicator for integration following a merger and allows for a smoother adjustment for staff and customers.
Capital Colour began in 1979 as a small graphic design and prepress shop, working with clients to deliver great, creative and outstanding service. Today, Capital Colour offers full-service printing with a team of 17 employees. Since 1986, Priority Printing has provided top-quality printing and personalized service to Edmonton and area and is one of Edmonton’s premier mid-sized printers with a team of 20 employees. Together, they saw the opportunity to deliver a seamless experience to customers from the idea generation phase through to production.
Capital Colour engaged Incite in February 2022, three months before the merger was to become public. The company saw it crucial to bring in an advisor who could facilitate internal conversations around stakeholder communications and guide the deal narrative given specific stakeholder audiences. Incite helped deliver a meaningful deal communications strategy for the Capital Colour and Priority Printing teams which included, but was not limited to, the following:
- A thorough understanding of relevant stakeholder groups, profiling their communication needs, potential areas for concern, and effective mediums for communication
- Alignment on the narrative by identifying core merger messages that took into consideration how the transaction came about and the emerging benefits for all stakeholders
- A clear path forward with a solidified schedule of communications activities, execution details, and trigger events that were relevant to the typical culture and operational needs of each merging organization and their respective stakeholders
- Understanding of responsibilities and expectations related to the merger communications rollout across all levels of their team
Every organization has different communications needs and challenges. When two companies merge, those challenges are typically amplified, and different styles of communication can work against each other rather than together in driving overall value. As Incite learned the nuances of both Capital Colour and Priority Printing’s communication tendencies, it was clear there were some synergies and well as some roadblocks that would need to be considered:
- With relatively small teams that do not use or require the same technologies as large corporations to engage internal staff, there are limited channels for communication. How can we ensure all staff stay informed about upcoming changes?
- Without disrupting business in a smaller scale operation, how can we get all staff from both organizations together to celebrate the merger and increase comradery across the newly merged team?
- With two sets of organizational values and established cultures, how do we ensure staff from both sides see themselves in the combined entity?
- How can we take the culture and brand of Capital Colour and Priority Printing and ensure they are both reflected in the messaging and tactics surrounding the merge, while clearly articulating to customers the new vision and positioning moving forward?
- With many questions surrounding the merger, how can the leadership group empower its management team so they feel confident equipping front-line staff with consistent messaging that will go external to customers?
- Both Capital Colour and Priority Printing having outside sales representatives who do not work full-time in their offices. What is the best way to communicate with these individuals and ensure they feel included in the newly merged culture and ongoing communication about the merger?
THE PATH FORWARD TO SUCCESS
Incite was able to address the communication challenges above through facilitated client sessions and the work presented in the communications strategy. From there, a tactical communication plan was developed that leveraged effective channels to relay deal messaging and included details around methodology. A training session was also delivered by the Incite team to align Capital Colour and Priority Printing management around the communications strategy and educate the team on change management best practices.
”By working with both the Capital Colour and Priority Printing team, we were able to deliver an impactful merger messaging strategy and equip their team to communicate the right messages at the right time, optimizing longer-term success in value creation, allowing these two companies to grow together in size and capabilities, increasing the breadth and depth of their expertise.Jesse MeyerPartner, Incite