The Comcast-Time Warner merger saga is a reminder of the need to communicate a strong story.

The leaders of two unloved cable companies sure have had their work cut out for them, communications-wise, since announcing merger plans in February.

While the news has focused on details of the deal and whether it will pass muster, the question of what it all means for already-disgruntled customers gets lost in the transmission.M&A blog image

If you’re starting on an M&A path, we’ll assume you’re doing so with a far better reputation among customers. Still, the Comcast-Time Warner merger should remind you that you need to work hard at protecting and enhancing your brand.

Your customers really don’t care about the transaction. Nor do your employees – another crucial audience. People only care about what the deal will do for them. How will sticking with your company create a better future? That is the story you must consistently share to support a successful merger.

Taking the cable merger cautionary tale to heart, here are four tips to help implement an effective communications strategy in your merger or acquisition:

  1. Start early. Make communications an integral part of your merger or acquisition strategy and execution up front. Use this early momentum to build enthusiasm for the opportunities that lie ahead.
  2. Elevate the story. Craft the narrative around the “what’s in it for me” element for your audiences. Don’t let this message disappear into financial statements and timelines.
  3. Be memorable. Share the details that your customers will care about, and make it memorable. Be concise in your messages so you don’t quickly lose customer interest.
  4. Equip your employees. They are a powerful communications ally. Help the most engaged ones become your ambassadors, and give them the tools they need to share your story with customers, the community and strategic partners.

If you follow these guidelines and communicate consistently, unlike the cable giants, you’ll make sure your customers and employees are happy and tuned in for a brighter future.