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City & Financial PR awards 2016 winners: best M&A campaign

Emily Jones, Senior Account Executive

We’re so pleased to have been awarded Best Communications in Support of a Transaction at the inaugural City & Financial PR Awards, for our work for Reward Gateway, the global leader in employee engagement.

In July 2015, Reward Gateway sold a 55% stake of its business to Boston-based Great Hill Partners, in a deal valuing the company at £140 million.

Changes in ownership have the potential to incite negativity, especially amongst employees as there is often a lot of uncertainty. Our communications strategy around the deal would play a key role in ensuring the news was received and understood in the best way. We worked with Reward Gateway to create a communications campaign, Project Solar, which would ensure that employees, external clients, partners and the media understood this as a positive step for Reward Gateway.

The project involved a variety of innovative events, communications and activities from us and Reward Gateway. We focused on the fact that each employee, as a shareholder, benefited from the investment – with a total of £6.5m shared between all employees – it was the perfect way to show how the business practiced what it preached. Reward Gateway’s cleaner earned £8,000 when the share scheme paid out, enabling her to return to her native Bolivia to live with her family. This was one of the human stories we tailored for technology, financial, business, HR and broadcast media in the UK, US, Australia, and Bulgaria, ready to land on the day of the announcement.

We added another dimension to the story by creating an online channel that would host a short film with Reward Gateway’s CEO, Glenn Elliott. It offered the perfect platform to give a human voice to Reward Gateway’s story to a business audience. This was streamed live through ten online publications aimed at small business owners. To maximise output, we also cut and repackaged it as an audio feature to sell in to broadcast. As a result, 40 radio stations picked up the story, including a prime slot on Bloomberg Television. This was in addition to the more than 140 pieces of print and online coverage, ensuring that Reward Gateway’s journey was told loud and clear.

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