Private Equity Media Relations
Posted on 4th Oct 2018 in News
In the digital age, companies are firmly in the spotlight and are expected to be transparent and engage with the press.
The press plays a significant role in how companies are perceived, through both traditional and social media. But what can media relations do for a Private Equity (PE) house? Building relationships with press can buy goodwill from journalists and ultimately favourable or at least balanced media coverage.
A robust media relations strategy can help PE houses to raise their profile, articulate their philosophy and in times of need protect their brand from reputational risks. Reputation matters - it affects staff, external stakeholders and impacts the bottom-line.
To understand how media relations can be used effectively by PE houses, it is worth considering whether PE investments are always welcomed. Think about an investment conducted by a PE house with a bad reputation and its impact on staff moral and its vendors. They can be seen as taking advantage of a firm rather than being a saviour, creating ill feeling towards PE investors.
For staff of the company being bought, a number of important questions will always present themselves. What will the new management structure really be like? What is my future under this structure? Is what I’ve heard/read true? Scepticism often surrounds MBOs and addressing these questions can be challenging.
By building a favourable media profile, PE houses can navigate these difficult questions, using the press as a third-party endorsement of the proposed business strategy. Building and leveraging relationships with the press to reinforce what a company stands for, showcasing its people and achievements can help support transactions. Conversely, failure to engage can create reputational challenges from ill-informed media.
Furthermore, media relations can increase the valuation of portfolio companies through building their brand equity and supporting their commercial goals.
Charles Ansdell, Redleaf PR