French Gerleman’s long history in St. Louis spans 107 years, during which time the family-owned company grew from a motor repair shop into a regional Midwest distributor specializing in automation, electrical supply, data communications, mechanical power transmission, and safety products. They’ve held a position as one of St. Louis’ largest privately held companies for many years. Kolbeco supported the French Gerleman marketing team as a strategic content marketing, PR and social media partner. In 2021, the company was preparing to merge with IAC Supply Solutions, another family-owned distributor based in Memphis. They turned to Kolbeco to join their Day 1 merger team and entrusted us with the development and execution of a plan to effectively communicate the merger to their various stakeholders, both internal and external.
The merger was ultimately great news for all involved. Both companies prioritized their people throughout the entire process and the merger positioned the new company, called Agilix Solutions, for additional growth down the line. Still, in a project like this there are many moving parts and many audiences, all with unique perspectives and concerns. Employees, customers, manufacturer partners, and the communities both companies were a part of all needed to be considered. Before we could develop a strategy and tactical plan for the merger announcement, it was important for us to dig deeper, because effectively telling this story meant understanding how the merger affected each of these audiences and addressing the unique and valid concerns of each. Fortunately, asking the right questions to understand our clients on a deeper level is one of the things we do best.
There was a lot of excitement about this announcement among the leaders of both companies. Our goal was to make that enthusiasm contagious by clearly communicating what a great opportunity the merger presented for employees, customers, and manufacturer partners. We used a number of tactics to execute on this plan:
in the form of FAQs, video scripts and email copy to address the specific concerns of each audience
to ensure a consistent communication of the merger across various markets and branch locations
MULTI-MARKET PUBLIC RELATIONS
to tell a consistent but targeted story through the media in each affected market
A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
to utilize both companies’ accounts to build the presence of the new brand
ORGANIC SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS AND IMAGERY
to announce the merger and communicate on progress
to tell a more detailed story about the merger of these two well-established companies
LANDING PAGE WEBSITE
to introduce the new brand and represent the vision for the future
On the day of the announcement, the merger was communicated flawlessly. By planning for all possible scenarios, we were able to help company leadership at all levels address each of their audiences with confidence and excitement, knowing they were prepared to answer any questions. We were excited to support our longtime client in new ways and we continue to support Agilix Solutions as they march forward to write a new chapter in both companies’ long and successful history.