Financial / M&A Communications
To communicate financial results, an investment or an acquisition requires specific advisory and communication skills.
Véronique Schyns offers services in financial and strategic communications. These services include advice and / or execution in the following areas:
Financial / M&A Communications
To communicate financial results, an investment or an acquisition requires specific advisory and communication skills. Véronique has a wealth of experience in global financial communications.
The preparation for full-year, half-year and quarter results are significantly high stressful for stock listed companies. The same is true when public or private companies are preparing for announcing a strategic investment or acquisition. One of the challenges is that facts need to be well supported and explained for different financial stakeholders. Another challenge might be that companies or brands lack awareness in new markets, which could complicate a successful outcome of a possible deal.
Timing is another important aspect. Since the disclosure of financial results are big events, this type of work is best managed as a project. M&A communications is often faced with leakage of information. It’s not unusual that a well prepared M&A deal is communicated in a completely different setting decided at the last minute. In financial and M&A communications, it’s also a challenge that there are many parties involved. It’s important that the communications Lead coordinates all input.
Needles to say that to manage the above mentioned challenges companies need a senior financial communications expert. Véronique was Heineken's spokesperson during almost 7 years at a time when the company was extremely active on the M&A market and did transformational deals amongst others in the UK, India and Mexico. She managed the financial agenda for the media and built and executed a pro-active media program during CEO and CFOs roadshows.
- Preparation, management and execution of a financial / business media programme
- Advising upon preparation of all statutory, results and M&A documents, such as announcements, presentations, key messages and storylines
- Issue management
- CEO and senior management positioning
- Media management, messaging & positioning training
- Social media advice
- Analysis of media reaction
Companies are expected to be transparent and provide factually correct information. It’s not enough to promote brands. Consumers want to know the company behind the brand. Corporate communications plays an important role in protecting and enhancing corporate and brand reputations.
Reputations are amongst others impacted by the quality of financial results, products and services, employment opportunities, corporate citizenship and communication.
Since 2000 Véronique has been working in Corporate Communications and has developed into an expert in this field, advising CEOs and other top management on strategies and tactics.
Interview preparation, interview guidance, Q&As, Message Building are all important aspects to prepare for any contact with the media. Spokespersonship does not start with the actual delivery of the message to the journalist. Preparations start much earlier.
Whether you want to pitch a story to a journalist, need to answer questions regarding a press release or need to represent the company to the public regarding an issue, preparations for the spokesperson start way before the actual phone call or face to face interview.
The key to the success of the delivery of the message is that the spokesperson has been involved in the press release, message building and/or Q&As. Only in this way the spokesperson can make sure that all possible questions are posed, facts are triple checked and answers are clear and to the point.
Véronique has been a spokesperson since 2000 and has been engaged in interviews with many international and senior level journalists. She has advised CEOs and other executives before and during many interviews. She wrote and coordinated a huge amount of press releases, wrote and rolled out a comprehensive Media Policy and worked closely with CEOs, CFOs, Investor Relations, Business Development, other top management and global PR agencies.
Issues & Crisis Management
If companies publicly communicate about issues or a crisis well, it protects them from further damaging their reputation. The issue or crisis is in itself already damaging. Be prepared and organize well your issues & Crisis Management, it’s a well-spent investment.
During her career, Véronique has been effectively advising CEOs and other executives on crisis and issues such as damaged products, fatal accidents, company role in transactions, investments and promotions, legal disputes, fines, pricing issues, bonuses, closure of branches, CSR issues, market share losses, company sale speculations, analyst speculations, management leaving, internet bubble and 9/11.
Companies that are used to only react to media enquiries start to see the benefits of communicating pro-actively and design a structured programme. Véronique has many years of experience in designing Proactive Media Programmes, helping a company making the change from communicating reactively to pro-actively.
Working your way through a list of interview requests is not effective, nor is waiting by the phone for the interview you are aiming for.
What helps is – depending on the goal - to design a plan based on key themes, talking heads and key media/journalists. Good relations with the right media help to effectively get your message across. This means amongst others responding swiftly when these journalists need your help and knowing their interests. You might be surprised how well it works if you plan your CEOs engagement around roadshows, factory visits, speaker appearances, sponsorships etc.
Media Training, Messaging & Positioning
In general, if you are the CEO make sure you do media training. If you had training before, do a refresher course and if you have to present Full-Year Results, need to do a press conference or have an important interview scheduled, schedule a media training. There are many types of media training. I always have received very good feedback about an effective training which combines media management skills with Message House building.
Depending on the goal of the training, the media management part is about the do’s and don’ts when engaged with different types of media, practicing on camera with focus on the presentation, whereas the Message House part is about content preparation, crafting messaging . What is the ultimate takeaway of my interview or press conference? How do I build my story in such a way for effective communication? The beauty of the training is the clever combination throughout the day of Media Management with Message House building.
During the training difficult questions are discussed related to the positioning of the company, its brand(s) and the individual, and also about (potential) issues. These discussions are important to be able to find the correct answer or choose the right wording. The aim is that the participant at the end of the day has a framework Message House ready and improved skills to effectively manage the next media engagement.
Véronique has been involved in tens of mentioned training sessions in her career, advising CEOs and other executives, preparing management for press conferences, interviews, crisis and issues.
Social Media and Content Management
Is it important to be actively present on social media and how do I manage others talking about our company and our brands? Content Management looks at how all earned, paid and owned communication channels are coordinated, for communication with different stakeholder target groups has to be in agreement.
If you want to avoid that your marketing department spends way too much money on paying for editorial pieces in the same publication with which your corporate communications department has daily contacts with regarding interviews, it’s time to coordinate. A well prepared interview might be more effective communication and it’s free. In addition, you want to avoid that too much visibility in one publication might be associated with sponsoring.
There is much to gain from content management and Véronique has in depth experience in this area, working closely with global marketing departments, social media experts and webmanagement.
Marketing / Brand PR
Sponsorships of sports events, films or concerts are often a significant marketing investment for a company and therefore brands should aim for the support of a well organized unpaid PR programme.
Being involved in international brand sponsorships related to James Bond, UEFA Champions League, US Open, Rugby World Cup and the Holland Heineken House, Véronique has ample experience with big sponsorship events. She works with marketers, helping to achieve maximum conditions for high level exposure with the right stakeholders. Depending on the sponsorship goals and the opportunities the sponsorship offers, she proposes an unpaid PR programme and manages execution.
Companies and brands can also benefit from Véronique's expertise to develop and execute PR campaigns around retail stores and production facilities, product and innovation launches, advertising, exhibitions etc.