This Sale of Business Announcement Workflow will support you in writing a press release in the following situations:

  • Your company is selling itself or has been sold.

When you click Next> on the bottom of this screen, you will enter Publiqly’s Sale of Business Workflow, which will show you how to write a press release using Publiqly’s five-step workflow structure. Here is a link to Publiqly’s Resource Page where we explain this structure a bit more in outline form.

Picking the Right Workflow
Publiqly’s workflows are tailored to meet your needs in specific situations, so we recommend you choose your workflow with care. Here are a couple of alternative suggestions:

  • If your company is selling or divesting a unit, click here.
  • If your company is purchasing or acquiring another company, click here.
  • If your company has a joint venture/partnership with another company, click here.

If the Sale of Business Workflow is the right workflow for your needs, let’s get started…Click the Next> button below.

 

STEP 1: PREPARATION

Preparation is everything when writing effective press releases. In this step:

  1. We help you gather all the relevant input from your colleagues and outside sources. These are the Building Blocks and the key part of preparation for creating a press release.
  2. Start by downloading two important documents that you need to write the announcement on the sale of your company.
Building Blocks, How it Works

As you can see, the questionnaire that you just downloaded is split into two sections: Factsand Narrative. These are the two key Building Blocks we distinguish when writing press releases. Understanding the difference between Facts and Narrative is key to using Publiqly’s platform. Here is a link to our Resource Page where we dig into our Building Blocks some more.

It’s worth noting here, that we color code all Facts in green, and all Narrative in blue. This holds true for both our questionnaires and templates.

The Questionnaire provides you with all the questions you will need to ask your colleagues and other sources. In the Facts section, you find basic questions about the sale of your company. The Narrative questions are aimed at gathering additional information about the sale of your company – that you can use to turn your announcement into an actual story with news appeal. Open your questionnaire now to start gathering your building blocks.

Action Item: Start collecting your building blocks using the questions from the Questionnaire.

Click on the Next> button below to see how Publiqly teaches you to use the Building Blocks to fill in your template and start creating your press release.

 

STEP 2: CONNECTING WITH YOUR AUDIENCE

In most of Publiqly’s workflows we say that the News Hook is the most important part of a press release. But the Sale of Your Business is a different fish. The Sale of the Business itself is the News Hook. Positioning the news — in this case, sensitive news that may be deemed negative — is the single most important thing when it comes to writing a Sale of Business announcement.

Positioning The News:

Although selling your company might make perfect sense from a business perspective, the outside world might think that you are selling because the company is in trouble. Assuming that this is incorrect, it’s important to emphasize that you’re selling from a position of strength. Here are a couple ways to frame the news:

  • The sale will make the company more agile in a competitive market place.
  • The proceeds will immediately be reinvested back into the company to capitalize on growth opportunities in higher-margin activities.
  • There’s a saying that 1+1 is not equal to 2. When one company buys another company, the two together should be viewed as bigger than just the combination. There are likely cost savings, and strategic advantages as well. This partnership and these advantages should be part of your theme for positioning the news.

Target Audience:

You also need to tie your News Hook to the right audience. You have to ask yourself “Who are we writing this for?” Another good exercise is to ask yourself if your audience will care about your divestiture? If not, then you need to find a better news hook.  And also ask yourself “Why are we communicating about this?” Is it a legal obligation or will this news improve our audience’s perception of our company?

Action Item: Choose a viable News Hook now and make sure that hook will resonate with the Target Audience you’ve decided to go after.

Be sure to take a look at Publiqly’s 10 Most Powerful News Hooks page here for additional ideas.

 

STEP 3: WRITING THE TOP

In this step, we will show you how to write the Top of the press release: the headline, the 1st paragraph (also known as the lead) and the 2nd paragraph. The Top of your press release is the most important part of your announcement.

Writing the Top
    • The Headline: We recommend writing your headline using the simple structure of Subject, Verb and Object and writing it in the present tense. In the case of a sale of a business, your company is the Subject, sell is the Verb and the buyer is the Object. These Facts are part of your Building Blocks. You can add some Narrative to the tail end of the headline. Here is an example of a sale of a company announcement headline from a fictitious company Top Paralegal Services Inc.: 
      Top Paralegal Services Announces Sale to McMahon & Williams as Create One-Stop Legal Shop

Action Item: Plug your headline into your template now, following our example above.

    • First Paragraph: This is where you rephrase the headline in the form of a full sentence. Remember press releases are top heavy — lead with the news and don’t bury it. Here is an example of the first paragraph of Top Paralegal Services sale: 

      Top Paralegal Services Inc., a provider of specialized paralegal and legal secretarial services, announced today that it is selling itself to McMahon & Williams,  a law firm looking to offer one-stop solutions to its clients in an expanding marketplace.

Action Item: Plug the most Facts into the first green section of your template now. Use your Narrative building blocks to add some color in the blue section of the first paragraph.

    • Second Paragraph: The second paragraph is where we offer Facts that back up the first paragraph, include more features and “bells and whistles” of the sale of your company. But then we quickly introduce some more Narrative and begin to explain why these benefits are important to your customer. Here is an example of the second paragraph of Top Paralegal’s sale announcement: 

      Top Paralegal Services owner Jeff Buenos, who founded the firm 15 years ago because he saw that many paralegal requests weren’t getting fulfilled by large law firms, said the sale will close Feb. 1.  The industry of paralegal services has grown 10 percent annually in the past five years and customers are asking for one-stop law and paralegal services, according to recent statistics.

Action Item: Begin plugging in your Facts details followed by some Narrative.

 

STEP 4: WRITING THE BODY

In this step, we help you write the Body of the press release — the third and fourth paragraphs, as well as the Bottom of the press release.

Body: The Body of your announcement will put the news into context and explain how the news fits into the company’s story, how it plays into trends and why readers should care. Here you’ll circle back to the original Narrative you touched on in the headline and first paragraph.

  • Third Paragraph: Quote from your company’s chief executive officer or another high-level executive that backs up the importance of this sale announcement. This quote is almost entirely Narrative and is colored blue in the press release. Here’s our example of a fourth paragraph quote from Top Paralegal’s CEO:
    “Our customers need a one-stop shop of legal services that we can now provide with our partnership with McMahon & Williams,” owner Buenos said. “We’re adding a great partner and more services to our full paralegal offerings.”

Action Item: Plug your quote into the third paragraph of your template, which continues the Narrative.

  • Fourth Paragraph: This is where you put the news into context and elaborate on how the sale plays into market trends. The fourth paragraph is almost entirely Narrative, backs up your first paragraph, and answers the question “Why is this news is important?” Below we continue our example of Top Paralegal Services Inc. and the fourth paragraph puts its sale announcement into context:
    Buyer McMahon & Williams is seeking to expand its paralegal services because it previously focused only on legal work. Top Paralegal has provided services for more than 13,000 customers since its founding. Owner Buenos said he decided to sell because he could see more opportunities working with a top-rated legal firm, than being on their own, and he believes McMahon & Williams are dedicated to this expansion.

Action Item: Plug your Narrative into the blue section of the fourth paragraph. Remember this is one of the most important paragraphs of your sale announcement and should focus on why this news matters.

Bottom: It’s worth noting that many people writing press releases feel they have to jam-pack their release with lots of facts, quotes and extraneous information. Simply put, your announcement needs to be short and sweet and catch a journalist’s eye. If it’s too long it will be ignored. Six paragraphs are all that you need.

  1. Fifth Paragraph: The fifth paragraph explains other reasons why the news is important and continues the Narrative and expands the story. The fifth paragraph follows the same line of thinking as the fourth paragraph and expands upon it in more detail. Continuing our example of Top Paralegal’s sale of company announcement, you’ll see some more Narrativeabout why this announcement matters:
    Top Paralegal is the fifth-largest paralegal services company in the U.S. They are known throughout the legal community of the country for their unique customer base and the level of outstanding service.

Action Item: Plug in more Narrative to the fifth paragraph of your template.

  1. Sixth Paragraph: This is where you place the final wrap up of details about the sale of the company announcement. Here you may introduce a final detail about the sale itself, as well as the logistics of the sale. This section is the final Facts section and it’s often a good idea to wrap up this section and the entire press release with a wide and sweeping pithy quote from your main executive that is forward-thinking and installs a call to action to the customer and reader eg, reminding them when the new company will be formed! This section is green in your downloaded template. And, finally, we wrap up our example of Top Paralegal’s sale of business announcement with some closing facts and a fun quote from our fictitious owner Jeff Buenos:

    McMahon & Williams will retain all 17 employees in Top Paralegal Services, including owner Buenos. The employees will become a separate unit within the law firm. “It’s been great to service the paralegal community these past 15 years and I intend to continue our excellent services,” Buenos said. The acquisition will close on May 1 and customers will immediately be able to purchase paralegal services directly from McMahon & Williams.

Action Item: Here you should plug the final paragraph of Facts into the bottom green section of your template.

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