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Stakeholder Communications Programme of the Year, 2015: Amec Foster Wheeler

This award recognises an innovative communications programme designed primarily for stakeholders, and which has had a demonstrable impact on stakeholder relations and project investment.

Judges looked for use of innovative strategies and methods; consistency in conveying the company’s vision and values throughout the campaign(s); accessibility and accuracy of information; and an increase in investor confidence as a result of the highlighted communication campaign(s).

Charged with getting across the vision of a large ambitious company resulting from the takeover by Amec of Foster Wheeler in 2014, the communications team charged with handling the launch rose to the challenge.

Drawing together the many strands of a $5 billion-plus acquisition in a form that could be understood by a huge and varied range of stakeholders was far from straightforward, but the 11-person in-house team succeeded with aplomb.

The team managed and executed a raft of interwoven communications projects to promote and explain the new business across multiple markets and countries. Without the benefit of an advertising budget or extensive marketing resources, the brand launch team used print and broadcast public relations and internal communications materials, along with innovative social media interaction and the launch of a new mobile-friendly intranet and website. The new company’s identity was created using external agency support, while vision and values were created in-house.

In the run-up to the merger, the launch team organised over 400 meetings with institutional investors to explain the merits of the deal. Given both companies are asset-light and people-intensive, it was vital that the team explained clearly how the two distinct cultures of the two organisations would fit together. That helped the merger to go through smoothly, with 99.9% of Amec shareholders voting in favour of the deal, while 95.3% of Foster Wheeler shareholders tendered their shares as part of the exchange offer involved.

The launch team centrally coordinated all communications to an audience of over 40,000 employees, nearly 2,000 customers, and 1,000 government officials and regulators, as well as over 400,000 monthly website visitors in over 50 countries. A newly-branded, mobile-friendly website, a Twitter feed, LinkedIn and YouTube presences and a Facebook page were all up and running on day one.

Meanwhile, the chief executive and group leadership team visited over 40 offices, meeting over 27,000 employees face-to-face to let them know what the combined business stood for and what its creation meant for them.

This was a tough job done well.


Fellow nominee:

Lloyd’s Register Energy

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