Change.

möller pr GmbH is one of the leading German consulting firms for press and public relations work during crises and change processes. For over 15 years we have been supporting companies of all sizes – from medium-sized firms to major corporations.

Our role here is comparable to that of your lawyer: we represent your interests – exclusively, uncompromisingly and discretely. On the basis of a precise strategy we review the state of facts and ensure that the right information flows into the right channels.

CHANGE PROCESSES.

Companies must adapt to the constant change on the markets. But regardless of whether you have to structurally realign your business, restructure your company or merge different corporate cultures – change processes are unsettling! It is not only the employees who need to be given an understanding of an impending change. Your customers, suppliers and the public at large also want to be persuaded of the benefit of a change process. We support change processes by means of targeted communication – inwardly and outwardly –, in order to preserve your company’s values.

Restructuring operations are complex processes and often associated with cutbacks for those involved. All affected parties must be involved at an early stage in order to be able to counter the unavoidable criticism openly and with good arguments. Through communication that prepares for and provides support for the restructuring, we contribute to the persuasive efforts without which successful restructuring cannot succeed.

There are a variety of reasons for changes of strategy. Most have one thing in common, however: they are usually planned only by the upper management and for far too long remain unknown and often also inexplicable to important involved parties, for example business partners or employees. Anxiety and unease quickly result, as a consequence of which important change processes are placed in jeopardy. Through open and target-group-specific communications we help give those involved an understanding of the new strategy and get them on board with cooperation.

CRISES.

In a crisis, the resulting loss of reputation is often a heavier blow than the direct economic consequences. Relationships with customers, banks and other stakeholders that have been carefully built up are in acute jeopardy. Even quite minor causes can lead to a company’s existence being threatened. When overcoming a crisis, therefore, the accompanying communication is at least equally important as tackling the causes of the crisis.

Your reputation, i.e. how customers and other relevant stakeholders perceive you, is a crucial factor in determining the value of your company. How crucial a positive reputation is to tangible corporate success usually only becomes clear when trust and credibility have already been lost – through a creeping process of erosion or an acute crisis.

We help you to limit loss of reputation and to rebuild trust that has been lost. Here our services comprise both acute crisis management and the long-term (re)building of credibility and trust through strategically directed communication.

Financial reorganisation of a company usually involves drastic changes and cutbacks. Sometimes considerable contributions are required of the stakeholders – above all employees, creditors, partners and politicians. This gives rise to unease among the public, which can assume considerable proportions and jeopardise the entire process. We communicate the background reasons to the relevant multipliers in a way specific to target groups and ensure that the necessity of the measures taken is made clear to the public.

During insolvency proceedings it is crucial for success to, from the beginning, bring about some calm on the markets and create new trust. We have several years of experience in providing PR support for insolvency proceedings of all sizes. By means of targeted and strategically directed PR measures we support the receivership in keeping suppliers, employees and creditors interested and preserving the value of the company as best as possible.

A ‘protective umbrella’ process is not bankruptcy proceedings in their conventional sense. Since the matter is legally complicated, many media frequently equate the protective umbrella with bankruptcy. If trust then breaks down among customers or suppliers, the financial reorganisation has failed. Through consistent press work we make sure from the start that all the important media are made aware of the background and that objective reporting is guaranteed.

Corporate crises frequently don’t have business management causes: product-related and environmental problems, strikes, personal particulars or legal disputes can trigger crises which are far more threatening. By means of targeted, intelligent PR measures we help limit and remedy damage to your image.

Accidents happen in companies. Every day. But regardless of whether the health of employees and residents is endangered, the environment is suffering, or a small matter suddenly has repercussions: without professional communications management, every accident also becomes an image and PR disaster.

We have decades of experience in providing communications-related support in the case of accidents and other negative events. We are on hand to reflect, to take a comprehensive view and act decisively. Admittedly we cannot undo the accident, but we ensure that the reporting that takes place is objective and that people affected do not talk about you but to you and that damage to your image is limited.

A lawsuit with its numerous involved parties offers the media numerous targets – and can therefore develop into an incalculable risk for companies. In several legal disputes we have successfully represented the interests of companies in public (“Litigation PR”).

We identify the critical topics early on and provide support for each phase of the process with suitable PR measures. We thereby ensure that the position of our clients is emphasised to the public.

Crises mostly cannot be predicted. Nevertheless, one can prepare: with strategically sound “Issues Management”. Beginning with a precise definition of possible causes of crises and courses taken by crises, we develop tailor-made emergency action plans for companies. These contain precise ‘catalogues’ with urgent and follow-up measures, checklists, ready-prepared texts, decision-making processes and an overview of the internal and external experts to be consulted in the event of a crisis. If the worst comes to the worst.

M&A.

Sales processes or mergers are nearly always supported by professional M&A consultants. However the communications for these processes do not always get professional support. The consequences are communication errors or even communication gaps which can quickly have a negative impact on the purchase negotiations. In extreme cases, the whole M&A process can fail. Targeted PR can not only prevent this but even make an important contribution to finding and directing prospective buyers.

With active press and public relations work, we ensure that stakeholders and the general public receive just enough information to satisfy the existing interest; at the same time, we do everything to ensure that confidential information remains confidential as far as possible.

REFERENCES.

Restructuring of an automotive supplier

STARTING POSITION

A German automotive supplier (tier 1) with approximately 4,000 employees worldwide had to reduce its costs. In addition to a collective restructuring agreement, the plan was to relocate half of the German jobs to foreign sites. Apart from the usual criticism from employee representatives and politicians, family members took part in media-effective campaigns such as picketing in front of the head office.

OUR TASK

  • Provide PR support for the entire restructuring process
  • Foster understanding of the necessity of the measures
  • Ensure that the management’s position is taken into account in the media coverage
  • Stop the rumour mill
  • Neutralise the PR actions of the employee side

TARGET GROUPS

  • Employees
  • Politicians
  • Media

SELECTED CHANELS

  • Media (local and trade press)
  • Direct communication (circulars, meetings, etc.)
  • Facebook

MEASURES

  • Development of a storyline: coherent presentation of the measures and the necessities
  • Development of speech rules and FAQs including objection handling
  • Press releases on milestones

 

  • Interviews and background discussions with local media representatives
  • Direct communication to important stakeholders

OUTCOME

  • Numerous media reports at the launch based on our storyline
  • Subsequently hardly any response in the trade media
  • Consideration of the customer perspective also in the subsequent critical reporting in the local press
  • The management has sovereignty over information vis-à-vis the staff.
  • Increasing distancing of the local press from the critics.

Litigation PR for a start-up company

STARTING POSITION

A start-up entered a market with a new business model that three US corporations had split between themselves. When the new trading company achieved its first notable successes, one of the US corporations sued and won before a higher regional court. The start-up then turned to the Federal Supreme Court. The latter referred the case to the European Court of Justice, which finally ruled in favour of the newcomer. möller pr supported the start-up from the outset as well as backing all the legal disputes, which attracted considerable attention across all media – in some cases even throughout Europe.

OUR TASK

  • Securing sovereignty of opinion
  • Steering media coverage, securing initiative
  • Making complex legal issues understandable
  • Coordinating communication with partners

TARGET GROUPS

  • Customers
  • Sales agents
  • Multipliers

SELECTED CHANELS

  • Trade, business and national daily media in German-speaking countries and selected EU markets
  • Presentations at events, also by independent third parties
  • Expert opinions and studies by independent third parties
  • Lobbying at federal level

MEASURES

  • Informing the media in real time about new events in the course of proceedings, including classification
  • Regular background discussions with key journalists
  • Placement of numerous interviews with the company founder in key media

 

  • Fending off PR attacks from the opposing side
  • Placement of opinions and analyses by independent third parties

OUTCOME

  • The David vs. Goliath approach worked: The majority of the public was on the client’s side
  • The client’s successes attracted widespread attention
  • Defeats were mostly put into perspective and linked to future prospects
  • The young company gained nationwide recognition; sales multiplied

PR support at Unister’s insolvency proceedings

STARTING POSITION

The travel company UNISTER (www.fluege.de, www.ab-in-den-urlaub.de, etc.) had to file for insolvency after its owner’s fatal plane crash. The financial situation of the group was precarious. Its booking figures collapsed. Despite this, the provisional insolvency administrator attempted to continue business operations and commissioned us with accompanying communications. During the proceedings, new scandals kept coming to light.

OUR TASK

  • Reduce negative coverage and focus on positive issues to win back customers
  • Bind employees to the company and get the office grapevine to wither
  • Manage recurring crises
  • Provide PR support for the M&A process

TARGET GROUPS

  • End customers
  • Tour operators
  • Stakeholders (e.g. consumer associations, politicians)
  • Employees

SELECTED CHANELS

  • Business, regional and trade media
  • Internal communication via internal digital channels
  • Direct communication to key external stakeholders
  • Customer information via appropriate channels, especially internet and call centres

MEASURES

  • Numerous press releases to trigger media coverage of the restructuring progress
  • Constantly inform staff about progress achieved and subsequent measures

 

  • Repeated clarification of scandalous issues
  • Regular background discussions with journalists so they could assess the measures taken

OUTCOME

  • Die Buchungszahlen stiegen wieder deutlich an, der Konzern schrieb zum ersten Mal seit Jahren schwarze Zahlen.
  • Booking figures increased significantly again, the group was in the black for the first time in years
  • Only a small outflow of employees
  • Negative reporting decreased steadily
  • The M&A process was successfully completed without any significant leaks

möller pr was awarded the Wirtschaftswoche Best of Consulting prize for this project.

PR in support of Niki airline’s M&A process

STARTING POSTION

After the sale of the Air Berlin subsidiary NIKI to Lufthansa failed, NIKI , which was actually a healthy airline, also had to file for insolvency and cease flight operations. As a result of the insolvency application, the general loss of take-off and landing rights was imminent. The provisional insolvency administrator therefore had to find a buyer as quickly as possible and commissioned möller pr to provide PR support for the M&A process. A storm broke out.

OUR TASK

  • Ensure confidentiality of investor names in the ongoing M&A process
  • Steering media coverage, in particular spreading confidence
  • Availability 24/7
  • Retain staff
  • Handling or responding to hundreds of media enquiries including structured development of the necessary lines to take

TARGET GROUPS

  • Potential investors
  • Passengers
  • Employees

SELECTED CHANELS

  • Business, regional and trade media, especially in Austria
  • Internal communication via internal digital channels

MEASURES

  • Fend off repeated, tactically motivated attacks against the insolvency administration (especially on the part of Niki Lauda)
  • Prevent ongoing reporting that threatened to be based on misleading rumours
  • Numerous background meetings with journalists, and explaining the complicated insolvency and company law issues

 

  • When the first purchase agreement fell through: Re-establishing communication and dampening the catastrophic mood that had arisen
  • Coordinating communication with the purchasers on the occasion of signing and closing

OUTCOME

  • Due to the factual line of argument and information transfer, a relationship of trust could be established with important key media, which paid off in critical situations
  • Criticism from the Austrian media decreased quickly because many media recognised that the insolvency administration was concerned with the best possible solution
  • The constructive role of the insolvency administrator after the failure of the first round of investors was widely acknowledged
  • The employees remained loyal to the company until the end of the investor process

möller pr was awarded the Wirtschaftswoche Best of Consulting prize for this project – for the second time in a row.

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