From private to public company in 4 years

In 2002 the privately held retail developer IBI decided to gradually start communicating like a publicly traded company. The goal was either to be ready to go public or to attract investors that would facilitate the company’s potential for growth in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland within a couple of years. In 2006 the IBI was acquired by Sjælsø which is listed on the OMX Nordic Exchange.

Kilroy was in the strategy
Direction helped formulate the communication strategy. The long timeframe and the fact that building of new large shops per se is newsworthy made it possible to follow a low-cost Kilroy was here-strategy. The strategy included continued use of local, national and pan-nordic press releases and electronic communication of news from IBI to the relevant stakeholders.

In close cooperation and continued dialogue with IBI’s management, Direction was given a free hand to talk to employees at all levels in the pan-nordic organisation and to make sure all relevant news was picked up and processed.

The scope of the work
The services provided included examination of and help with reformulating the basic values and mission statement of the company in a way that integrated with the chosen communication strategy. It further included personal training and coaching for leading executives, writing of key messages, assistance in negotiations, sponsorship strategy as well as establishment and in-sourcing of new work routines with regard to information workflow.

What they got out of it
Here is what then CEO of IBI, Finn Birkjær, later the managing director for Sjælsø Retail A/S, says about the process:

Finn Birkjær
Finn Birkjær

"We have become more conscious of how important it is to carefully consider and plan our communication and this has created value in several ways. My colleagues include this aspect in their negotiations and we succeed in leaving some clear footprints when we tell the world about the projects in which we participate.

In this way we have gained recognition among those we work with which helps us when we negotiate new projects. We succeeded in a short time and with a relatively small investment in turning our company name into a brand.

Furthermore we now have procedures for quality control when we communicate about our own projects or where other parties are involved. We have realised that the message must be well considered and that everybody involved must be informed about what we say and why we say so.

Finally we have developed our awareness relating to the fact that we can be involved in both good and bad news. That has given us a general preparedness for almost any situation.

In this contect, Direction has helped us stay on course – also in situations where we were so busy that we did not think in terms of communication."