AkzoNobel Plant Closing Communications
Reinforced communications during historic plant closing
ICI Paints, maker of Glidden paints, decided to close its structurally and functionally obsolete manufacturing facility in Reading, Pa. The union plant employed nearly 200 people -- jobs the community and its political leaders could not afford to lose. Employees and customers also had concerns.
Dix & Eaton developed a comprehensive communications plan to touch all impacted audiences, including employees, customers, vendors, the city’s mayor and regional government. The plan featured a step-by-step program and carefully crafted messages to communicate the company’s rationale, offer meaningful support for displaced employees and position ICI Paints among media, government and the community as a responsible company in the face of challenging business conditions.
Any negative reaction was largely muted by the company’s constant and open communications with key audiences at important junctures. The company also lived up to its promises, helping employees make the transition with generous severance, outplacement and continued health care benefits, which media and government officials alike publicly praised.