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Wells Fargo + Wachovia = The Merger Blog

Wells Fargo gained a lot of coverage this week from the blogging community about their own launch of a blog.

This one explains the details involved in the Wells Fargo/Wachovia merger to the world at large, with the first entry from Wells' President and CEO John Stumpf. 

John says they needed to launch the blog because: "Blending cultures, combining businesses, products and systems, and
changing names will take time — two to three years — because we want to
do it right for you."

As mentioned, lots of bloggers are blogging about the blog itself (now there's a tongue twister).

Colin Henderson at The Bankwatch reports that this: "is the first example of a large company to use social media to help with a major
merger and product integration of this size."

Forrester's Jermiah Owyang says that: "While most
corporate blogs aren’t trusted, it’s refreshing to see a new type of blog
appear to meet the needs of transparency, no n-pitching, and openness with the
community –yet meet the business needs of the corporations."

Whilst Paul Penrose at Finextra disagrees: "Don't expect a warts-and-all free-for-all.  Another of the site's lead bloggers is Matt Wadley, a member of
Wachovia's corporate communications department. Matt promises that the
blog won't just be another channel for corporate PR. All the same, the information spun through this channel is likely to
be tightly controlled. If the three-year integration project starts
running into problems don't expect to hear it here first."

There are more.

My own view?

This is a long-term blog, two to three years as John Stumpf states. 

Therefore, this could prove interesting in creating a
corporate case study in how to manage a merger …  or how not to.  I doubt it's the latter though as, with
over 100 mergers successfully completed under Mr. Stumpf's belt, this one should work. 

Result?  Harvard and other business schools will watch this merger and this blog very carefully to see what transpires, as will I.

Wells tell me already that the blog is off to a good start.  After less than a day, they are already on the first page of Google, when you search for Wells Fargo
Wachovia, and that's the first page from over 2.2 million sites.  Equally, the site garnered 50 consumer comments overnight, which is more than all of Wells Fargo's other blogs combined. 

Equally, as I've reported before, Wells are good with social media.  You've even got these guys on Twitter.

Therefore, I'm interested to see how this transpires as most banks don't even do any blogging or twittering.  For example, where's the HBOS/Lloyds TSB blog, JPMorgan/Washington Mutual blog, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch blog …

About Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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