New Vocus CEO says Cision merger would spur ‘additional investments’

The private equity firm that acquired Vocus in April is moving forward with a plan to form a ‘global PR cloud company.’

PR and marketing software firm Vocus’ new chief executive, Peter Granat, formerly the CEO of Vocus’ chief competitor, Cision, is saying plans to combine the two companies would result in more innovation. “What excites me about this opportunity is the ability to use the scale of both organizations and make additional investments in research and development, new technologies, and acquisitions to address the changing needs of the PR industry going forward,” he told PR Week. “Things like content marketing, social, and sponsored content are all becoming new tools in the PR professional’s bag.” He also downplayed what appears to be a shrinking market for PR software customers, saying, “There are more entrants than ever in the communications space.” GTCR Canyon Holdings, the private equity firm that acquired Vocus in April, announced this week that Cision and Vocus will become one company, but it offered few other details about what the merged entity will look like. So far, all that’s clear is that longtime Vocus CEO Rick Rudman, who co-founded the company in the mid-1990s, is no longer chief executive. The Washington Business Journal‘s Bill Flook wondered in a column what the new company’s name and staff situation will be, and where it will be headquartered. Vocus is based in Washington, D.C., and Cision’s U.S. headquarters is in Chicago. (The corporate headquarters is in Stockholm.) According to Vocus Chief Marketing Officer You Mon Tsang, both offices will be in use by the end of the year, and there may not as much employee overlap as people might assume. Blogger and measurement expert Katie Paine blogged in April about a potential merger, writing that “right now, the founders and shareholders are doing a lot better than the customers.” Now, she’s all but writing off both Cision and Vocus. She says the merger “will be a great opportunity for someone new to come along and do it right. My guess is that they’ll shut down Cision’s analysis system [and] use Cision for its media management system and Vocus for everything else.” Jonathan Rick, president of the digital communications firm Jonathan Rick Group, was more optimistic. “Assuming their technologies can be integrated—which is a big ‘if’—this is good news for customers,” he said. “Instead of having to choose between Cision’s influencer database and Vocus’s email marketing, agencies can now get everything in a single platform and contract.” (Image via & via)


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