Pioneer Utility Resources closed on the deal to acquire ARC Media on March 31, 2020 — just weeks after the COVID-19 cancellations and closures spread around the country.
Even without the pandemic, it would have been an eventful year for the talented teams at ARC and Pioneer as we worked to integrate the staff, workflows and offerings across our new organization.
Now after a year of working together, #TeamARC reflects on six ways we are better together.
- We’re learning from each other
Whether through formal committees and training or by collaborating on projects, staff at ARC and Pioneer have swapped ideas on workflows and software tools that help us all work better with each other and with members.
“Working with a larger number of co-workers and a bigger company, I have learned to share more information back and forth,” said Mike Marsch, fence checking manager. “It may start out of necessity to better understand what others do, but the end result is great information sharing and learning from each other.”
Jenn Urban — who worked for ARC before transferring to WordSouth, another company within the Pioneer family — said she’s been happy to see the organizations borrow ideas freely from each other. “We’ve really pulled best practices from each company to offer our clients better service,” she said.
- More support means more peace of mind for clients
Since the staffs at ARC and Pioneer were approximately the same size, there were twice as many team members to help support clients after the acquisition. Such a strong, deep team has meant that not only can the team respond more quickly to client or member needs, but they can also specialize in key areas.
“Having the support of a larger company has allowed me to feel freer to create and try new things,” said Sydney Turner, social media content and account manager at ARC. “I’ve grown so much this year knowing I have colleagues and a larger infrastructure to back me up. I can see that ease and peace of mind I feel translated into our work.”
- More time to be creative and collaborative
Twice the staff means twice the creative ideas to share, whether that’s on concepts for content, effective social media responses, recognizing new digital advertising trends or capitalizing on new opportunities.
“The opportunity for cross-company collaboration has been incredible to watch these last few months,” said Danielle Brusby, a social media content and account manager at ARC. “It seems like many employees, myself included, are sitting in on different teams/projects with other sister companies, giving us not only a chance to learn firsthand what our sister companies do but also to build relationships with our less-direct co-workers.”
The combined experience of both teams has allowed for a deeper understanding of the public power providers we serve.
“A bigger pool of employees can be educational and informative and give a bigger view of the clients we work with,” Marsch said.
- More opportunities to shine
The new combined organizational chart has opened up new opportunities for ARC staff to grow.
“I have also loved watching co-workers grow and receive new opportunities,” Brusby said. “I am very excited for this next year in the partnership between Pioneer, ARC and WordSouth — I am interested to see how our continued merging of values and services will grow to further help our clients, but I am also excited for the possibility of further professional growth within this blossoming partnership.”
Melissa Shaw, director of social media content and operations, said the new combined organization has given staff members opportunities they may not have had previously. “Even before joining Pioneer, we knew we had a great team of creative professionals and in many cases folks ready to grow,” Shaw said. “It’s been extremely fulfilling for me to see our organizations come together in a culture of growth and collaboration. I love to see our employees shine through their work together internally and with Pioneer staff. They’ve truly risen, making the most of this opportunity.”
- Combining our work creates a deeper content library
Once ARC became a part of the Pioneer family, one of the first major tasks was combining the social media efforts into the new and improved Pioneer Social. ARC clients and Pioneer members immediately saw benefits with deeper content libraries. “Merging all of the social media work for both companies onto one platform made it easier for us and clients alike,” Urban said. “The content libraries are full of great, relevant content that our clients can access at any time.”
“Having our new larger team meant more designers, more creative ideas and more content producers to give our clients even more robust, relevant and industry specific social media content,” Shaw said. “I’m proud of the work we are doing for those we serve.”
- More people creates more ways to serve
Combining the Pioneer, ARC and WordSouth teams has meant the new organization has much more to offer utilities than ever before. “I have loved having resources across all spectrums of the marketing mix,” Brusby said.
Combining our expertise makes Pioneer a one-stop shop for utilities looking for magazines, social media, broadband marketing, websites, print collateral, digital advertising, branding and more.
“Collaborating across companies has given our clients access to different creative styles and ways of thinking, broadening the ways we’re able to communicate on their behalf and benefiting their members at the end of the line,” Turner said.
Urban has seen it firsthand.
“By combining the expertise and resources of Pioneer, ARC and WordSouth, we are able to provide more tailored and advanced full-scale marketing services to better tell our client’s story as well as go the extra mile to effectively promote their services,” Urban said.
Those new capabilities, in addition to the stability provided by cooperative ownership, are what has been exciting about the ARC-Pioneer acquisition since the beginning said ARC founder Andy Neidert.
“When I look at where ARC is now one year after closing the deal with Pioneer, I’m happy to see where our team has fit in and how strong of a position this new organization is in,” he said. “And when I look at where ARC’s clients are, I’m proud to see examples of how this move has helped us serve them even better and in new ways than we could have before.”