A private placement memorandum (PPM) is a high-stakes piece of business communication, documenting the terms and arguing the merits of a private investment offering. When ABS Capital, a venture capital firm funding a network of growth-stage companies, began planning a PPM for its latest fund offering in the spring of 2011, it called on outside copywriting help for the first time in the firm’s 21 years.
Why outsource? As explains marketing and communications partner Stephanie Carter, the firm wanted an outside perspective to help clarify its story and voice. “The Content Bureau brought very high value—working quickly, efficiently, and most importantly at a very sophisticated level,” says Carter. “For this PPM we challenged ourselves to tell a compelling narrative story that incorporated all the necessary legal and informational elements, versus the other way around.” But it was no small task to capture ABS’s complex message and distinctive voice. “We wanted to stay very true to our approachable and simple tone,” explains Carter. “Companies like to work with us because we don’t throw around a lot of jargon. We’re straightforward about the value we bring—so we wanted this document to echo that same tone.”
After meeting with the Content Bureau, explains Carter, “I quickly took comfort in the fact that the Content Bureau understood what we wanted and could deliver it—on time and on budget. I thought we would have to do a ton more editing, but the Content Bureau listened and really captured our story.”
Outsourcing PPM writing had another benefit: it enabled ABS’s communications staff to focus their time elsewhere. “The most important thing that I do is develop and maintain a relationship with investors—something I can’t possibly outsource—so that’s where my time is best spent,” explains Carter. “My team spent a fraction of the time on this PPM that they did on earlier ones. The process was so much easier for everyone involved.”
With the Content Bureau’s help, says Carter, ABS Capital’s latest PPM “puts our best foot forward. My partners are all very pleased that it does a good job telling our story—and they are the toughest graders around. The Content Bureau brought very high value—working quickly, efficiently, and most importantly at a very sophisticated level.”
" The Content Bureau brought very high value—working quickly, efficiently, and most importantly at a very sophisticated level. "
—Stephanie Carter, Marketing and Communications Partner, ABS Capital