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Do You Have a Crisis Communications Plan?

[By Bruce Hennes, Managing Partner, Hennes Communications, and Keynote Speaker, American Public Power Association Legal & Regulatory Conference, 2016]

It’s not just terrorist attacks, explosions, active shooters, and environmental disasters. More often than not, it’s going to be sexual misconduct, data theft, unfair labor practices, OSHA complaints, mergers & acquisitions, layoffs, accusations, or employee fraud that today’s utility CEOs face.

Your utility’s reputation is your largest uninsured asset — one that can be seriously damaged with ineffective crisis response.

Traditional media leap on crisis stories. And with the growth of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter — and a 24/7 media environment — the brand and reputation you’ve built up with years of good work can be shattered in the time it takes to bang out a feverish 140-character tweet. With social media, company leaders no longer have the luxury of gathering around a table to discuss strategy after a crisis occurs. You need to plan ahead of time.

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