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After a Slow Start, Starbucks Mounts a Textbook Response to Events in Philadelphia

[By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications] Starbucks is certainly no stranger to controversy.  Past dust-ups include its “war on Christmas,” the year the company issued a simple red cup for the holidays, and the campaign designed to improve race relations built on asking baristas to write “RaceTogether” on coffee cups.   Both of those efforts were minuscule […]


How Lawyers Can Minimize Professional Mistakes During a Scandal Like That at Penn State

[By Stephanie York, JD, Hennes Communications] “What were they thinking?”  That’s what we all ask when a big scandal unfolds, such as Penn State, Enron, Watergate and most recently, the Michigan State sex abuse scandal.  Those on the outside are left scratching their heads, wondering how those huge institutions got so deep and so far […]


How Facebook’s Response Ignited the Cambridge Analytica Scandal

From our good friend and colleague, James Haggerty: In a crisis, it’s not the event itself that counts. It’s the response. Unfortunately for Facebook’s shareholders, it appears Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and the company’s other leaders did not understand this basic rule of crisis management when handling the Cambridge Analytica scandal. For my 2017 book, Chief […]


John Skipper Details His ESPN Exit and a Cocaine Extortion Plot

John Skipper, the former network chief, goes public in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about the real reason behind his abrupt departure from Disney after 27 years, a confession to Bob Iger and his hope to work in sports media again. As we always tell our clients: Tell the truth, tell it all and […]


Regaining Organizational Trust When Leadership Misbehaves

[By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications] It is a sad commentary on our times, but more and more of our work now involves helping clients who are dealing with the aftermath of misbehavior among their leadership ranks.  Accusations of sexual misconduct, charges of criminal behavior, questionable ethical behavior and significant violations of organizational policies can all […]


United Airlines Kills Puppy & “Assumes Full Responsibility”

[By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications] Once again, United Airlines is tone-deaf when it comes to saying it’s sorry.  Here’s the story, from the Washington Post: United Airlines said it will “assume full responsibility” for the death of a 10-month-old puppy that appeared to have suffocated after it was placed inside an overhead compartment on a three-hour flight […]


Nobody Cares About Your Thoughts and Prayers

[by Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications] Don’t give me your phony grief. Don’t pawn off insincere, off-the-shelf template language just because you feel your organization must say something – anything – after a tragedy. Another school shooting? “Thoughts and prayers.” Environmental catastrophe? “Thoughts and prayers.” Industrial fatality? Well, you get it. And you’ve seen it recited […]


Preparing for Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications NOTE:  While this article is aimed at school-related allegations of sexual misconduct, the lessons here are applicable to all market sectors. As we have seen on the national stage recently, there appears to be no statute of limitations when it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct.  Thanks especially to the […]


The Art of the Public Apology

From Ashraf Rushdy: Just prior to his sentencing, former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar formally apologized to the more than 160 women whom he’d sexually abused. He joins a growing list. Over the past few months, many public personalities accused of sexual assault have apologized in public. Many of us at this point are wondering what these apologies mean. Indeed, like […]


The Sex-Abuse Victims America Ignored

The Penn State – Joe Paterno situation immediately grabbed public attention. But it took way too long for the Michigan State University gymnastics scandal to capture the country’s attention. Here’s why. From Alex Putterman, writing for The Atlantic: It was an arresting moment, even on a day full of them. The Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman […]


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