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How Talking About the Coronavirus as an Enemy Combatant Can Backfire

Tabitha Moses, a doctoral candidate at Wayne State University, offers an interesting approach to communicating about COVID-19, with lessons for business leaders, too. We see this war reflected in the language that gets used by politicians, policymakers, journalists and healthcare workers. As the “invisible enemy” rolled in, entire economies halted as populations “sheltered in place.” […]


Muddled COVID-19 Messaging: Sometimes the Data Changed; Other Times – Masks, for Example – Your Dishonesty Caught Up with You

It shouldn’t be this hard.  The rules of risk and crisis communications are fairly simple: Tell the truth. Tell it all. Tell it first. Tell it fast. If the situation – or the science – is likely to change as more research is done, warn people ahead of time.  And keep repeating that warning. So […]


Creating a Post-Pandemic Crisis Team

By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications Pre-COVID, few of our clients had ever experienced a crisis event with the potential to threaten the very existence of their organization.  Now, almost everyone we talk to has had first-hand experience managing disruptions in supplies, sales, finance, staffing, production, logistics, communications, marketing and technology.  Some organizations have emerged stronger […]


What Have We Learned from COVID-19?

As regular readers of this newsletter know, one of our regular correspondents is Peter M. Sandman, one of the world’s preeminent risk communications consultants.  Another way we describe him to our clients is that he is our go-to guy when it comes to risk communications. Recently, Dr. Sandman was interviewed by Impact, a publication of […]


Science vs. Politics

When the H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine became available ten years ago, at first the scientists and other public health experts said that pregnant women should immediately get the vaccine.  Then they said it should be administered to those over 65 years of age, then it was anyone who was immunocompromised, with changing death projections and […]


What Customers Need to Hear from You During the COVID Crisis

From Jill Avery and Richard Edelman, writing for the Harvard Business School… As the COVID-19 virus pandemic began to sweep across the world, Doug McMillon and his team at Walmart watched in horror. Suddenly, they realized, tomorrow would be nothing like “business as usual” and everything in the company’s marketing plan, from retail execution to […]


The Importance of Understanding and Fulfilling the Duty of Reasonable Care When Reopening School

From our good friend, David Wolowitz at McClane Middleton.  While aimed primarily at independent schools, there are some good nuggets here for public schools. Independent schools planning to have students return to school before there is a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus are understandably concerned about potential liability if a returning student becomes severely ill […]


Crisis Communication: 5 Steps for Damage Control

By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications, writing for The Wisconsin Lawyer: Attorney Andy Phillips, like many folks, looks back a bit wistfully at the “good old days.” “I wish it was back in the day where I could go home at 6 o’clock and sit down with the paper for a half hour,” says Phillips, whose […]


Making Customers, Clients, Patients & Diners Wear Face Masks

First, they said don’t wear masks.  Then they said it was OK to wear masks.  And now they’re telling us we must wear masks.   In what felt like a matter of days, mask-wearing went from horribly selfish to ethically and in many cases legally obligatory. For many of our readers, there’s now a new problem […]


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