The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) has entered into a strategic partnership with Hennes Communications to provide crisis management and communications services to public school systems throughout the state of Ohio facing sudden challenges to their organizations’ reputations and operations. With this partnership, OSBA member school leaders have access 365 days a year to expert crisis communications professionals.
“Today, schools face a range of threats — everything from social media firestorms and accusations of inappropriate behavior against a staff member to contentious ballot issues and prolonged negotiations with labor unions,” said Hennes Communications Chief Executive Officer Bruce Hennes. “When those events occur, stakeholders need to hear the school’s side of the story first. Our crisis management consultants are deeply experienced crisis professionals with long histories working in the news media, in industry and in law. We help clients tell the truth, tell it first and tell it fast.”
Hennes Communications provides pre-crisis consulting, the creation of crisis communications plans, media training and 24/7 crisis response services to scores of schools and districts that are likely to suddenly find themselves “on trial in the Court of Public Opinion.”
The firm has a deep track record of working closely with school boards and legal counsel, balancing best crisis management practices and the need to protect the interests of a school or district with today’s demands for speed and transparency.
“Our mission includes providing our members with important services that augment the talents of their district’s administrative staff,” said OSBA Chief Executive Officer Richard Lewis. “With Hennes Communications, our members have access to a team of crisis communications specialists at any time on any issue that needs an experienced perspective and specialized talents. Many of our members already have taken advantage of their expertise and we believe this new agreement will help more districts take advantage of the services the firm offers.”
Association Chief Legal Counsel Sara C. Clark added, “Hennes Communications comes to OSBA with deep experience providing school districts throughout the state and throughout the country with counsel that makes a difference. I’ve seen the firm work hand in hand with attorneys to develop and execute solid crisis management strategies that help preserve reputations and advance board objectives — all while helping staff, parents and the community understand the issues at hand and what is being done to address them. Simply put, Hennes Communications understands how attorneys think and how they practice law. Given their unique perspective, school districts already in or about to be faced with contentious issues would do well to have Hennes Communications in the room and alongside their lawyers.”
Hennes Communications can be reached at (216) 321-7774
Email: [email protected]
About Hennes Communications
Hennes Communications, founded in 1989, is one of the few firms in North America focused exclusively on crisis management and crisis communications. With deep, award-winning experience, the firm is staffed exclusively by senior-level consultants. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the firm works with clients across the U.S. and around the world.
Learn more at crisiscommunications.com
About the Ohio School Boards Association
In its 64th year, OSBA leads the way to educational excellence by serving Ohio’s public school board members and the diverse districts they represent through superior service, unwavering advocacy and creative solutions.
Learn more at ohioschoolboards.org
Bruce Hennes was recently named to the 2019 Lawdragon 100 Leading Consultants and Strategists, the definitive guide to the financiers, recruiters, marketing and communication gurus on whom the legal profession relies.
According to Lawdragon, “These are 100 of the most trusted advisors to the legal profession.” You can see the entire list here.
We are pleased to announce that Hennes Communications has been selected by Philadelphia Insurance Companies to assist their policy holders facing sudden challenges to their company or organizations’ reputation.
We were chosen, in part, because of our deep track record of working closely with legal counsel, balancing best crisis management practices and the need to protect the interests of Philadelphia Insurance Companies and its insureds with today’s demands for speed and transparency.
Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY), headquartered in Bala Cynwyd, PA, designs, markets, and underwrites commercial Property/Casualty and Professional Liability insurance products, incorporating value-added coverages and services for select industries. By maintaining a disciplined approach to business, they provide greater security for their policyholders and superior value for their shareholders.
Hennes Communications, founded in 1989, is one of the few firms in the U.S. focused exclusively on crisis management and crisis communications. With deep, award-winning experience, the firm is staffed exclusively by senior-level consultants. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the firm works with clients across the U.S. and around the world.
Firm’s Founder Bruce Hennes Becomes CEO
CLEVELAND, OHIO, January 10, 2018 – Hennes Communications, one of the few firms in the U.S. focused exclusively on crisis management and crisis communications, today announced that Thom Fladung has become a minority owner of the firm, assuming the role of managing partner. Bruce Hennes, who founded the firm in 1989, remains majority shareholder and now becomes the firm’s CEO.
Fladung joined Hennes Communications in 2015 as vice president, bringing more than 33 years of daily newspaper and digital media experience to the crisis management team at the agency. He served as a top editor at some of the nation’s largest newspapers. Over the past decade, Fladung also played a lead role in the digital evolution of newsrooms to meet the demands of readers who get their news on the web, social media and smartphones.
“I’m ready to dive in and continue growing our skills at helping clients handle crises and controversial issues that threaten their reputations,” Fladung said. “Hennes Communications has succeeded to this point because we don’t lose focus. Protecting our clients’ reputations in a time of crisis – and their bottom line – is what we do every day.”
Most recently, Fladung served as managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom beginning in February 2011. Prior to that, he was editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, managing editor of the Detroit Free Press and managing editor of the Akron Beacon Journal. He has also held a variety of editing and reporting positions at those and other newspapers and has reported on business, politics, state government, crime and courts and sports.
Fladung has led newsrooms of more than 300 journalists and has directed dozens of award-winning investigations, breaking news stories, human interest stories and features. Highlights include helping direct six journalists reporting from the Iraq war after the invasion in 2003 for the Detroit Free Press; leading coverage during the Northeast blackout of 2003 in Detroit, and getting the newspaper out with no power; and overseeing coverage of the Minneapolis bridge collapse of 2007 while serving as editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
“Thom has it all. He’s intimately familiar with the relentless content requirements of the 24/7 news cycle, and he understands how to use Facebook, Twitter and other social media – places where reputations can be burnished or blistered in moments,” said Hennes. “And he’s been working on tight deadlines his entire career, so he knows how to quickly gather and evaluate complex information to craft effective, strategic messages. These crisis management skills are critically important for clients coping with reputation management issues and breaking crises.”
A native of Canton, Ohio, Fladung is a graduate of the University of Dayton. He is currently president of The Press Club of Cleveland and served on the board of the Ohio Newspaper Association. In 2017, Fladung received the Communicator of the Year award from the International Association of Business Communicators. He is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland, Class of 2013, and Leadership Akron, Class of 2002.
Hennes said the timing for the change felt right. “Over the last few years, we’ve fielded multiple inquiries from firms interested in buying our agency,” he said. “While selling to a larger firm has obvious financial appeal, I’d much rather keep our award-winning crisis management team intact and locally owned. Personally, I plan to stick around for another 10 years, though working a wee bit less than 60 hours a week, with lessened client and management responsibilities, and more opportunity to focus on crisis training and new client acquisition.”
Fladung said he still has plenty to learn and admires the skills and experience his colleagues at the crisis communications firm bring to their work. “Together, we are a formidable team. I’m honored to help continue what Bruce Hennes began nearly 30 years ago. Under his leadership, Hennes Communications has grown into a boutique firm that punches above its weight, serving more than 130 clients a year across the U.S. and around the world. We’re ready to build on that legacy of helping clients in crisis.”
About Hennes Communications
Hennes Communications is a crisis management and crisis communications consulting firm based in Cleveland with a second office in Akron. Serving corporations, government agencies and nonprofits that are “on trial” in the Court of Public Opinion, Hennes Communications also offers litigation communication support, media training, pre-crisis preparation and crisis drills to clients.
In 2009, Hennes Communications won the coveted “Best of Show” award from the Cleveland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for its work with another agency on the national peanut butter recall. Hennes Communications also won Gold “Rocks” awards in 2010 and 2011 for its work on behalf of The MetroHealth System and Saint Joseph Academy. In 2012, the firm won another Gold “Rocks” award for its Crisis Management Today newsletter. In 2013, the firm won PRSA’s Gold “Rock” award and the “Best of Show” award for its work on a ferry boat crash. In 2014, the firm won its 6th Gold “Rocks” award for a program it created and carried out for a forestry client in Australia. And in 2017, the firm received two Silver Anvil awards from the Public Relations Society of America for their work on behalf of the Cleveland Host Committee for the Republican National Convention.
For more information, please go to www.crisiscommunications.com.
Bruce Hennes, chief executive officer of Cleveland-based Hennes Communications, has been named one of 50 “Game-Changers of PR for 2017” by PRNews, one of the public relations profession’s leading news sources.
According to PRNews, “With a career in public relations spanning nearly 30 years, Bruce Hennes has earned his stripes as a crisis management expert. He has been confidant to scores of CEOs, executive directors, government officials and other leaders who trust his expertise in preserving and protecting an organization’s reputation. His long experience has convinced him that honesty, fairness and transparency must be at the root of all effective crisis communications.”