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Dark Side of Communications Turns Darker: Epstein, Twitter and Takeaways for Crisis Response

By Thom Fladung/Hennes Communications Even in this era, when the news barrage can be numbing, the report that Jeffrey Epstein had apparently hanged himself in jail and the immediate flurry of conspiracy theories took a run at qualifying as “shocking.” The least surprising element: Much of it started and played out on Twitter. In an […]


When to Respond on Social Media: Some Rules for the (Frequently Rough) Road

Q. How do I know whether I should respond to a negative social media comment about our organization?  A. We’ve worked with several clients recently that faced the challenge of negative social media posts going viral, attracting thousands of comments and shares and threatening the reputation of the organization involved. Before it reaches that crisis […]


An Independence Day Salute to Our Founding Fathers of Fake News

By Thom Fladung/Hennes Communications This 4th of July, amid the fireworks, hot dogs and parades, let’s remember another grand American tradition: making stuff up. Or, as John Adams noted with delight in his diary in 1769, he’d spent the evening in “a curious employment. Cooking up Paragraphs, Articles, Occurrences etc. – working the political Engine!” […]


Want A Good Answer Amid A Crisis? Know The Question Before It’s Asked

By Thom Fladung/Hennes Communications The Q&A session is a staple of leadership, whether those questions come at you in employee meetings, community forums or in an interview with a journalist. It can be challenging in any setting. But doing a Q&A amid a crisis or serious issue your company or organization is facing ratchets up […]


Crisis Management May Mean Having to Say You’re Sorry

Q: My attorney says apologizing will be bad for future litigation – that apologizing means we are liable.  What do you think? A: We often find ourselves wrestling with our client’s attorneys over the phrase “I’m sorry.” Somehow, through the years, attorneys have come to define the phrase “I’m sorry” as meaning “I’m liable. I […]


Want To Sell the CEO On A Crisis Communications Plan? Sell The Attorney First

Q: How do you convince leadership that creating a crisis communications plan is a good idea?  A: We get it. People don’t want to think about their businesses or organizations being thrown into a crisis because there’s been a data breach, or an allegation of sexual harassment, or an inappropriate social media post. And who […]


Lessons From The Boeing Airline Crisis – And From The Crisis Management Industry’s Response

By Thom Fladung/Hennes Communications The crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 and subsequent focus on the Boeing 737Max airliner brought with it the usual analysis and reaction from crisis communications consultants. Some of our crisis communications peers provided insight into how Boeing was dealing with its crisis. And some reaction, unfortunately, we found lacking in […]


Q&A: On crisis communications and attorney-client protection

Q: How can my organization use legal privilege to protect sensitive information when we’re dealing with a communications firm and discussing with them a controversial issue or a crisis? A: [From Stephanie York, Hennes Communications:] You can never ensure that sensitive communications will fall under the attorney work product doctrine – ultimately, a judge must […]


Not On My Facebook Page: How Smart Companies Deal with Dumb Online Trolls

By Thom Fladung/Hennes Communications The reaction is typical. Watch what happens when a business, organization or news outlet removes a user’s post from a Facebook page, website or comment string. “Censorship!” “You’re violating my free speech rights!” “You’re trashing the First Amendment!” Well, no. None of that has happened. The laws around social media use […]


How Free Is Free Speech On Social Media? The Courts Are Weighing In

By Thom Fladung/Hennes Communications The wild west of social media just keeps getting wilder, doesn’t it? Consider these court rulings, from the past few months: In Virginia, a federal appeals court ruled that an elected official violated the First Amendment by temporarily blocking a constituent on Facebook, the Washington Post reported. In Northeast Ohio, a […]


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