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Crisis Management Today

Hennes Communications
Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
February 15, 2019

Our Perspective

How Smart Companies Deal with Dumb Online Trolls

By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications  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!”  So, what do you do?

In the News

How to Say ‘I’m Sorry,’ Whether You’ve Appeared in a Racist Photo, Harassed Women or Just Plain Screwed Up

“I’m sorry.” These two words may seem simple, but the ability to express them when you’re in the wrong is anything but – particularly for those in the public eye.

Not For All of Our Readers -- Terror of Tomorrow: What Organizations Must Know to Share and Prepare

Gate 15’s David Pounder asked Homeland Security Today Managing Editor Bridget Johnson to help paint a threat assessment for the year ahead for the benefit of critical infrastructure entities and Information Sharing and Analysis Centers and Organizations.

America’s Experts on the Biggest Threats and Challenges Facing Us in 2019

As a political standoff shut down the government for 35 days, homeland security professionals scrambled to continue the mission. From Russia to China, to cyber attacks and near daily mass shootings, what are the real worries?

Jeff Bezos & The Enquirer: Extortion or Just Negotiations? That Slippery Slope

Last week the media was abuzz with the allegations made against the National Enquirer by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post. The details in Bezos’ blog post about his ongoing dispute with the Enquirer are sensationalistic to say the least: the world’s richest man being allegedly blackmailed by people working for Pecker (a long-time friend and supporter of President Trump), with threats to publish “compromising” photos of Bezos unless he backed off his investigation of the tabloid.

QA

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 determine whether information is privileged and protected by the attorney work product doctrine. There are, however, steps your organization can take to bolster the argument that certain information is protected by the attorney work product doctrine. It’s important to stress that this information should not be interpreted as legal advice.  Anyone with a question on whether specific communications fall under the attorney work-product doctrine should consult an attorney. Here, though, are some of the steps we take at Hennes to help support the argument that certain communications are protected under the attorney work product doctrine. For the rest of this answer, click here.

Have questions about crisis communications, issues management or reputation management? We have the answers. Send your question to [email protected]

Not Everything is a Crisis


Most crises are unexpected and sudden - a traffic accident, explosion, fire, chemical leak, social media attack or criminal arrest.

While a crisis usually appears to be sudden, sometimes you should have seen it coming.  For example, activists who hate your product, lax enforcement of company policies and procedures, deferred maintenance on heavy equipment, or instability in your leadership ranks. 

More often than not, what you're probably facing is an issue, a situation that can and should have been foreseen. For instance, three months from now you know you're going to close a plant, discontinue a product, get a new board chair, acquire a company or announce a rate hike.

Whether it's a crisis or an issue, carefully crafted communications targeting the appropriate audience at the right time can go a long way toward mitigating the amount of reputational damage you experience and the work you need to do to restore confidence among your stakeholders.
 
Identifying an issue early gives you the added ability to craft a well-rounded strategic plan that not only identifies what you say, it enables you to carefully consider allies you might enlist, initiatives you might employ to blunt the effectiveness of your adversaries and other tactics designed to protect your market. Are there threats looming on your horizon you should address now?  Let us help you create the communications to help you avoid them from evolving from issues you can manage to crises you can’t avoid.

While we sell "crisis" (hence our website name, www.crisiscommunications.com ), the professionals at Hennes Communications understand the difference between crises and issues.  

And now, we hope you do, too.

Actually, Not Just For Attorneys


For Attorneys
 
Attorneys across the country increasingly understand the following: 
  • Since there are no real barriers to entry, every P.R. firm in the U.S. now offers “crisis communications.”  In actuality, they don’t.  Crisis work actually requires a different – and often counterintuitive - skill set from the traditional practice of public relations.  As well, it’s also an art form where more often than not we’re helping attorneys and their clients figure out not just what to say, but what to do, which isn’t something learned from a book.
  •  More and more often, attorneys – especially those who truly understand their clients’ business models and wish to offer holistic advice, rather than simply serving as legal “transactionalists” - are beginning to understand that the Court of Public Opinion is arguably more important than the Court of Law, especially since 97% of all cases never actually make it to trial.
  • We tend to be brought into client situations and law firms in one of three ways: The CEO (who heard one of us speak or as a referral) brings us in directly, usually asking us to work alongside their G.C. or their outside law firm.  An attorney attends one of our CLEs, immediately realizes the value we bring to the situation at-hand and recommends retaining us directly by their client or under the law firm umbrella.  An attorney hears one of us speak at a conference and brings us to the law firm to speak to a practice group.  Someone from the firm’s marketing department sits in on that seminar, realizes a similar CLE would be a great value-add to existing clients and/or as a marketing event for new business development and brings us back for that purpose.
For more on this subject, click here.  For a list of upcoming CLEs, click here.

   Expert Witnesses for Online         Issues - Just a Click Away

The Court of Public Opinion is always in session on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other websites where harsh reviews and caustic criticism carry the day.
 
Increasingly, the issues that start in this Court of Public Opinion are ending up in a Court of Law. At Hennes Communications, we have experts who understand online reputation management, online media coverage, the impact of negative online content, the effectiveness and cost of search suppression and more.
 
Looking for an expert witness who can help your client win on these thorny issues? Call Thom Fladung at Hennes Communications at 216-321-7774.

 

            Media Training

No one trains clients for high-stakes situations better than Hennes Communications. We can teach you how to communicate with power, mastering even the toughest interview, speech or presentation.  Call or email us today and ask us about crisis, media, spokesperson and presentation training/coaching for you, your top executives and managers.

Remember – it's usually not what you say, but how you say it.  Never again go into a media interview unprepared or go before a hostile audience uncoached.                   

 







You have a situation. 
We have a strategy.  

Because the Court of Public Opinion is always in session.

Upcoming Speaking Events

2/18     Univ. of Akron, Disaster Sciences
2/19     Medina County Safety Council
2/19     Ohio School Board Association 
2/19     Jewish Comm. Federation - Columbus
2/21     Cuy Cty Office of Emergency Mgmt
2/21     Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Assoc
2/25     Akron Metro Transit
2/26     EmpowerHer
3/4       Case W. Reserve Univ Law School
3/6       Summit County United Way
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Hennes Communications. You have a situation. We have a strategy. https://www.crisiscommunications.com
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Short Takes

Survey Finds Execs Unsure About Their Companies' Crisis Response Plans  CorporateCounsel

7 Ways to Recover After a Reputation Crisis   Entrepreneur.com

Pro Tips from Scholars for Journalists (and Vice-Versa)  Journalist's Resource

Quality Media and Communications Training Is Now a Must for Business Success  kglobal

How to Cure Your Dread of Public Speaking  Harvard Business Review

 
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Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
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