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Crisis Management Today

Hennes Communications
Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
March 15, 2019
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Our Perspective

You Can't Spin Your Way Out of Bad Behavior - Boeing & Wells Fargo

By Bruce Hennes, CEO, Hennes Communications

Wells Fargo.  Expensive, full-page ads for months touting their reinvention.  Reports now surfacing that little has substantively changed.  Boeing. Two planes down over 5 months.  346 people dead.  Between the two crashes, reports are now surfacing that pilots had indeed reported problems with the plane. And the company had to be forced into grounding its planes across the world?

Thom Fladung, Managing Partner of Hennes Communications, Talks On-The-Record

Hear Thom Fladung, managing partner of Hennes Communications, talk to the Portage County Safety Council about crisis management here.  We hope you agree it's worth the listen.

Social Media Panic at Schools: Crisis Management During False Alarms

By Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications

Online threats have become a multi-faceted communications challenge for school leadership. Leadership must fight fire with fire – but need to remember some old-school communication tools as well.
The College Bribery Scandal: Personal Conduct vs. Business Conduct

By Bruce Hennes, CEO, Hennes Communications

One facet of this issue that we find especially interesting is about how the actions of a CEO or senior business leader – actions taken in their private life – can threaten the integrity of an entire company or organization.

In the News

The Fight to Be a Middle-Aged Female News Anchor

Age discrimination has never been an issue for the men in a television newsroom – they age and become more ‘credible’. Women age and get replaced. And the ones who are left are under relentless pressure to stuff themselves into skin tight, thigh high, sleeveless dresses. 

Women & Their Leadership Presence

You may have a leadership title, but leadership presence is not an attribute automatically assigned to you because of your business results.  Being perceived as a leader when interacting with customers, peers, or executives, is the essence of leadership presence. Women face unique challenges when it comes to being perceived as leaders.  You can’t avoid making an impression on others, but you can control the kind of impression you make

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, ), 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 full 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

4/3    Lynch Law Firm (Pittsburgh)
4/4    Lynch Law Firm (Pittsburgh)
4/8    West Virginia State Bar Assoc.
4/11   Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh
4/17   Black Professional Association Charitable Foundation,
Co-Presented by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Assoc, Ohio Hispanic Bar Assoc, Norman S. Minor Bar Assoc & Asian American Bar Assoc of Ohio
5/2   Ohio Health Care Assoc. (Columbus)
5/15  Beachwood Chamber of Commerce
5/15  Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce
5/20  Ohio Assisted Living Assoc. (Columbus)
6/4    Winding River Mg. Partner Boot Camp
6/7    Hahn Loeser
7/11  Lawyer - Pilots Bar Association
8/15  OH State Univ Leadership Academy
9/11  National Interstate Insurance
View More Events
Hennes Communications. You have a situation. We have a strategy.
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Short Takes

The Speed of Breaches and Other Bad News in Cybersecurity Incident Response   The D&O Diary

How to Pump Yourself Up Before a Presentation (or Calm Yourself Down)   Harvard Business Review

People ‘Confused by or Hostile to’ Charity Responses to Public Concerns  Civil Society

A Psychologist Explains How to Overcome Social Anxiety

Every Business Should Have a Plan  Federal Emergency Management Agency

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Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
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