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Crisis Management Today

Hennes Communications
Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
November 1, 2018

Our Perspective

Cybersecurity graphic

With Cybersecurity #1 Feared Threat, Here’s How To Boot Up Your Crisis Communication Plans

By Thom Fladung, Managing Partner, Hennes Communications  So, you’re out there running a business and, like many businesses, you haven’t done much to prepare for cybersecurity threats. What should you do?
Graphic of disinformation & fake news

Fake News, the 2016 Election, and How to Deal with Bots in a Crisis

By Howard Fencl, Vice President, Hennes Communications    If your company is besieged by a crisis and you’re being dragged through the muck in social media posts multiplying by the moment, how can you tell if bots are at work?

In the News

Photo of cyber "command central"

Damage Control: Recovering Your Firm’s Reputation After a Breach

It's only a matter of time before another law firm is hacked. When it happens, will that law firm be prepared to mitigate the reputational damage that will inevitably follow? As with any crisis, a law firm’s business and reputation hangs in the balance after a cybersecurity breach. If it’s handled well, though, a firm can regain trust and rebuild its brand. Here’s how.
Logo:  CNN Breaking News

How Companies Should Handle Media Attention Amid Criminal Allegations

Adverse media attention doesn’t necessarily mean a company is headed for public disaster. If handled appropriately, it likely won’t be the death knell for the company. ●
Body language graphic

The Body Language of Collaboration

All leaders express enthusiasm, warmth and confidence as well as arrogance, indifference and displeasure through their expressions, gestures, touch and use of space. As such, your nonverbal signals can either increase collaboration or shut it off.


Q:  Is telling the truth really always a good idea for crisis communications?  I see plenty of people caught up in crises who I don’t think are telling the truth.

A:  Telling the truth is an absolute necessity if you or your organization is caught up in a crisis.  First, of course, it’s the morally right thing to do.  But if morals aren’t your cup of tea, pragmatically it’s the right thing to do.  The truth will come out.  And if the truth shows you’ve been lying or obfuscating, your credibility is now zero.  Ask yourself: How often does the cover-up become worse than the original crime?  At Hennes Communications, we use the Damage Control Playbook to deal with any crisis. Rule No. 1: Tell the truth.

Got a question about crisis communications, issues management or reputation management? We’ll bet we have an answer. Send your question to
Not Everything is a Crisis

Most crises are unexpected, happening fast, like a traffic accident, explosion, fire, chemical leak, social media attack or a criminal arrest.

While a crisis usually appears to be sudden, sometimes you should have seen it coming.  For example, an embezzlement, product failure or leadership change. 

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

Whether it's a crisis or an issue, the skill set needed to manage both are the same. And the only difference is the amount of time you have to tell it all, tell it first and tell it fast.

You need a plan that answers these questions:  What do you say, when do you say it, how do you say it and who do you say it to?  For instance, next year you know you're going to lay off 50 employees. Your remaining employees, as well as your suppliers, customers and local elected officials better not hear about it in the media or on Facebook -- before hearing it from you.

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.

For Our Attorney Friends

CLE Season is Upon Us
Crisis Management for Attorneys
& Their Clients

 Sexual misconduct…data theft…OSHA & discrimination complaints… active shooter…accusations of fiscal mismanagement…employee fraud… product defects…activist attacks…environmental events…industrial accidents… management transitions…community outrage…regulatory issues

"Legal controversies today are tried in the Court of Public Opinion --
at least as much as in any Court of Law."    

As almost any general counsel will tell you, legal controversies today are tried in the Court of Public Opinion -- at least as much as in any Court of Law.  Every organization has much to gain (or lose) by the way a controversy is positioned in the media. Because the value of a company's reputation is immeasurable - and perhaps its largest uninsured asset - an organization loses when the brand image is tarnished, even if the organization technically wins at trial.  Furthermore, since most legal controversies are settled prior to trial, the Court of Public Opinion has arguably become the most important battleground affecting not only good will and market share, but legal bargaining power and settlement negotiations.   Managing this battleground, therefore, has become integral to many organizations' legal strategies. 
        Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics

For information about any of the CLEs to the right, please call Bruce Hennes at 216-321-7774. For more information about how Hennes Communications can help train the attorneys in your firm - or your clients - click here.  
Crisis Management for Attorneys & Their Clients

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube are now the places where a reputation built up over years of good work can be shattered in an instant.  Especially in today’s world of “gotcha” journalism, “managing the message” is a necessary skill set for attorneys, as well as CEO’s, government leaders and executive directors. 

This fast-paced talk by veteran crisis management and communications specialist Bruce Hennes, from Hennes Communications in Cleveland, Ohio, will focus on a highly-strategic approach to crisis management and crisis communications for a wide variety of situations, offering methods to establish and maintain “control of the message,” enabling attorneys to help their firms and clients move messages forward or mount a defense against an outraged public, unhappy customers or a sudden press onslaught.

For a downloadable flyer with more details about this CLE, click here.  

11/15 Taft, Stettinius (Cincinnati)
12/5   South Palm Beach Bar Association
12/7   Broward Cty Bar Assoc. (Ft. Laud.)
12/12  Dayton Bar Association
12/13  Akron Bar Association
12/18  Toledo Bar Association
12/19   Cleveland Metro Bar Association
12/20   Cincinnati Bar Association

You have a situation. 
We have a strategy.  

Because the Court of Public Opinion is always in session.

Upcoming Speaking Events

11/13 Ohio EMS Chiefs Assoc. (Columbus)
11/15 Taft, Stettinius (Cincinnati)
11/16 Ohio Society of CPAs (Dayton)
11/27 OH Parks & Rec. Assoc. (Columbus)
12/3   EUCI Electric (Chicago)
12/5  South Palm Beach Cty. Bar Assoc.
12/7  Broward Cty. Bar Assoc (Ft. Lauderdale)
12/12 Dayton Bar Association
12/13 Akron Bar Association
12/17 Wood County Health Dept. (Toledo)
View More Events
Hennes Communications. You have a situation. We have a strategy.
View More Capabilities

Short Takes

Teens Are Being Bullied ‘Constantly’ on Instagram  The Atlantic

Shaky Business: How Handshakes Win Negotiations  Harvard Business Review

Survey Finds U.S. Maritime Industry Unprepared for Cyber Attacks  Homeland Security Today

How 25 of Your Favorite Halloween Candies Got Their Names  Mental Floss

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Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
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