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Crisis Management Today

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

Our Perspective

2018's Best Crisis Management Response

2018’s Best Crisis Management Response: The Crisis Was Live, Southwest Airlines Was Ready

By Thom Fladung, Managing Partner, Hennes Communications  So, imagine your bad news being broadcast live to potentially millions of people. That’s what Southwest Airlines experienced in 2018. As we enter the time of year for the inevitable “best of” lists, this one gets our vote for most effective crisis communications of 2018. 

Walking the Talk: Matching Your Internal and External Brands Pays Dividends in a Crisis

By Howard Fencl, Vice President, Hennes Communications    There may be a serious disconnect between your internal brand and the brand you promote externally. Fast Company has good advice on syncing your external brand with your internal one to snag and retain staff.

In the News

Balancing Fun and Professionalism at the Holiday Office Party

Are you planning to attend your office holiday party? We hope so. This is a great occasion to relax and have a good time — and can be a highly anticipated, positive antidote to year-end stress. But anytime you combine fun with professionalism, it can also be a challenge. Here are ten tips to insure that you make a great impression while you mix and mingle at the office party. 

The Stakes are Higher for Women in Charge of Safety

The first time I made a security decision, my stomach was in knots from the moment I said yes to the second I got the text confirming the reporter was home safely. “When the Maryland shooting happened, I knew that would be a game- changer for us, as it has been for many news organizations,” said Rebecca Blumenstein, deputy managing editor at the NY Times. 
A Playbook for CEOs Attacked by Trump

A Playbook for CEOs Attacked by Trump: Thrust, Parry, Ignore

Here’s how some companies that landed in the president’s social-media crosshairs have coped with fiery tweets from the commander-in-chief:


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:  A message is an unwavering truth about your company, what it believes in, how it tackles challenges, and how it serves its employees, its customers and the community. Facts are proof points that support your messages. Message example: “The safety of our employees is our first priority every day.” Supporting fact: “We invest millions of dollars in training programs and state-of-the-art technology every year to help keep our workers safe on the job.”

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.  

12/5   S. Palm Beach Bar Assoc.
12/7   Broward Cty Bar (Ft. Laud.)
12/12  Dayton Bar Association
12/13  Akron Bar Association
12/18  Toledo Bar Association
12/19  Cleveland Metro Bar Assoc.
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

12/3   EUCI (Chicago)
12/5   S. Palm Beach Bar Association
12/5   Richfield Chamber of Commerce
12/7   Broward Cty. Bar (Ft. Lauderdale)
12/12 Dayton Bar Association
12/13   Akron Bar Association
12/13   Ohio Society of CPAs
12/17   Wood County Health Department
12/18   Toledo Bar Association
12/18   Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo
View More Events
Hennes Communications. You have a situation. We have a strategy.
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Short Takes

Avoid Getting Victimized by a Cyber Grinch This Season  Homeland Security Today

Eight Ways to Save a Presentation That's Falling Apart  MarketWatch

How to Write an Op-Ed or Column  Journalist's Resource

Understanding Survey Question Wording  Pew Research Center

How to Write a Killer Speech for C-Level Executives  CommPro

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Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
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