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Crisis Management Today

Hennes Communications
Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
August 1, 2019
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Our Perspective

What Crisis Managers Can Learn from Notre Dame
By Nora Jacobs, Sr. VP, Hennes Communications  For companies that maintain elaborate emergency response plans, the Notre Dame fire provides an excellent reason to review that plan and determine if good intentions and multiple revisions have created documents that burden managers with too much process at the expense of expediency.
Cleveland Indians Pitcher Throws Fit, Hits Apology Out of the Park
By Bruce Hennes, CEO, Hennes Communications There were strong rumors he was going to get traded anyhow, but the deal was probably sealed the moment Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer threw a ball over the center field wall in an act of frustration.  What he did after was brilliant.

In the News

Powerful Woman
How Best to Convey “Executive Presence” Non-Verbally
From U.S. presidents to NFL quarterbacks, I’ve studied their signature facial expressions—looking for the patterns that indicate success. Maybe you weren’t the first choice for the C-suite corner office you now have, but surely you weren’t the 199th overall pick for the job (like the New England Patriot’s Tom Brady). In Brady’s case, welcome to the intricacies of what people often assume is merely a straightforward case of the guy “smiling”.
How the University of Iowa Recovered From the ‘Unfathomable’ Flood That Ruined It
Climate change is already affecting extreme weather events around the world. Hurricanes are wetter, and wildfires are bigger. And scientists expect conditions to get worse over time. It's time to realize that you must  be prepared for events youhaven’t seen before, or even thought were possible.


Q: How do I know whether I should respond to a negative social media comment about our organization? 
A:  From Stephanie York, VP at Hennes Communications:  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 point, at Hennes Communications we recommend analyzing the on-line atmosphere, monitoring posts for potential explosive negative media attention, deciding whether to respond, attempting to contact and talk with the critic offline and drafting sober, professional responses intended to deescalate the situation. Hard-and-fast “rules” often don’t apply in a constantly evolving social media world where each post can bring unique challenges. But there are some best practices you can apply when faced with an online social media threat. For the rest of this piece, click here.

Got a question about crisis communications, issues management or reputation management? We’ve got the answers. Send your question  to

Not Just for Attorneys

Why Hennes?

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 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

8/8    Berlin Safety Council
8/9    Orrville Safety Council
8/15  Ohio State Univ. Leadership Academy
8/22  Commission on Economic Inclusion, Greater Cleveland Partnership
8/22  California Association of Sanitation Agencies (San Diego)
8/26   North Central State College (Mansfield)
8/27   LeadingAge Ohio (Columbus)
9/17   NE Ohio Regional Library System
9/17   International Union of Marine Insurance (Toronto)
9/18  Federal Emergency Management Agency Conference (Chicago)
View More Events

Short Takes

What’s So Funny? The Science of Why We Laugh  Scientific American

Google Maps Wants to Help You Navigate During Natural Disasters  CityLab

Identifying a Fake Picture Online is Harder Than You Might Think The Conversation

Stop Asking ‘How Are You?’ Harvard Researchers Say This is What Successful People Do When Making Small Talk   MakeIt
See Something, Say Something

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