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Crisis Management Today

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

Crisis Management: Communicating a Sudden Leadership Change
By Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications  When your organization is faced with a sudden leadership change and you’re the one driving that change, you need to make strategic communication decisions quickly. Where should you start?
The Public Spotlight
Practicing Law In The Public Spotlight
By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications, and Jack Bacevice, Mansour Gavin  Here, the art and craft of litigating in the harsh glare of the public spotlight.

In the News

A Philosopher’s Definitive (And Slightly Maddening) Case Against Replay Review
The motivation for using video review in sports is obvious: to get more calls right. This seems like an easy enough mission to fulfill, but anyone who has spent even a little time watching sports on TV can attest to the fact that the application of video review is not so simple.
FOX TV
A Brief History of Television Interviews – and Why Live TV Helps Those Who Lie and Want to Hide
Politicians ignore questions and give talking points instead, creating sensational television, but rather than enlighten, as journalism should do, the exchanges muddy the story for uninformed viewers. The live TV interview, with its tightly constricted parameters, has much to do with these journalistic failures.
Thomas Cook Group
Crisis Comms 101: How the British Civil Aviation Authority Guided Stakeholders Through Thomas Cook Turbulence
Thomas Cook was a British travel group company.  On September 23, 2019, Thomas Cook went into compulsory liquidation.  Around 21,000 worldwide employees were left without jobs and 600,000 customers were left abroad, triggering the United Kingdom’s largest peacetime repatriation, leaving authorities with an enormous problem. More than 150,000 holidaymakers were stranded, 9,000 UK workers lost their jobs and a million forward bookings of holidays, weddings, honeymoons and travel deals needed refunding and re-organizing.  Add to this the thousands of travel agents, hotels and tourism operators in multiple countries that had seen a major part of their business evaporate overnight, and the scale of the crisis becomes apparent.

QA

Q: I work for a government agency and am an elected official. Our office maintains a social media presence, my campaign maintains a social media presence, and I also have a personal Facebook page. What should I do to be sure my “personal” pages are not subject to public records law?
A:  From Stephanie York at Hennes Communications:  Laws across the nation are evolving regarding a public official’s right to maintain personal social media pages and the obligation of that official to abide by public records laws. Even though new cases are playing out daily, there are some rules and best practices you can adopt to help ensure your personal pages remain personal – without violating the public record laws of your state.  Here’s the first rule: This is not legal advice and public officials should ultimately bring questions about what’s appropriate for their personal social media pages to an attorney.  That said, broad guidelines to help public officials navigate these waters – and help the public hold their elected and appointed officials accountable on social media – have emerged.  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 [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.  For another example, click here.

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.

For Our Attorney Friends


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

10/10 Brouse McDowell 6th Annual Insurance Coverage Conference (Cleveland)
10/11 Ohio School Boards Association – Administrative Professionals Workshop (Columbus)
10/15 Midwest Regional Educational Services Center (Piqua, Ohio)
10/17  Red Flag Reporting (webinar)
10/19  Council of School Attorneys – National School Boards Association (Santa Fe)
10/23 American Public Power Legal & Regulatory Conference (Portland, OR)
10/25  City of Westlake, Ohio
10/27  Leading Age (San Diego)
10/29  Winding River Managing Partner Boot Camp (Chicago)
11/4   Medina County Educational Service Center
10/29  Winding River Managing Partner Boot Camp (Chicago)
View More Events

Short Takes

The Golden Voice Behind All Those Ken Burns Documentaries  Vulture

Associated Press Hyphen Outrage Continues  Columbia Journalism Review

These Are the Campaigns That Won Gold at the 2019 CLIO Awards  AdWeek

On Chandler Bing's Job  The Atlantic







 
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