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Crisis Management Today

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

The Case for Crisis Management Teamwork
By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications 
Building trust by crafting communications that reflect solid values, demonstrate responsiveness and express a willingness to do better are the foundation of effective crisis response.
Crisis comm strategies for an always-on media environment
Crisis Communications Strategies for an Always-On Media Environment
By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications 
The window of time in which you have to react to a crisis has decreased dramatically, in large part because of social media. And in this #metoo era, you may find yourself dealing with accusations of criminal and unethical behavior that occurred decades earlier. 

In the News

Everything in Moderation: Some Best Practices about Moderating Panels
Here are some best practices in moderating panels and conducting interviews, straight from The City Club of Cleveland, one of the country's great free speech forums.
In the spotlight?
New to Crisis Management? Here’s a Quick Primer.
The day starts like any other. As you prepare to leave for a meeting, a reporter calls seeking a comment about some “crisis.” Your initial thought is “No big deal; just a typical crisis.” It hits you:  A single misstep could cost your organization a price it simply can’t afford. This isn’t a routine crisis; your previously routine day has come to a screeching halt. You and your organization are in the whirling vortex of a scandal.
Wall phone
How the Loss of the Landline Is Changing Family Life
The physical medium of communication has shifted from telephone poles, visually linking individual homes, to the elusive air. The environment of each call has shifted from a living room or a kitchen to anywhere, and as a result, callers spend time placing each other: In the early days of the phone, they often asked, “Are you there?,” but now they have graduated to “Where are you?”
Words of Wisdom

Attention School Board Members,
Superintendents & Attorneys

The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) has entered into a strategic partnership with Hennes Communications to provide crisis management and communications services to public school systems throughout the state of Ohio facing sudden challenges to their organizations’ reputations and operations. With this partnership, OSBA member school leaders have access 365 days a year to expert crisis communications professionals.

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, ), the professionals at Hennes Communications understand the difference between crises and issues.  

And now, we hope you do, too.

Crisis Communications & Media Training

Do All PR Firms Offer Crisis Communications?
It seems that way.  Since there are no real barriers to entry, every P.R. firm in the U.S. now appears to offer “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 clients figure out not just what to say, but what to do, which isn’t something learned from a book.

More and more often, business advisers – especially those who truly understand their clients’ business models and wish to offer holistic advice, rather than simply serving as "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.

When you're searching about for a crisis firm, ask them to provide you with a list of specific and similar crisis situations they've handled in the past.  Ask them, too, who'll actually do the work?  Senior people with decades of experience?  Or junior people?  

We rest our case.

             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.                   





Upcoming Speaking Events

1/9     Stark County Safety Council
1/22   CAK Safety Council
2/7     Scott Scriven LPA (Columbus)
2/8     Ashland University
2/3    Ohio Public Employers Labor Relations Association (Columbus)
2/17    Dept. of Emergency Mgmt. & Homeland Security, University of Akron

2/20    OH Assoc. of Cty. Boards (Columbus)
2/17    City of Athens, Ohio
12/19  Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Assoc.
3/12   Ohio State Bar Association Leadership Academy (Columbus)
3/12   Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce
4/2     Cleve. State Univ. Leadership Acad'y

In 2019, we did 103 speaking events.  About three-quarters of those events were for legal audiences.  The rest were for a variety of conferences in a wide variety of market sectors.

If you'd like to bring us in to speak to your organization, perhaps for your practice group, as a value-add for your existing clients or as a new business development event, please give Bruce Hennes a call at 216-321-7774.
View More Events

Short Takes

The BBC is Releasing Over 16,000 Sound Effects for Free Download  HappyMag

NPR is Still Expanding the Range of What Authority Sounds Like After 50 Years  The Conversation

The Best Photos of 2019 from AFP

2019: The Year in Pictures  CNN

A Remarkable Year in Photos  Washington Post

The Year in Photos  New York Times

The Best Ads of 2019  AdWeek

Good Morning America Looks Back at Stories That Defined a Wild 2019  TVNewser
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