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Crisis Management Today

Hennes Communications
Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
May 1, 2020
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Our Perspective

How to talk about COVID-19
Communicating Your Re-Opening Amid COVID-19
By Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications
We’re all still fully engaged fighting the invisible threat of COVID-19 on every level. How do you communicate your phased re-opening?
Ashland University Professional Learning Podcast – Thom Fladung on Communication Best Practices
In this short Ashland University Professional Learning Podcast, Dr. David Silverberg interviews Thom Fladung, managing partner of Hennes Communications, one of the few firms in North America focused exclusively on crisis management and crisis communications. Fladung is also the former managing editor of The Plain Dealer and Detroit Free Press. 
Leadership in Times of Crisis
Here, key business leaders discuss the right prescription for recovery. “Business leaders need to put pressure on state and local leaders to make good decisions based on science. Local leaders and small business people need to gather their employees around and set the tone for service to their communities," said one of those leaders.  Those quoted in the article include Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic, president and CEO of the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic; David Gilbert, president and CEO of Destination Cleveland; Jon Park, founding CEO of Westfield Bank; Bill Koehler, CEO of Team NEO; Jon Pinney, managing partner of Kohrman, Jackson & Krantz (KJK); Kate Hickner, partner, KJK; Cary Zimmerman, partner, KJK; and Bruce Hennes, CEO, Hennes Communications.
Powerful woman on video call
Tips for a Better Video Call
By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
Whether you’re using FaceTime, Zoom, Hangouts, WebEx, Teams or any of the other video call platforms, there are a few universal do’s and don’ts if you want to look and sound professional.

In the News

Adley Stump Explains Everything
Living and Working During This Pandemic. Finally, the Rules are Explained.
First, you must not leave the house for any reason, unless you have a reason and then you may leave the house.  All stores are closed, except for those that are open.  We should stay locked down until the virus stops infecting people.  It will only stop infecting people if enough of us get infected so that we build immunity, so it is very important that we get infected.  Confused?  We are, too.  We’ve identified an expert, Adley Stump, who can explain everything.
Risk Management
Risk Management Experts Discuss the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Impacts on Risk Management, Resilience and Business Continuity
In an interview-style article, experts from the Institute of Operational Risk and Institute of Risk Management discuss COVID-19 and how the risk management profession is reacting.
Women Leaders
Leading in a Crisis: How to Successfully Communicate
The current pandemic has provided many examples of effective and not-so-effective communications strategies. Here are four pitfalls to avoid, and five proven strategies to keep the public informed and engaged.
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency’s Recommendations for Selecting and Safely Using Collaboration Services for Telework
For many, the NSA stands for No Such Agency. Actually, it refers to the National Security Agency, a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence purposes. In what may be a first (a first for us, at least), the NSA has released a paper handicapping most of the popular collaboration software products (e.g. Zoom, Skype, etc.) that many of us are using on a daily basis.
Crisis Prep 101 for Attorneys
As in-house counsel, you can sum up your priorities in two categories: “Maximize Value Creation” (e.g., M&A) and “Minimize Value Destruction” (e.g., defending “bet the company” litigation). Pretty much all legal work you or the department do will fall under the above. Ask yourself this question: “If [pick a crisis] happened today, do I know the exact steps the company and I would take in the next 24 hours?” If the answer is “no,” then it’s time to get cracking.
Rob Falls
Looking Back on COVID-19
Someday, this will all be over. And time will pass. From all the suffering, the pain, the separation from each other – we hope we will learn. Learn what is truly important to each of us…and remember.

Short Takes

Three Ways to Flatter Your Figure on a Zoom Call  Crain's Cleveland Business
Pandemic Plus the Big One: Preparing for a Disaster Double-Punch  Homeland Security Today
5 Reasons Why We Need Emotionally Intelligent Leaders in Time of Crisis  Fast Company
How Disney and Others Should Respond to COVID-19 Labor Practice Critics  PR News
A Former FBI Negotiator on How to Build Rapport Over Video: Once You've Talked a Guy Off a Ledge, Zoom Calls are Easy  Inc.

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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.

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.

Of course, due to the coronavirus situation, we now offer this training via Zoom or your preferred video platform.



Upcoming Speaking Events

5/12    Summit County PIO Workshop
5/15    Cleveland State University, Levin College of Urban Affairs
5/21    Ohio Health Care Association
6/9      Ohio Hospital Association
7/24    National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
10/6    City of Green, Ohio

10/8    National Aging Services Risk Management Conference
10/14   Akron Women's Network
10/20  Winding River Managing Partner Boot Camp - Chicago
10/27   Winding River Managing Partner Boot Camp - Cleveland
12/8     Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

If you'd like to bring us in to speak to your organization, either virtually or in-person, 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

Don't Hire a Firm
That Tries to Spin Its Own Story

With no barriers to entry, every public relations firm in the U.S. now appears to offer “crisis communications.” They don’t. At least, all of those who claim to don’t.

Crisis work requires a different – and often counterintuitive – skill set from the traditional practice of public relations.  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.

Business advisers increasingly understand that the Court of Public Opinion is often as important, if not more so, than the Court of Law, especially with more than 95% of civil cases never going to trial, according to most estimates. And that approach increases among business advisers who understand their clients’ business models and want to offer holistic advice, rather than serving in a narrower or even transactional capacity.

If you have a crisis on your hands or an issue looming and you need communications help, here are the right questions to ask the firm you're considering

Remember:  you can't use communications to "spin" your way out of a crisis.  That's Hollywood.  In the real world, you'll get called on it and your crisis will get worse. 

Our best advice:  don't hire a firm that tries to spin its own story.

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