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Crisis Management Today

Hennes Communications
Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
July 15, 2020
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Our Perspective

Crisis Management – Your Organization’s Reputation is Its Largest Uninsured Asset
By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
With the presence today of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, not to mention a 24/7 media environment, the reputation you’ve built up with years of good work can be shattered in an instant.  Today, your brand can face a significant reputational challenge in the time it takes to bang out a feverish 140-character tweet. 
How to Nail Your TV News Interview - Part 1
By Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications
There are a few people out there who are naturally gifted – effortless interviews are a piece of cake for them. But for most of us, interviewing is an art that must be practiced. And practiced and practiced. Here are a few things to remember about doing a solid interview.
Strong Woman Leader
Creating a Post-Pandemic Crisis Team
By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications
One of the most important things you should do is build a solid team of advisors you can trust – a group of experienced individuals who can sit at the table with you when a crisis strikes.  You won’t be an expert in everything.  That’s why you‘ll need a range of perspectives on the issue you’re facing.

In the News

The role of the board chair in a crisis
The Role of the Board Chair During a Crisis
Experienced chairpersons know that their success depends on how they walk the tightrope of being too involved or too remote in the company’s strategy execution. Yet when a crisis such as COVID-19 hits and the CEO transforms into Chief Crisis Officer, the chairperson may become increasingly unsure how to strike this balance.
Kent State Shootings May 4
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Coverage of the Kent State Shootings Through the Eyes of a Young Editor
Robert Giles was managing editor of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal on May 4, 1970 when four students were killed at Kent State University during an anti-war protest. National Guard soldiers also wounded nine other people. The paper’s coverage won a Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Reporting. In “When Truth Mattered: The Kent State Shootings 50 Years Later,” Giles offers a gripping account of how he and his staff pursued the truth of the shootings during a time that the nation was sharply divided over the Vietnam War. 
Muddled COVID-19 Messaging: Sometimes the Data Changed; Other Times – Masks, for Example – Your Dishonesty Caught Up with You
So why are we mired in this COVID-19 muck?  When and why did a virus become political?  It’s been said that newspapers contain the first draft of history.  Five, ten, twenty or more years from now, will President Trump be the villain?  Or will it be the CDC, the WHO – or maybe even Dr. Fauci?  Recently, CNN reporter Ivana Kottasova emailed Dr. Peter Sandman asking “about the way public health authorities have been communicating throughout this pandemic.”  Here's a portion of that email exchange.
Plastic Army Women
How Talking About the Coronavirus as an Enemy Combatant Can Backfire
We’re told to “hunker down” for the long battle ahead and to “support our troops,” the health care workers, fighting on the “front lines.”  These military-inspired metaphors serve a purpose. Unlike the dense linguistic landscape of science and medicine, their messages are clear.  Sometimes military metaphors can help unite people against a common enemy. But sometimes this kind of rhetoric can have long-term effects that are less positive, particularly within health and medicine. In fact, research has shown that these metaphors can cause people to make decisions that go against sound medical advice.
Lawyers and crisis management people
Six Things Every Attorney Should Do When Hiring And Managing A Communications Team
Whether the client is a high-profile individual in the middle of active litigation, a nonprofit engaged in a public education campaign or a large corporation getting ahead of a story — good or bad — there is a legal team at the center of the action. Great working relationships with counsel mean better results for clients. 
Let the Buyer Beware
Lots of PR Firms Sell Their Crisis Work – Let The Buyer Beware
By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
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.
Bruce Hennes Named to Lawdragon List
Bruce Hennes Named to LAWDRAGON Global 100 Leaders in Legal Strategy and Consulting
Hennes Communications is proud to announce that Chief Executive Officer Bruce Hennes has been named to the 2020 LAWDRAGON Global 100 Leaders in Legal Strategy and Consulting, the definitive guide to the experts in management, marketing, communication and recruiting most valued by law firm leaders.  This is the second year in a row that Hennes has been named to this prestigious list.

Short Takes

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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

7/23    American Public Power Association
7/9      American Public Power Association
8/8      Ashland University School of Business
10/6    City of Green, Ohio

10/8     National Aging Services Risk Management Conference
10/14    Akron Women's Network
12/8      Cleveland Metro Bar Association
12/17    Cincinnati 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

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