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Crisis Management Today

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

For Businesses Caught in the Crosshairs, Social Media Boycotts Mean More Than a Hill of Beans
By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications
With companies and organizations suddenly caught up in controversies range from giants like Goya to the owner of a mom-and-pop bakery in Kent, Ohio, who posted a sign in her window promoting “patriotic disobedience” against mandatory masks and other public health orders.  Pay attention: Consumer activism is on the rise. If someone is comfortable boycotting beans, they can boycott any business.
Nailing Your TV News Interview – Part 2 – The Ambush
By Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications
As you head to the parking lot after another gut-wrenching day, you’re ambushed by a reporter and a videographer just as you’re about to open your car door. The reporter is sticking a microphone in your face firing off a stream of provocative questions. You’re blinded by the light mounted on the video camera.  What do you do?

In the News

Learning to Dance With the Virus
Learning to Dance With the Virus
Dr. Peter Sandman thinks the U.S. public health profession mishandled and miscommunicated COVID-19 over the last few months, suggesting that health officials underreacted and left us unprepared. Then they overreacted and sent us into lockdown. Then, they justified the lockdown by promulgating a suppression narrative (prevent infections at all costs) instead of teaching us to balance priorities, flatten the curve, and “dance” with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Don't Let a Crisis Become Your Legacy
The time to build an effective crisis response system is before a crisis occurs. And though planning for every possible contingency is next to impossible, identifying and training a team of professionals who understand your school or organization and its vulnerabilities and is empowered to mobilize when necessary minimizes potential threats to your reputation and lasting legacy.
Ellen DeGeneres — Time for a Crisis Management Lesson
There are allegations of intimidation, sexual misconduct and racism.  DeGeneres attempted to stem some of the damage by issuing an apology to staff but also denying direct knowledge of the alleged misconduct and shifting the blame to senior staff.  The Ellen DeGeneres story offers some key lessons for celebrities and brands in terms of crisis management.
Risk Management
Are You Prepared for Bad Press About One of Your Suppliers?
It’s always been true that when companies behave badly, consumers react by spreading the word and sometimes boycotting. But recent research found that negative news is also bad for business in a new way: Consumers react even when the bad news extends beyond the company to its supply chain. Consumers are more likely to believe that a company’s product is inferior in quality when there is a supply chain mishap, even when the product quality has nothing to do with the supply chain problem.
Journalism and Prediction During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Journalists are trained to stick to the facts. But when reporting on a pandemic, responsible predictions are essential to fully informing the public.
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

8/8      Ashland University School of Business
8/18    Medina County Safety Council
10/6    City of Green, Ohio
10/8    National Aging Services Risk Management Conference (Chicago)
10/12   American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

10/14    Akron Women's Network
10/22    LeadingAge Ohio
11/13    Maryland State Bar Association
12/8      Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Assoc.
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

Hennes Communications

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We have a strategy.

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