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Crisis Management Today

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

Are the Biggest Threats to Your Organization’s Reputation Languishing in HR’s Bottom Drawer?
By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications
As we have seen during these COVID-stricken months, employees are working on a short fuse. Casual comments on social media explode into wars of words and workplace rules spawn walkouts. At the root of many of these situations is an organizational policy telling employees how to behave on and off the job. When policies are well-written, they help create a workplace where expectations for employee performance are standardized and consequences are clear-cut. But even the best written policies are ineffective if they are not consistently enforced and employees are unaware of their existence. Even worse is the policy that is never enacted.
A Lawyer, C.I.A. Analyst and a Crisis Management Specialist Walk Into a Bar…
By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
When it hits the fan, decision-makers often turn to their attorney for guidance. But is that attorney equipped to assess the situation from a wide variety of viewpoints? Is that attorney too risk-averse to holistically and strategically offer his/her opinion? Is the attorney capable of saying yes or no when everyone else in the room is of the opposite opinion? And does the attorney truly possess the necessary skill sets for the situation at-hand? 

In the News

Social Media Savvy
What if Facebook Is the Real ‘Silent Majority’?
Facebook is powerful. Here's an incisive look at the reasons why it is, the implications on the current race for president - and why all of the pollsters may again be wrong. 
Ten Things: Preparing Board of Director Meeting Minutes
As schools in parts of the country have reopened classrooms amid a still-raging pandemic, some districts have been open about coronavirus cases in their buildings. They send weekly — and in some cases, daily — reports to families and updating online dashboards with the latest positive test results and quarantine counts. But other districts have been silent, sometimes citing privacy concerns to withhold information, to the dismay of some anxious parents, concerned educators and public health experts trying to combat the pandemic.
Public Health's Share of the Blame
Public Health's Share of the Blame: US COVID-19 Risk Communication Failures
First, you must accept the fact that there is an inherent tension between public health authorities, policymakers and politicians. Second, you must accept the fact that sometimes there is no one single answer. And the science (epidemiology, in particular) will change as circumstances - and evidence - dictate. Is it time to point fingers and assign blame? In this candid, must-read piece, Dr. Peter Sandman makes some sobering observations about how we got into this mess.
Crisis Communications in Sports
Crisis Communications in Sports breaks down the latest news and crises in sports communications. Sports marketing veteran Jim Rocco and crisis communications strategist Isaac Benjamin offer their insight on dealing with sensitive situations and how to rectify problematic actions; whether it is dealing with the media, tone-deaf public statements, or complicated internal affairs. Episodes feature interviews with figures across the sports landscape, and discussions on bold strategies for winning in the court of public opinion.
Recognizing Misinformation on the Internet
Older people are vulnerable to misinformation online even under normal circumstances. But the coronavirus has made the problem especially urgent. Older people are more susceptible to the virus, making discerning reliable health information important now. “Misinformation is always heightened when there’s greater confusion. Particularly around Covid, there can be devastating impact if you get the wrong information,” said Jean Setzfand, senior vice president of programs at AARP, the advocacy group for older people.
How to Make Sure Your Vote Counts in November
The time is now! Voting in the presidential election will begin in many states in just a few weeks – as early as Sept. 4 in North Carolina. Every state’s regulations and procedures are different, so it is vital that you understand the requirements and opportunities to vote where you live. Here’s how to make sure you’re ready to vote, and that your vote will count.
Eight Lessons I Learned from Hiring a Writing Coach
The best athletes in the world have personal trainers: LeBron James, Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe. I knew that to be the best, I needed to hire a writing coach to take me to the next level. As a species, we have a monopoly on collective knowledge. So engaging with a mentor or a coach is one of the best ways to become smarter.
Crisis Communications is not the same as public relations
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.

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

9/10     Ashtabula , Ohio Safety Council
9/15     Int'l. Bridge, Tunnel & Toll Conference
9/17     Hardin County, Ohio Safety Council
9/18     Texas Assisted Living Association
9/23     American Bar Association
9/24     Beachwood, Ohio Chamber of Commerce
9/24     Southern Buckeye, Ohio Safety Council
9/28     Salem, Ohio Chamber of Commerce
10/6     City of Green, Ohio 
10/8     Nat'l Aging Services Risk Mgt. Conf.
10/12    Am. Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
10/13     Ohio Entertainment Safety Council
10/14     Akron Women's Network
10/22     LeadingAge - Ohio
10/22     Athena - Akron, Ohio
10/28     Putnam County, Ohio Safety Council
11/4       Safety Council of Greater Columbus
11/8       Ohio School Board Association
11/13     Maryland State Bar Association
11/18     Summit County, Ohio Safety Council
12/1       Wood County, Ohio Safety Council
12/2       Highland-Fayette-Clinton Safety Cncl.
12/8       Cleveland Metro Bar Association
12/11     Denver/Colorado State Bar Assoc.
12/14     Akron, Ohio 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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