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Crisis Management Today

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

Caution - School
One More Crisis Communications Challenge For Educators: The 2020 Election
By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications
A few months into a school year unlike any other, administrators and teachers have been challenged to figure out: how to reopen safely; whether to have in-person classes, virtual classes or a hybrid; how to get students to and from school; whether and how to have sports and other extracurriculars – and much more.  Now, they just have to survive the election season amid an extraordinarily tense, socially and politically charged atmosphere – while remembering well the challenges from the 2016 election.
Tabletop Drill
You Have a Crisis Communications Plan. Now It’s Time to Test It with a Tabletop Drill.
By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications
Does your company or organization have a crisis communications plan? If so, have you ever actually used that plan? If not, it’s time to test that plan with a tabletop drill.  An exercise like this is the best way to find out if there are gaps in the plan. Road-testing your crisis plan in advance will help ensure it actually works and that everyone responsible for managing a crisis event knows what to do.
Cats Sleeping With Dogs: How Lawyers and Crisis Communicators Can Work Together
By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications
Attorneys have persuasive arguments for tailoring a strategy completely around that court of law. Staying out of jail or avoiding paying multimillion-dollar lawsuit damages are, after all, powerful motivators. But saving your reputation also should be a powerful motivator – especially since a reputation is a crucial asset.
Media & the Law
The Intersection of Law & the Media
The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and Hennes Communications are proud to present The Intersection of Media & the Law. This all-new, 11-part series will take a deeper look at some of the many ways in which law and media interact. Guest speakers include David Yost, Ohio Attorney General, New York Times Supreme Court Reporter Adam Liptak, reporters from Bloomberg, CBS and other news outlets to rarely heard outside the classroom professors from Cleveland’s two law schools. Based on headlines right out of today’s news, these programs are not to be missed! The programs in this series will be live on the Zoom platform. Attorneys and non-attorneys are welcome to attend.

In the News

Pence-Harris Debate
5 Communication Lessons From The Harris-Pence Debate
As we always tell our clients, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. So how did Vice-President Pence and Senator Kamala Harris use their hands, voice, face and eyes to effectively communicate their messages? Knowing how to take advantage of every tool in the communication tool box can increase your success in persuading others to follow -- and convince audiences to support your ideas, proposals, plans and agendas.
Tough Conversations
How Leaders Can Navigate Politicized Conversations and Inspire Collaboration
Text New research sheds light on implications of using politically correct and incorrect speech and identifies five techniques to increase persuasiveness and diffuse conflict. Insights from two recent studies in an emerging field—the psychology of conversation—are aimed at organizational leaders interested in improving their conversation styles to create higher quality collaboration.
Leader Falls Ill
When a Leader Falls Ill: How to Communicate
We live in a time where coronavirus does not discriminate. No matter where you are on the corporate ladder or systemic food chain, it can find you. How an organization decides to communicate when a leader takes ill, and who will serve as a temporary spokesperson or leader is of utmost importance. 
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.

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

10/12    Am. Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
10/13     Ohio Entertainment Safety Council
10/14     Akron Women's Network
10/15     New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers
10/16     Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
10/20     Nat'l. Aeronautics & Space Admin. (NASA)
10/22     LeadingAge - Ohio
10/22     Athena - Akron, Ohio
10/27     Palm Beach, FLA Business Breakfast
10/28     Putnam County, Ohio Safety Council
10/28     Ohio Assoc. of Secondary School Admins
10/29     Ohio Automobile Dealers Association
10/30     Ohio School Boards Association

11/4       Safety Council of Greater Columbus
11/5       Columbiana County Health Dept.
11/8       Ohio School Board Association
11/10     Ohio Municipal League
11/13     Maryland State Bar Association
11/17     Ohio Association of County Boards
11/18     Summit County, Ohio Safety Council
11/18     Ottawa County, Ohio Safety Council
12/1       Wood County, Ohio Safety Council
12/2       Highland-Fayette-Clinton Safety Cncl.
12/7       Ohio Health Care Associatin
12/8       Cleveland Metro Bar Association
12/11     Denver/Colorado State Bar Assoc.
12/14     Akron, Ohio Bar Association
12/17     Cincinnati Bar Association
12/28     Ohio State 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

You have a situation.
We have a strategy.
Because the Court of Public Opinion is always in session.
The Hennes Communications Team

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