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Crisis Management Today

Hennes Communications
Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
January 1, 2021
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Our Perspective

FDR's Fireside Chats
Come What May, All Bad Fortune Is to be Conquered by Endurance.
Guest Column by Annie Searle
Annie Searle is an internationally known expert in operational risk management, with extensive experience in the financial, IT and business sectors.  Given events of the past year, we thought the piece she wrote for her own newsletter did a nice job of summing up what most agree was annis horribilus.  In fact, we liked it so much we asked for her permission to run it in toto as a guest column.  
COVID-19 Vaccine
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Guest Column by Dr. Peter Sandman 
Given mixed, confusing and contradictory messages coming from government officials, public health experts and the media about the pandemic and the vaccine, we felt it necessary to provide our clients with guidance for what to say to their employees and other stakeholders.  To that end, we asked Dr. Peter Sandman, one of the country’s preeminent experts on the subject of “risk communication,” to offer learned guidance.  Sandman was one of the authors of the industry bible, “Crisis Emergency & Risk Communication,” the 450-page guide published by the CDC. Especially given the likelihood that things will get worse before they get better, it’s up to organizational leadership to speak and write clearly and consistently on this important subject.  We hope this article helps.
COVID-19 Vaccine

Right now, nursing homes, schools, companies, nonprofits and government agencies are considering whether to encourage employee COVID-19 vaccination –
or whether to mandate employee vaccination. 
Ultimately, that decision should be made in consultation with your attorney, medical professionals and H.R. people.
As you consider all of the variables (e.g., who gets vaccinated, privacy issues, collective bargaining agreements, religious considerations and exceptions and cost implications), how you communicate those policies and decisions must be included in your deliberations.

Hennes Communications is already working with organizations to help them communicate with their employees and other stakeholders.  We can help you do that, too.  For more information, please call 216-321-7774.
Be Prepared !
Resolve to Combat Crisis Communication Chaos in 2021
By Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications
COVID-19 catapulted client after client into chaos this year. They were all unprepared to talk about it. After all, who plans to talk about a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic? You can steel your organization for crises in 2021 by making just a few modest planning and preparation investments.

In the News

Kill Switch
Why You Need a Social Media Kill Switch During a Crisis
Everyone, no matter the organization or its size, needs a mechanism to silence its social media publishing during a crisis. Or as Temeka Easter Rice, Sallie Mae’s director of brand engagement, calls it, a “kill switch that will prevent any brand or marketing messages from being published on your social media sites.”
Crisis Management Lessons Learned From the 2020 Political Scene That Can Apply To Any Organization
The 2020 political scene offered a master class in do’s and don’ts that can be applied to any organization. As we approach the inauguration of a new president, here are some of the most important lessons from the campaign (and a few from previous campaigns) that elected Joe Biden.
Ten Things You Need to Know As...
Ten Things You Need to Know As...
Sterling Miller is an attorney.  His blog, Ten Things You Need to Know As In-House Counsel, is always interesting, even to outside counsel – and to the non-attorneys on our staff, too.  We subscribe to his newsletter to make certain we don’t miss his takes on such things as How to Fire Someone, How to Be Indispensible, Cool Tech, Preparing Board Minutes and other subjects, always with a “Ten Things” framework helping specialists become better generalists.
Studio at the Bar
Studio at the Bar
We are sometimes asked by smaller companies, small law firms and solo entrepreneurs for assistance with their social media marketing, graphic design, video shoots and live-streamed events.  While we indeed handle video productions for our clients, usually in conjunction with our other services, we often refer those requests to a number of freelancers whose work we’re familiar with, which we intend to continue doing.  Today, however, we bring to your attention Studio at the Bar.  The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association has created this in-house agency to handle a variety of these services, at a competitive price – and it’s available to non-attorneys and non-members of the bar association.


In Case You Missed It
Tips for Better Video Calls.  No More Looking Like You're in a Hostage Video.  The BEST Guide to the Subject You'll Ever Read.

Lots of PR Firms Sell Their Crisis Work – Let The Buyer Beware

3 Ways to Get Your Point Across While Wearing a Mask

What Should Crisis Leadership Look Like? (Guest Columnist Peter Neffenger, former director, National Transportation Administration)

Searchable Archive of Crisis Management and Crisis Communications Articles from Hennes Communications

Cats Sleeping With Dogs: How Lawyers and Crisis Communicators Can Work Together

Lessons in Law Firm Reputation Management: How Firm Leaders Should Prepare for Public Scrutiny When Representing Political Clients

Short Takes

Time Capsule  Type in any date and get a digest of news headlines, top song titles and other timely factoids covering that era. 

How PEZ Evolved from an Anti-Smoking Tool to a Beloved Collector's Item  Smithsonian Magazine

Former FBI Agent Breaks Down Political Body Language

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Happy New Year

Hennes Communications was founded 32 years ago.  The newsletter you're reading turns 19 today.  For the last 19 years, it's been our tradition at the start of each new year to devote this section to "Best Of's" for the past year and other fond look-backs.  We're hard-pressed to make this section this year that "fond look-back," so instead, we present to you a mixed-bag of quirky links from our list of eclectic interests - and maybe some of yours, too.  So, as they say, sit back, turn those speakers up loud and enjoy the ride.  But first: 

The Best TV News Bloopers of 2020

Some of the Best TV Commercials of 2020

We've always said that some of the best examples of story-telling can be found in TV commercials.  Just like a great novella or essay, the form itself shapes the art.  Here are examples that will grab and perhaps shake you up.  If you have a favorite or two, please let us know.  Think about this, too.  When telling a story, it's often less about the facts - and more about the narrative.  So when it becomes necessary to tell yours, will you?  Can you?

LeBron James & Lily Team Up for a Little Love

Alaska Airlines Safety Dance

Take Care of Yourself

Cox Presents Full of Love

Google - Year in Search 2020

Stephan Curry - A Gift of Joy

The Holiday Beerman

Burberry Singing in the Rain

Global Oreo Survival Vault

Coca-Cola Christmas 2020

The Beatles: Get Back - A Sneak Peek from Peter Jackson

Some of the Best the Media Had to Offer in 2020

The Top Articles of 2020 by The New Yorker

The Best Movies of 2020 by Rotten Tomatoes

The Best Books of 2020 by National Public Radio

The Best Podcasts of 2020 by The Atlantic

Happy New Year

Things You Should Not Have Done in 2020

Synchronized Walking
Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon
Ohio State Marching  Band

Drumline Battle
Official Hot Scots Drum Line
Rockettes Toy Soldiers
A Chorus Line – Closing Number
The Nicholas Brothers
Uptown Funk

Something You Should Have Done in 2020

Gene Kelly – Singin’ in the Rain

              Bruce Hennes Receives
                 National Law Review
      “Go-To Thought Leader” Award

              Honoring Excellence in
           Legal Thought Leadership


Bruce M. Hennes, CEO of Hennes Communications, one of the few firms in North America focused exclusively on crisis management and crisis communications, was named as a “Go-To Thought Leader” by the National Law Review.
This award recognizes 71 exceptional legal authors selected from a pool of over 20,000 legal news articles published by the National Law Review in 2020.  Those honored wrote relevant, consistent and well-thought-out legal news.  The award committee also considered pieces quoted or cited by other publications and media. 
The National Law Review is a daily legal news website with a mission to provide objective and practical news and analysis.  They are  the online descendant of a legal publication tracing its roots back to 1888.  It is one of the highest volume legal news websites in the U.S., averaging 2 million readers each month. 


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

1/11        Denver Bar Assoc & Colorado State
               State Bar Association

1/14        Miami County Safety Council
1/26        Tiffin Area Safety Council
1/27         Davis Graham & Stubbs (Denver)
1/29         OH State Bar Leadership Academy

2/6           Ashland Univ. Leadership Academy
2/16         Ohio State Bar Association
2/17         Fostoria Safety Council

2/24         Dade County (Miami) Bar Assoc.
3/15         Intown Club
3/17        Jefferson County Safety Council
3/18         Logan County Safety Council
3/18         American Bar Association (Chicago)
4/2           Phillips Law Firm (Cincinnati)
4/4           American Public Power Association
4/14         American Public Power Association
5/12         Winding River M.P. Bootcamp
5/13         CPA Firm Mgmt. Association
5/19         Winding River M.P. Bootcamp 
6/9           Winding River M.P. Bootcamp (CHI)
9/22         Fire & Emergency Manufacturers
                & Services Association (Tampa)

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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