Email not displaying correctly? View in your browser.
Hennes Communications Logo

Crisis Management Today

Hennes Communications
Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
April 15, 2021
For a better mobile phone viewing experience,
please turn your phone sideways and "load all images."
Reminder: Do not FORWARD this email, because if your recipient clicks on the "unsubscribe" link near the bottom of this newsletter, it'll be your subscription that's unsubscribed. Instead, please use the SHARE THIS NEWSLETTER link below.

Our Perspective

Lawyers Should Not Rewrite Crisis Communications
By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
A lawyers’ first response may be to worry about the company’s legal liability, preferring not say too much or to be defensive. But a lawyer whose first response in a crisis is to protect the company’s legal position may (eventually) win the legal case, but could well have already lost the reputational argument. Most companies can withstand a major financial impact, but a reputational disaster will take years to recover from.
Social Media
Lessons From a School on Handling Social Media Crises
By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications
Does your organization have a plan in place to respond to a crisis – and does that plan include the lightning-fast response now required on social media? If not, you can gamble your organization or your client will never face a firestorm on social media like the one faced by this school. But when your reputation is your greatest uninsured asset, that’s a not a gamble we’d recommend.
Peloton Treadmill
“Use As Directed” Isn’t Just a Lawyer-Mandated Slogan
By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
Just a few days ago, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned consumers to immediately stop using the popular Peloton Tread+ treadmill after reports of injuries to children and pets, including the unfortunate death of one child. Allowing no time to lapse, Peloton concurrently issued its own statement, stressing the importance of safety but disagreeing with the CPSC’s call not to use the product in homes with pets or small children. Do you think Peloton handled the situation well? Here's our take.

Guest Column - Peter Sandman

CDC logo
Resuscitating CDC’s Reputation
Once again, we highlight the work of Dr. Peter Sandman, one of the country’s preeminent experts on the subject of risk communications. In this piece, Dr. Sandman writes about what the CDC needs to do to regain public trust in talking about coronavirus, the tug-of-war between science and politics and the avoidance of hubris. As is always the situation with Dr. Sandman’s writings, there are lessons here not just for the CDC but for any organization that seeks the public trust.

In the News

Stay Out of Politics
Taking a Stand: How and When Should Companies Speak Out on Political Issues?
When the nation was riveted by protests over police killings, should companies have added their voices to the discussion? Should every company have an official and public position on sustainability? Questions like these are arising with increasing frequency, as companies find themselves under pressure to speak out on issues that some might consider political. To answer them, companies need to evaluate whether to respond to an issue, what form the response should take, and who should deliver it.
Johnson & Johnson
How Johnson & Johnson Could Regain Public’s Trust In Covid Vaccine Crisis
The decision to put the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine on pause in the U.S. after six cases of blood clotting were linked to women who took the shot has forced the company to deal with yet another crisis situation. Is there a Crisis Comm Playbook for this situation?
Founding Mothers of NPR
Reflections on My Days Working With the ‘Founding Mothers’ of NPR
With National Public Radio (NPR) approaching its 50th anniversary and the release of the book “susan, linda, nina & cokie” about NPR broadcasters Susan Stamberg, Linda Wertheimer, Nina Totenberg and Cokie Roberts, here's an article by Richard Harris about “The Founding Mothers of NPR.” Harris worked at NPR for years with those groundbreaking women and offers his personal account.
Ten Things You Need to Know As a Woman In-House Lawyer
For our attorney friends who serve as in-house legal counsel, one of our favorite writers on that particular niche of the legal community is Sterling Miller, who regularly writes his “Ten Things You Need to Know…about a variety of topics. He turned his latest column over to a friend who writes about the “Ten Things You Need to Know As a Woman In-House Lawyer.” Female, male, non-binary or otherwise, it’s worth the read.
Viral vaccine stories
Few Facts, Millions Of Clicks: Fearmongering Vaccine Stories Go Viral Online
The odds of dying after getting a COVID-19 vaccine are virtually nonexistent. According to recent data from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, you're three times more likely to get struck by lightning. But you might not know that from looking at your social media feed. A new NPR analysis finds that articles connecting vaccines and death have been among the most highly engaged with content online this year, going viral in a way that could hinder people's ability to judge the true risk in getting a shot.


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

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

If you like this newsletter, why not share it
with your friends and colleagues using the Share This Link below?

Please don't do a FORWARD - if that person clicks on 
unsubscribe, it will be you that gets unsubscribed.
    Our New Seminars

Social Media and the Courts: A New Frontier

There have been more “trials of the century” than we have had centuries. This seminar explores why trials have been big news for decades, but also how profoundly coverage of those trials has changed with the digital revolution in communications - and what lawyers need to know about it. Topics include: a brief history of high-profile media coverage of trials – and the sudden, recent change in how the coverage works; how and why social media are now crucial for journalists and why you must understand “iterative reporting”; social media’s impact on jurors and court rulings; the scarcity of research on how social media and digital journalism impact witnesses and trials overall; pros and cons of social media and digital journalism in trial coverage.

Getting to the Truth: How to Detect Fake News
Fake news is not new news. But in the digital media era, when information – true and false – travels in seconds, fake news has become a prevalent challenge in society. This seminar delves into the history of fake news, explores how we are living through a second coming of Yellow Journalism and provides practical tips for how to recognize fake news – and avoid spreading it.

       Blunt Talk
I often say that good crisis management is good decision-making under stress. I never assign blame in a crisis. There is no benefit to doing so. In my experience, the public will forgive mistakes, provided they are acknowledged promptly and a remedial course of action is articulated.

Steven Fink
    Our New Seminars

Crisis Communications For Educators Amid a Pandemic of Crises
The echo chamber of social media. A tense, politically charged national landscape. And the Covid- 19 
pandemic. Learn how to help protect your school’s reputation in one of the most challenging communications atmospheres imaginable.

Crisis Communications and Your School in the Social Media Era
Social media is now where your school’s reputation, earned over hard years of accomplishment, can be shattered in minutes. Learn best practices for effective crisis management on social media, including applying the fundamentals of effective crisis communications; using social media before the crisis; threat assessment and response; leveraging social media to your advantage; and specific action steps to help protect your reputation.

Crisis Communications and Social Media for Public Officials
For elected and public officials, social media represents special challenges – and special opportunities. Accessibility, information-sharing and gauging public interest are easier and more convenient than ever before. As are the opportunities to criticize, organize opposition and spread misinformation. And when a crisis hits, it will play out on social media. This seminar will help participants understand the influence of social media – and how it’s only going to grow. How public officials can use social media to the benefit of their organizations and constituents. And you’ll explore how to apply the best practices of effective crisis management on social media in a public setting.

For information about these new seminars, contact Thom Fladung, managing partner, Hennes Communications at 216-321-7774

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.

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

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.

Business advisers increasingly understand that the Court of Public Opinion is often as important, if not more so, than the Court of Law, especially with more than 95% of civil cases never going to trial, according to most estimates. And that approach increases among business advisers who understand their clients’ business models and want to offer holistic advice, rather than serving in a narrower or even transactional capacity.

If you have a crisis on your hands or an issue looming and you need communications help, the best questions can get you to the best answer:
  • Can the communications or PR firm share a list of named clients involving crisis communications or issues management?
  • Can you get a list of case studies that describe, in some detail, what the firm did for clients facing a similar situation to yours?
  • Ask for the firm’s experience with crisis situations involving social media. Today, reputations built over years can be shattered in minutes on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Ask for specifically who you’ll be working with on a day-to-day basis, their experience and examples of similar situations they’ve worked on.
  • Ask if the firm writes crisis communication plans and what goes into those plans. Even if you don’t need a plan right now – or don’t have time to build one – you’ll learn how deeply the firm is immersed in crisis communications.
  • Ask what kind of training the firm provides.
  • And, perhaps, the most important question: What percentage of the firm’s overall work would be considered “crisis” work? If the answer is 10%, 20% – even 50% – think about whether you want communications about your crisis in the hands of a firm doing something else half the time or more.
Finally, remember: you can’t use communications to “spin” your way out of a crisis. That’s Hollywood. In the real world, you’ll get called on it and your crisis will get worse.

Our best advice: don’t hire a firm that tries to spin its own story.

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.

As the coronavirus situation begins to abate, we now offer this training in-person on a select basis or via Zoom and other video platforms.  Please call for details



Upcoming Speaking Events

4/20         Association of Certified Fraud Examin.
4/20         Ohio School Boards Association
4/22         Council of School Attorneys
5/5           Youngstown Safety Council
5/10         Fairlawn Area Chamber of Comm.
5/11         Ohio State Bar Association
5/12         LeadingAge - Oregon
5/19         LeadingAge Colorado
5/20         CPA Firm Management Association
6/16         Knox County Safety Council
6/29         Ohio Assisted Living Association
7/20         Southern Ohio Safety Council

8/6           LeadingAge Ohio
9/22         Fire & Emergency Manufacturers
                & Services Association (Tampa)

10/19        Winding Riv. Mg. Partner Bootcamp
11/2          Winding Riv. Mg. Partner Bootcamp

If you'd like to bring us in to speak at a conference or 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

Quick Links

Meet Our Team
Newsletter Archive
Friend, Follow or Email Us
Our Facebook page
Our Twitter feed
Check us out on LinkedIn
Send us email
Share This Newsletter
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
Update Your Profile/Email Address | Unsubscribe