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Crisis Management Today

Hennes Communications
Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
June 15, 2021
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Our Perspective

Hey, Wait A Minute !
Hey ! Wait A Minute !
By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association has a new video series titled Hey ! Wait A Minute! Here, bar association members have a chance to say what's on their minds or teach a quick lesson in just sixty seconds or less (a skill set that is apparently not taught in law school). In this new video, Bruce talks about "The Court of Public Opinion."

Media Training
Media Training After COVID: Face-to-Face or Virtual?
By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications
It was exhilarating! For the first time after more than a year’s worth of COVID lockdown, we were about to facilitate an in-person media training for a client. My colleague and I were fully vaccinated. The trainees and their observers were fully vaccinated. We were ready to rock.  
Special Facebook Tools for Government Agencies and Nonprofits
By Stephanie York, J.D., Hennes Communications
It’s worth stating over and over - social media is your organization’s most important tool to disseminate information to your stakeholders amidst a crisis.  Facebook offers government organizations, political figures and non-profits certain tools that foster credibility and engagement, which can then result in increased reputation.  Here are a few simple tactics.
Attention: School Board Presidents, Superintendents & Education Attorneys
We are pleased to announce that Hennes Communications is now providing crisis management and crisis communications services to the Arizona School Boards Association, giving their members access to our team 365 days a year.  Those services include pre-crisis planning, 24/7 crisis response, crisis/media training, litigation communications support, communications audits and tabletop drills.  As was previously announced, the Ohio School Boards Association has a similar partnership with Hennes Communications to provide crisis management and communications services to public school systems throughout the State of Ohio that find themselves “on trial in the Court of Public Opinion.”

In the News

Stupid Sports Questions
Sports Writers Could Ditch the ‘Clown Questions’ and Do Better When it Comes to Press Conferences
LeBron James had enough.  During the press conference after Game 1 of the 2018 NBA finals, James was questioned repeatedly by ESPN’s Mark Schwartz about the mental state of teammate J.R. Smith, whose final-seconds rebounding blunder contributed to a Cleveland Cavaliers overtime loss.  Over 70 seconds and four questions, Schwartz probed for the inner workings of Smith’s mind, before James finally stood up, put on sunglasses, grabbed his briefcase and walked out through the gathered press corps. He uttered a single sentence: “Be better tomorrow.”
Using Your Hands While Speaking
This is What You Say When You Talk with Your Hands
Research shows that audiences tend to view people who use a greater variety of gestures in a more favorable light. Studies have found that people who communicate through active gesturing tend to be evaluated as warm, agreeable, and energetic, while those who remain still (or whose gestures seem mechanical or “wooden”) are seen as logical, cold, and analytic. To increase your influence and impact skills, it’s helpful to be aware of how your movements are most likely being perceived. Here are some common hand gestures and the messages you may be sending.
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
7 Things You Should Know About Guns
Guns are one of the most divisive topics in the U.S., so it’s crucial for journalists, and the public, to get the details right — down to the type and style of weapon discussed in order to have serious and substantive conversations.
When reporters make mistakes, audiences might see their work as sloppy or, worse, perceive errors as an effort to mislead. Regardless, when the news media get facts wrong, audiences — especially gun owners — might not trust the information they provide. To warn reporters about pitfalls they can encounter in covering guns and brief them on some basic terminology, we checked with two reporters with lots of experience writing about firearms.
What Makes a News Story Trustworthy? Americans Point to the Outlet that Publishes It, Sources Cited
Americans see a variety of factors as important when it comes to deciding whether a news story is trustworthy or not, but their attitudes vary by party affiliation, demographic characteristics and news consumption habits, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.
Our Searchable Archive of Articles
Need an idea or an article about crisis management, public speaking, the internet, social media or the scores of other topics we cover in the Crisis Management Today newsletter that you're looking at this very moment?  Or maybe you remember reading about something a few years ago but you can't remember when?  We've aggregated over 700 articles that previously appeared on our blog or in this newsletter - and they are now all keyword searchable.  Check it out here.


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

How to Negotiate with Ransomware Hackers  The New Yorker
What the Ephemerality of the Web Means for Your Hyperlinks Columbia Journalism Review
Basic Tips to Help PR Pros Combat Disinformation PR News

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Attention School Board Members,
Superintendents & Attorneys

The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) and the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) have each entered into a strategic partnership with Hennes Communications to provide crisis management and communications services to public school systems throughout the States of Ohio and Arizona facing sudden challenges to their organizations’ reputations and operations. With this partnership, OSBA and ASBA 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

6/16         Knox County Safety Council
6/16         Lorain County Safety Council
6/18         Cleveland State University
6/22         OH Schools Council / Greater Cleveland
                Schools Superintendents Association
6/29         OH Schools Council / Greater Cleveland
                Schools Superintendents Association
7/20         Ohio Assisted Living Association
7/20         Southern Ohio Safety Council
7/20         Southern Ohio Safety Council
8/6           LeadingAge Ohio
8/17         McCarthy Lebit
8/25         Ohio Health Care Association
8/26         State Bar of Arizona 
9/3           Northeast Lawyers Club
9/8           AZ School Boards Assoc. Law Conf.
9/10         AZ School Boards Assoc. Law Conf.
9/14         Ohio Trucking Association
9/21         FBI Nat'l. Academy, Ohio Chapter

9/22         Fire & Emergency Manufacturers
                & Services Association (Tampa)

9/23          Health Care Assoc. of Michigan

10/19        Winding Riv. Mg. Partner Bootcamp
10/24        American Public Power Association
10/24        LeadingAge National Conference
10/25        State Bar of Arizona
11/2          Winding Riv. Mg. Partner Bootcamp
11/8          Ohio School Boards Association
11/8          Ohio School Boards Association
11/11         CPA Firm Management Association
11/12         Catholic Diocese of Cleveland - 
                  Principal's Leadership Conference
12/7           Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Assoc.
12/15         Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Assoc.
1/19           Society of Financial Services Prof's
4/9             Gov't. Academy Conference/OSU

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

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