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Crisis Management Today

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

Think like a newsroom
Your Company Must Think and Act Like a Newsroom. Your Reputation Depends on it.
By Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications
Think of your company as a newsroom to protect and nurture your organization’s reputation. You must be out there, truthfully and transparently, with any company news – good or bad – before your detractors commandeer the media and before the Twitter trolls trend.  When you control you own narrative, you control the trajectory of your story.
PR Firms vs. Crisis Firms.  Is There a Difference?  Does It Really Matter?
By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
Virtually every public relations firm in the U.S. lists "crisis communications" as one of their specialties.  But if your organization is facing a reputational challenge likely to have long-term implications, there are 7 questions you should ask in order to determine the breadth and depth of the firm's real expertise so you can avoid placing your organization's largest uninsured asset - its reputation - in the hands of a firm that is, as they say in Texas, "All hat. No horse."  
Mergers & Acquisitions
Mergers, Acquisitions and Management Transitions: Using Crisis Communications Principles to Achieve Better Outcomes
By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications
If you can see it coming days, weeks or months ahead of time, it's not a crisis.  It's an issue.  And if you manage that issue using the same techniques we use to manage crisis situations, you can stop that issue from becoming a crisis.  
Critical Race Theory
Inside Critical Race Theory: Shedding Light on a Hot Topic
The “debate” over critical race theory – really, more often a shouting match – shows no sign of ending soon. This decades-old theory has turned school board meetings into battlegrounds, and in higher education, the term has been tangled up in tenure battles. Stephanie York, VP of Hennes Communications and host of Forum 360 on PBS, recently welcomed as her guest Professor Brant Lee, J.D., assistant dean for diversity and social justice initiatives at the University of Akron School of Law to talk about critical race theory, what it means and what it doesn’t. 
Akros Network
Akros Network - Specialists in HR Training, Ethics, Safety, Compliance and Communications Form One-Stop Shop
Four industry leading firms (including Hennes Communications) that specialize in the critical building blocks of successful organizations have formed a network giving employers one place to go for answers to high-risk workplace issues including security and safety measures, ethics and fraud reporting, human resources compliance and employment law training, crisis and issues communication and more.

In the News

Threats Rarely Work: A PR Lesson from HBO’s ‘Succession’
In season 2, episode 6, a magazine writer approaches the leaders of fictitious Waystar Royco with a story of sexual harassment and abuse within the company. The story could tank Waystar’s pending acquisition of a prized company.  Breaking every rule in the crisis comm playbook, the company stalls the reporter and threatens the publication with a lawsuit.  We see this quite often.  It seldom works and it often makes things worse.
Recognize the Signs of Terrorism-Related Suspicious Activity
Communicating Effectively With The Public About Terrorism In Crowded Places
Pre-event communication is often understood in terms of providing information about protective actions that can be taken when an event occurs. Pre-event communication in a counter-terror context also has the potential to prevent a terrorist attack from taking place. This article examines the impact of communication campaigns designed to encourage public vigilance and reporting on railways.
Aaron Rodgers
The Not-So-Jolly Aaron Rodgers Controversy’s PR Lessons
Aaron Rodgers arguably is the best quarterback in the National Football League, but also he is one of many athletes who should attend a PR 101 class.  A basic PR rule that Rodgers broke is never to lie or mislead the media. The Green Bay Packers’ star denies he did. Yet, his statements prove otherwise.
Astroworld Tragedy
Police Response to Astroworld Tragedy Shows Importance of Timing, Risk Management
In a PR crisis, communicators must work directly with management and other decision makers to plan ahead and then monitor media and social conversations closely. Sometimes you respond to them immediately, in other instances you don’t.  The many stories in the media since the tragedy raise questions that beg for answers.
John Dean
Tough Calls: Is Your Loyalty to the Person, Office or Organization?
A frequent concern at Hennes Communications before and during the work we do for clients is to make certain we understand who our client actually is.  In most situations, it’s an institution, organization or company – not necessarily the individual who hired us or signed the engagement letter. Many of our readers must make that same determination. When there are illegalities, when you see something that flies in the face of the written rules – or even unwritten corporate culture and values – where does loyalty lie? 
Projecting Leadership Presence in a Teleconference
Whenever you are speaking to an audience (whether customers, clients or colleagues), people won’t only be evaluating your words, they will be “reading” your voice. Listeners will be searching for clues to possible hidden agendas, concealed meanings, disguised emotions, undue stress – anything, in short, that will help them determine if they can rely on what you're telling them.


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.

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
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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.

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



Our Upcoming Speaking Events


Cleveland Metro Bar Association
12/7          City of Avon
12/9          Richland County Safety Council
12/13        Cleveland Metro Bar Association
12/16        Cleveland Metro Bar Association
                  Leadership Academy


  Thom Fladung, Bruce Hennes & Stephanie York

1/5             Colorado State Bar Association/
                  Denver Bar Association
1/14           OH State Bar Leadership Academy
1/19           Society of Financial Services Prof's
3/18           American Bar Association - BLI
4/9             Gov't. Academy Conference/OSU
4/20           Ashland Area Safety Council

Crisis Leadership
The Skill Set That Got You Into Your Current Leadership Position
Isn't the Skill Set You Will Need When It Hits the Fan
It’s a simple fact:
Controversies today are tried in the Court of Public Opinion 

more often than in the Court of Law. 

News now breaks first on social media, with traditional media sweeping Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for leads. Whether your organization is immersed in crisis or dealing with a hot-button issue, your news can quickly “go viral.” Since it takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only a few seconds to destroy one, “managing the message” is a necessary skill set for executives, attorneys and public officials in virtually every business sector.  

Our fast-paced seminars, delivered by veteran crisis management and communications specialists Bruce Hennes, Thom Fladung and Stephanie York, all focus on highly strategic approaches to communicating during a wide variety of situations, enabling you to serve the needs of your stakeholders, move your message forward or mount a defense against a sudden onslaught from traditional or social media. 

If you'd like to bring us in to speak at a conference or to your organization, virtually or in-person, as a keynote, for your practice group, as a value-add for your existing clients or as a new business development event, please give us a call at 216-321-7774 or drop us a line at  For a select list of previous seminar sponsors, click here.
Attorney Seminars
  • Crisis Management & Crisis Communications for Attorneys & Their Clients
  • Crisis Communications and Social Media for Attorneys & Public Officials
  • Winning on Social Media: Crisis Management in an Echo Chamber
  • Social Media and the Courts: A New Frontier
  • Getting to the Truth: How to Detect Fake News
Education Seminars
  • Crisis Management & Crisis Communications for Education Officials & Their Attorneys
  • Crisis Communications and Your School in the Social Media Era
  • Crisis Communications For Educators Amid a Pandemic of Crises
  • A Public Schools Social Media Primer: Risks, Rewards & Recognizing Fake News 
Elder Care & Health Care Seminars
  • Crisis Management & Crisis Communications for Health Care Executives & Attorneys
  • Crisis Communications For Health Care Executives Amid a Pandemic of Crises
  • Mergers, Acquisitions & Management Transitions: Using Crisis Communications Principles to Achieve Better Outcomes
We often craft our "signature seminar," Crisis Management & Crisis Communications, to the specific needs of the sponsoring organization.  Recently, we've done this seminar for a wide variety of trade associations, public utilities, accounting firms, nonprofits, safety councils and government officials.  

NOTE:  All of the seminars listed above are typically one-hour long, though some of them lend themselves to a 90-minute or two-hour format.  We also have a 4-hour seminar that includes "extreme" crisis communications, aimed at elected officials, police and fire chiefs, often done in partnership with local emergency management agencies and boards of health.

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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