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Crisis Management Today

Hennes Communications
Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
March 15, 2022
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Our Perspective

Arguing Attorneys
Make the Case to Defend Yourself in the Court of Public Opinion
By Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications
We leave litigation to lawyers. Always have and always will. Our concern is defending our client’s reputation in the Court of Public Opinion. The place where media headlines in screaming 40-point font invariably parrot the most sensational aspects of court filings. The old days of responding with a terse “…our company does not comment on pending litigation” may be a tried-and-true litigation tactic, but it will do little to mitigate reputational damage wrought by negative media coverage, reputation-battering social media scorn, and the possibility of years of negative Google key word search returns. 
FBI Cybercrime Division
Joint Message From the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Regarding the Russia-Ukraine Conflict
Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a private meeting with a group of CEO’s to hear the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Cleveland, Ohio office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, talk about cybersecurity.  The main takeaway was this plea:  If your organization is hacked, you should immediately notify the FBI and CISA.  Even if you think your situation is minor and hardly noteworthy in comparison to the kind of cyberbreaches against hospitals, schools and power utilities that make the news.

Featured Columnist - Tony Jaques

Who Should Take the Lead in a Crisis?
Which management discipline should play the lead role when a crisis threatens reputation? This question sometimes exercises the minds of lawyers and communicators.  The rise of social media has increased the danger of getting it wrong and the costly consequences for reputation. Yet the argument continues about who should take the lead in a crisis.  Some have argued the chief legal officer is “uniquely positioned within the organization to lead this effort.  A lawyer’s viewpoint is well suited for reputational risk arising in legal cases. But most reputational crises are not necessarily about legal cases and require an understanding of broad stakeholder expectations, which is indisputably the realm of public relations or corporate communicators.

In the News

I Need Ammunition, Not a Ride
Zelensky Shows the Power of Persuasion During Time of Crisis
Whether he is reporting news in cryptic sound bites on Twitter or speaking from a gloomy subterranean bunker or darkened streets, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to demonstrate the enormous impact of harnessing powerful messages and sharing them with the right tone and authority.  In addition to his undeniable bona fide leadership skills, Zelensky is also providing a master class in strategic communications
Women Leaders
How Crises Affect Law Firm Leaders — and Some Helpful Resources
As a company leader, you've been spending time learning new ways to lead in what has become the new normal and searching for resources to share with your team and clients.  Here are resources and takeaways worth sharing.
McDonalds in Moscow
The Reputational Risks Of Doing Business In Russia
As hundreds of global brands pull out of Russian operations, reputation management specialists outline the considerations and risks of corporate action in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
The Best Guide to Spotting Misinformation Online
We all know it's wrong to pass along misinformation.  But how do you know, really know, what's real?  Was that photo doctored?  What's the source of that information?  If there's a better guide to spotting misinformation online, we've not yet seen it.  Please, read this and if you agree, make sure you pass it along to friends, family and colleagues.
Speaking in Public with Mask
Five Tips for Presenting When You’re Wearing a Mask
At meetings in large spaces or with a designated stage, event speakers might have the luxury of taking off their face coverings when they’re presenting. But depending on the space, the speaker, and the public health situation, presenters might need to pull off an engaging talk with only half of their faces visible. It’s possible—but it’s not easy. There’s also the issue of accessibility, as people with hearing impairments can’t rely on lip reading to follow along. 
Consider these tips to present effectively with a mask on and remain inclusive to all members of your audience.
Fighting Putin’s Propaganda: Narrative Response Toolkit
In this report you’ll find some simple narrative and content recommendations to fight Putin’s propaganda. This Counter Narrative Campaign development disinformation response strategy looks at disinformation not through the lens of facts vs lies, but as competing narratives. 
How Journalists Decide Which Images from Ukraine are Too Awful to Publish
The scene was ghastly. Four people lay sprawled on the pavement in the immediate aftermath of a mortar strike on civilians fleeing a Ukrainian town Sunday morning. A mother and two children were already dead as soldiers knelt over a man who had been with the family, frantically trying to save him as he took his last breaths.  A New York Times photographer approached from behind a nearby building and aimed her camera. Like many war images, Lynsey Addario’s photo of the dead and dying was never guaranteed to be published. Newsrooms have for decades been cautious when it comes to displaying such graphic images, weighing the journalistic benefits of chronicling the horror against the distress it might cause readers and the victims’ families.
Cleveland International Film Festival
You Don't Have to Live in Cleveland to Attend the Cleveland International Film Festival
Are you tired of what's offered on Netflix, HBO and Prime?  The 46th Annual Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF46) will take place March 30 – April 9, 2022 at its new home at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland, followed by CIFF46 Streams,, April 10 – 17, 2022 on the CIFF streaming platform. The in-person Festival will showcase 146 feature films and 182 short films representing 73 countries during its 11-day run. CIFF46 Streams will present nearly two-thirds of the in-person lineup over its eight-day run (note: most of the streamed films can be viewed from anywhere in the U.S., but some are restricted to viewers only from OH, MI, PA & IN).      

Tickets for CIFF Members go on sale Friday, March 11, 2022 @ 11:00 AM ET and to the general public on Friday, March 18, 2022 @ 11:00 AM ET.  For information about purchasing tickets and descriptions of all of the films, click here.  

Hennes Communications is a proud sponsor of CIFF46.  As such, please use our discount code, SPONSOR46, for $1 off each ticket.
Got a Minute?

Daylight Savings and the Politics of Time 
Pocket Collections

All the Stories Nominated - 2022 National Magazine Awards 

How to Read the Doomsday Clock 
BBC Future

The Secret MVP of Sports - Port-a-Potty


In Case You Missed It
Mergers, Acquisitions and Management Transitions: Using Crisis Communications Principles to Achieve Better Outcomes

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

PR Firms vs. Crisis Firms.  Is There a Difference?  Does It Really Matter?

Projecting Leadership Presence in a Teleconference

The Six Essential Rules for Lawyers Dealing with Reporters

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

Searchable Archive of Crisis Management and Crisis Communications Articles from Hennes Communications
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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, before a hostile audience uncoached or into any situation where it's important for you to project executive presence.

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 216-321-7774 for details.



Our Upcoming Speaking Events

3/18     American Bar Association - BLI
4/6       Cleveland State University - Marshall
            School of Law

4/9       Gov't. Academy Conference/OSU
4/12     Idaho Sheriff's Association Conference

4/20     Ashland Area Safety Council
5/6       Cleveland State Univ., College of
            Urban Affairs, Newly-Elected
            Officials Seminar

5/11     Ohio Health Care Association
5/23     Winding River Managing Partner
            Boot Camp

  Thom Fladung, Bruce Hennes & Stephanie York
6/22     Preparing Public Leaders to Effectively
            Lead in a Crisis, Ohio Public-Private
            Partnership, Ohio Dept. of Public
            Safety, Ohio Dept. of Homeland
            Security, Ohio University, Ohio State

6/29     Lake County Bar Association
10/24   Winding River Managing Partner
             Boot Camp

Crisis Leadership
The skill set that got you into your current leadership position
isn't the skill set you're going to need when it hits the fan.

It's a simple fact:

Controversies today are tried in the Court of Public Opinion
more often than 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.  Many of our seminars also address "non-crisis" situations (e.g. management changes, mergers & acquisitions, program expansions, presenting with executive presence and creating relationships with members of the 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, for a section luncheon, 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
  • Tools, Tips & Tactics - Responding to Sensationalized Journalism
  • Projecting Leadership & Executive Presence
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 
  • Projecting Leadership & Executive Presence
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
  • Projecting Leadership & Executive Presence
Our "signature seminar," Crisis Management & Crisis Communications, can easily be crafted to be relevant to the specific needs of your organization or industry.  For details, please give us a call at the number above.

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 offer 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.
The Hennes Communications Team
See Something - Say Something

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