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Crisis Management Today

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

NFL Broadcast Boot Camp
A Training Camp with Microphones – N.F.L. Prepares Players for Broadcasting
Intro by Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications
Sebastian Joseph-Day, a former defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams, scrunched his face as he recognized his mistake.  Moments earlier, ahead of Joseph-Day’s practice rep as an analyst during the N.F.L.’s broadcaster boot camp last week, an instructor reminded him to remain unbiased and not say “we” or “us” as he described the action in a recorded Rams game.  Midway through the drill, an “us” slipped, but Joseph-Day recovered and finished the exercise cleanly.  The N.F.L. created the workshop 15 years ago, partly because players repeatedly asked for opportunities to develop as broadcasters, to network, and to make blunders in a controlled setting.
Summer Assignment
A Summer Assignment for Educators: Learn From the Pandemic
By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications
School leaders have earned the looming summer break. They now have lived through two school years – 2020-21 and 2021-22 –  unlike any others, featuring the continuation of a public health pandemic, the most hyper-charged political atmosphere in memory and social justice issues that roiled the nation.  Their reward: Start getting ready for 2022-23.
Industry Week
Ukraine Questions Global Automotive Giants’ Parts in Russian Military Vehicles
An IndustryWeek article reports a Ukrainian government official recently launched a social media campaign against some of the largest automotive supply companies in the world, saying that Ukrainian armed forces found parts from ZF, Bosch, Danfoss and other global suppliers on Russian military vehicles seized as Russia pummels its Western neighbor with rockets and artillery. In this article, Thom Fladung, managing partner of crisis communications company Hennes Communications, suggests a few basic tactics if a company has been called out on social media.
Thom Fladung Podcast
Building Your Online Reputation
By Thomas Fladung, Hennes Communications
If it’s time for you or your organization to dip your toe into the bubbling brook (or, perhaps more accurately, the roaring river) of social media, our very own Thom Fladung, managing partner at Hennes Communications, has some tips for you when you listen to Thom talk to Scott Gerfen from the Ohio School Boards Association on a short podcast.


In the News

The Role of the Board in Preparing for Extraordinary Risk
The pandemic has been a stark reminder for many organizations that they are insufficiently prepared for crises that could not merely destabilize them but put them out of business. Here, we look at the board’s role in ensuring readiness for such existential risks. 
The Power of a Simple Thank You Note
Saying “thank you” is simple – and powerful – but too often it’s also underrated and underused. Displays of gratitude can lay the foundation for a positive relationship with bosses, subordinates and co-workers. 
The Oscars
How Associations Should Review Event Policies in Light of the Oscars Slap
For event planners, the slapping incident at the Oscars highlighted the necessity of having a thorough emergency response plan and code of conduct in place. A meeting expert offers tips on reviewing your current event policies with this type of act in mind.
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.
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should
You Don’t Always Have To Share A ‘Hot Take’ On Social Media
It happens like clockwork: Something cataclysmic or unexpected occurs and we all rush online to read the hot takes. 
Speak with Confidence
How to Speak Out With Confidence
Taking a stand on social issues is a challenge, as Disney learned recently when critics accused it of wavering in its support of LGBTQ rights. CEOs have more freedom to speak out now—but advance planning is critical. 
Ukranian Flag
Law Firm Responses to War in Ukraine
The Russian invasion of Ukraine sheds new light on the pattern of law firms speaking out about social causes and events with significant societal implications. A law firm’s actions can have PR implications, particularly when it comes to what is or is not communicated to stakeholders and the media.
Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp’s Libel Case Proves All Press is Not Good Press
Choosing to defend your reputation — or to set the record straight — in a packed courtroom is rarely the best crisis communications strategy.
NBC News
Plan Your Vote – Guide to Voting in All 50 States
Everything you need to know about the voting rules where you live, including registration, mail-in voting, changes since 2020 and more.
Looking for a lunchtime section meeting speaker?

Recently, our team did a lunchtime meeting via Zoom for the Probate Section of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations.  The request was prompted by Britney Spears, issues of conservancy and how to correct misinformation in the media about that subject, as well as a broader discussion about how lawyers can - and should - do a better job of speaking to the public about their particular areas of expertise.  Probate matters aren't at all typical of the calls we receive, but we rose to the occasion - and it turned out to be an interesting and fascinating discussion for all of us.

We would welcome the opportunity to come to your next section meeting via Zoom to talk to your members about the intersection of the law, legacy media and social media.

Call Bruce Hennes at 216-978-2047 or email


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

Fighting Putin's Propaganda: Narrative Response Kit

Who Should take the Lead in a Crisis?

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 Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA), Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) and Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) 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, ASBA ,FSBA and OSBA 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, your top executives and managers how to communicate with power, mastering even the toughest interview, speech or presentation.  

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.

We offer this training in-person or via Zoom and other video platforms.  Call 216-321-7774 for details.



Our Upcoming Speaking Events

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
5/24     Winding River Managing Partner
            Boot Camp

6/8       Ohio Mayors Association 
6/8       National Society of Certified 
            Healthcare Business Consultants

6/9      Florida School Boards Association

  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

6/23     W. Virginia School Boards Association 
6/29     Lake County Bar Association
8/4       Greene County Educational Services
8/25      Eastern Stark County Safety Council
9/1        LeadingAge Ohio
10/25    Winding River Managing Partner
             Boot Camp

12/14    Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Assoc.

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.
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