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Crisis Management Today

Hennes Communications
Crisis Communications  |  Crisis Management  |  Litigation Communications  |  Media Training
July 1, 2022
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Our Perspective

Civil Unrest
Inform, Don’t Alarm – Communicating Before & During Civil Unrest
By Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications
Considering the Supreme Court’s epic Roe v. Wade decision, its decision to loosen New York City’s gun laws, unrelenting gun violence across the country and the prospect that the upcoming mid-term elections may result in the seizure of ballots in certain battleground states, emotions are likely to boil over and out of control. The possibility of civil unrest looms.
Police Barricade
Use Peacetime Wisely: Plan Now For What To Say And Do In A Crisis
By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
Public officials, CEOs, executive directors and members of for-profit and non-profit boards have a responsibility to their stakeholders to plan for situations that will imperil life, limb and the ability of their organizations to fulfill their missions. In the immediate aftermath of a major incident, such as a mass shooting at a mall, restaurant, school or a faith-based location, the lead spokesperson for that event will come from among local police chiefs, state and federal law enforcement officials. But “major incidents” (like civil disturbances, accusations of police misconduct, heat waves, winter storms, wildfires, tornadoes, cyberattacks and power outages) often turn into multi-day or multi-week events. That means it may fall to you to be the "communicator-in-chief" for days or even weeks following. Will you know what to do and what to say?
Social Media Icons
Surviving Social Media
By Thomas Fladung, Hennes Communications
The public school policy manual included this under the “Social Media Use” heading: “An employee’s personal or private use of social media may have unintended consequences.” You think? Consider a few “unintended consequences” of recent vintage involving public school representatives. 
Best/Worst of Times
Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst
By Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
Having a crisis consultant in your contact list is nice, but no substitute for having a plan in place. For companies and organizations, written, tested and ready-to-go business continuity plans should be  part of doing business. Typically, those plans include the step-by-step operational response procedures to follow in the event of disasters like fires, explosions, data breaches, accidents, product defects and, sadly but increasingly commonly, active shooter situations.

In the News

Pro-Life, Pro-Choice
The Next Big Decisions On Roe Are Up To Employers – Here Are Five Steps To Consider
Introduction by Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
The U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade leaves states to decide whether to restrict or ban abortion. And it leaves employers who provide healthcare plans deciding what to do and say about an issue that has separated the nation for decades.  An attorney described it this way for “It’s an administrative and potentially employee relations nightmare for employers.”
TV Satellite Trucks
Making Media the Enemy Amid an ‘Information Crisis’ Won’t Restore Public Trust
Introduction by Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications
Along with the sheer horror and heartbreaking tragedy of the massacre at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, we have been witness to an “information crisis,” in the words of Marc Duvoisin, editor in chief of the San Antonio Express-News.

As the Washington Post pointed out in a recent story, even basic information was unavailable for several hours after the shooting. As the Post reported, “There were no briefings by local police, no statements of facts about the events, and few, if any, returned calls. The first public address came not from local authorities, as is common after mass shootings, but from the Texas governor, several hours after the carnage ended.””
Flag & Gavel
Addressing Internal Communication After Roe v. Wade Ruling
The days of employee communication remaining internal are long gone. You’ll be prepared “if you always assume emails will be forwarded externally, internal town halls will be recorded and shared and updated policy handbooks will be leaked,” says Aubrey Quinn, COO, Clyde Group.
Corporations Decide on Proper Messaging After Roe v. Wade
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade June 24, ending federal constitutional protections for abortions. That decision, which caused immediate public protest, leaves abortion rights decisions to the states. As of today (June 27), nine states have outright abortion bans, including Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin.
Why Empathy is Critical When Disaster Strikes
When a boatload of tourists was involved in an incident in remote northwest Australia, and more than a dozen were taken to hospital – some with serious injuries – you might expect the company to express shock and sympathy. But apparently not. According to media reports, the only statement from the tour operator was to advise they were working with authorities to help the injured passengers and liaising with emergency services.
Dick's Sporting Goods
Dick’s Sporting Goods Followed Its Conscience on Guns—and It Paid Off
After the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Dick’s Sporting Goods’ CEO declared: “I don’t want to be part of the story anymore.” Two new case studies by George Riedel go inside the retailer’s decision to remove certain firearms from stores and restrict gun sales.
Hennes Communications
7 Questions You Should Ask a Potential Crisis Communications Partner
There's no perfect formula for finding the right crisis communications firm to partner with, but here are 7 questions you should ask as you benchmark your options.
Looking for a lunchtime section meeting speaker?

Litigation, probate, environmental, government, bankruptcy, health name the section and we'll put together an interesting, pithy and entertaining meeting for your section via Zoom, talking 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 

Who Should Take the Lead in a Crisis?

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

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Crisis Communications Firm

Projecting Leadership Presence in a Teleconference

The 6 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 those states 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

7/13     Perkins City School District
7/21     Ohio Municipal Clerks Association
7/26     Goodwill - Akron
8/2       Ohio Department of Homeland
            Security Public Safety Symposium

7/26     Ohio School Safety Summit
8/4       Greene County Educational Services
Eastern Stark County Safety Council
9/1       LeadingAge Ohio
10/12   Ohio Municipal League
10/25   Winding River Managing Partner
            Boot Camp

10/28   CAK Safety Council
11/8     National Sales & Marketing Exec's

  Thom Fladung, Bruce Hennes & Stephanie York
11/8      National Sales & Mktg. Execs.
11/13    Ohio School Boards Association
11/14    Ohio School Boards Association 
12/14    Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Assoc.
3/30      Cleveland Development Corporation
             Leadership Program

4/15      Neighborhood Leadership 
             Development Program

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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