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Crisis Management Today

December 15, 2023
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Our Perspective

Social Media
Lessons From a School on Handling a Social Media Crisis
By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications
Here, we discuss a school's effective handling of a social media crisis involving a tweet with a screenshot showing students using racial slurs and inappropriate references. By promptly acknowledging the issue and communicating with students and parents, plus other tactical actions, this case study exemplifies the importance of having a crisis communication plan, especially for rapid social media responses.

Featured Columns

Taylor Swift
A Swift Reputation
Time Magazine chose Taylor Swift as Person of the Year, offering a jump-off to examine the challenges faced by CEO’s and nonprofit executives in today's climate of intense consumer activism and digital scrutiny, highlighting how modern boycotts and activism can cause lasting reputational damage to brands, unlike in the past. The article emphasizes the need for proactive crisis management and strategic planning, underscoring the importance of understanding global and local sentiments. It also points out the increased stakes in maintaining corporate and institutional reputation in a media landscape characterized by reduced brand loyalty and heightened consumer awareness.
Should Legal Advice Take Precedence in a Crisis?
Lawyers are involved in just about every serious organizational crisis. Yet how much specific training do they receive about their role in a crisis as part of a cross-functional response team? And how should they work with communicators and designated crisis managers?  The idea of lawyers taking the lead in a crisis and reputation management is gradually emerging, mainly among lawyers themselves. However, independent legal experts and proficient crisis managers tend to agree it’s often best if the lawyer is not in charge.

In the News

Undersea Internet Cables
The Secret Life of the 500+ Cables That Run the Internet
Though satellite links are becoming more important with orbiting systems like SpaceX’s Starlink, subsea cables are the workhorses of global commerce and communications, carrying more than 99% of traffic between continents. TeleGeography, an analyst firm that tracks the business, knows of 552 existing and planned subsea cables, and more are on the way as the internet spreads to every part of the globe and every corner of our lives.
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift Shows Time Magazine’s Person of the Year Still Matters
There’s no question that once a year, Time is still a really big deal. That’s when it names its person of the year, which is generally one of the most talked about media stories of the year. This year, the magazine announced its 2023 person of the year is singer-songwriter Taylor Swift.  And you know how we know that it still matters? That the Time person of the year is still a really big deal? Because Swift gave an interview to Time’s Sam Lansky. Swift almost never gives exclusive interviews. This is believed to be her first in-depth interview in four years.
Leader transparency
What Transparency Means Now for Leaders
CEOs increasingly feel that it’s their job to be the mouthpiece of the organization. A survey released last month by HarrisX and Ragan Communications found that 78 percent of CEOs say they alone “lead their organization’s external communications”—a whopping 38 percent leap from 2021. (The figures are similar for internal communications.)
public figure throws tantrum
Patrick Mahomes’s Football Tantrum
Recently, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes attempted to lead his team to a late-game comeback victory against the Buffalo Bills.  It didn’t work.  At game end, Mahomes could be seen on the sideline, spiking his helmet, and yelling at anyone who would listen regarding the offensive offsides call—a surprising scene for a guy who’s seen as a cool, calm, consummate professional and leader—not just in the football world, but as a public figure with multiple corporate endorsements.  Acceptable behavior?  We think not.
Pitch a story
When Not to Pitch a Story
Unlike PR pros who have worked as a journalist prior to entering the public relations business, and know when not to pitch a story, many PR staffers have never stepped inside a news room and certainly don’t know the workings of a newsroom during a major breaking news story.
Bruce Hennes Honored as a Notable Nonprofit Board Leader by Crain’s Cleveland Business
One of the 48 honorees was Bruce Hennes, CEO of Hennes Communications.  As one of the few non-attorneys serving on the board of a major metropolitan bar association, Bruce was nominated by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association for his work on the board and dedication to the legal community.
Hennes Communications Ranked by Chambers

Our Upcoming Seminars

1/17/24      Summit County Safety Council
1/18/24       Ohio State Bar Assoc Litigation Section
1/24/24       Myers, Roman
1/26/24      TX Assoc of Comm College Attorneys
2/24/24       Consortium of State School Bds. Assoc. 
3/18/24       Case Western Reserve Univ Law School
6/4/24         International Town & Gown Association
7/19/24       College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland

                   State University   
7/21/24        Texas Public Power Association
10/28/24      Massillon Chamber of Commerce
Hennes Communications & 5 School Board Associations
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