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Crisis Leadership: Five Principles for Managing the Unexpected

From Deloitte and The Wall Street Journal: Domestic terrorism, cyberattacks, power outages, white collar crimes and other catastrophic events are just a few of the potential crises companies can face. While many companies have a crisis plan in place, they may not have actually tested their plans, or the plans may be inadequate. A Deloitte […]


Avoiding Social Media Turbulence and PR Disasters: Airline CEOs Speak Out on Crisis Communications

No one knows more about disaster and crisis communications than the airlines. That’s why we have little doubt in our minds that the CEO of United Airlines, in the immediate aftermath of Dr. Dao getting hauled off the plane by police officers a few months ago, was indeed given the right advice by his crisis/PR […]


Don’t Get Too Obsessed with Recent Airline Customer Service Incidents – There are Bigger Sharks in the Risk Waters

Chris Britton writes: Target is a great place to shop. I love going there, and I bet many of you do too. But I also find the company fascinating because over the past few years it has provided huge debating points for those of us who make a living managing issues and crises. Until United […]


Never Tell a Journalist It’s Not a Story

Is the CEO or P.R. person the best to face the cameras in a crisis? How do P.R. reps get into journalists’ good books? Daily Mirror editor Peter Willis gave the lowdown at a recent PRWeek’s Crisis Communications conference. Asked what advice he’d give a PR facing a journalist who is acting aggressively, Willis said: […]


Preparing For a Company Crisis: Protecting Your Business’ People, Assets & Reputation

A Conversation on Company Crisis Preparedness with former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, from Boss Magazine —   Every business leader thinks and rethinks their business strategy, weighing the strengths, analyzing the weaknesses, pondering the opportunities and scrutinizing the threats. But when it comes to a company crisis, how many are applying that same due […]


In Its Response to Sex Abuse Allegation, Sidwell Friends Joins Other Private Schools in Pursuing Transparency

Unfortunately, one of the fastest growth areas of business – and amongst the saddest – are the calls we receive at Hennes Communications with allegations of sexual misconduct.  For scores of years, the prevailing wisdom was ignore, obfuscate, transfer and protect privacy and reputations at all-costs. Like so many pendulums, times change, and it’s now […]


To Our Lawyer Friends – Who’s Really at Fault in Sea Lion Attack?

From CNN.com: Video has emerged of a little girl being dragged off a pier and into the water (a few weeks ago) by a sea lion in British Columbia. The girl’s family reportedly had been feeding the sea lion and whistling or holding their hands over the water, as if they were holding a treat. The video […]


A Lawyer, C.I.A. Analyst and a Crisis Management Specialist Walk Into a Bar…

[by Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications] Before James Comey headed up the F.B.I., he served as general counsel of Lockheed Martin Corporation. While at Lockheed, he spoke at the National Security Agency about how studying law is similar to the education intelligence analysts receive. “You read a case and decipher…relevant facts, the [outcome] of the case…you […]


Why ‘Sorry” is Still the Hardest Word

From Michael M. Grynbaum at the New York Times: “I’m sorry.” Two simple words, not so simply said. On Wednesday, the public representatives of two embattled American institutions — United Airlines and the White House — found themselves on national television grappling with a delicate and increasingly common ritual of the corporate and political worlds: […]


Apologies, Non-Apologies, Fauxpologies, Conditional Apologies & Past Exoneratives

By Stan Carey: Writing in 2012 about the nature of apologies, I said that being sorry is about more than just saying the words, “but the words, as an explicit admission of wrongdoing or shortcoming, can be an important part of reconciliation.” With a non-apology the aims and effects are wholly different. The person delivering […]


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