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Should You Apologize for Mistakes?

If you’ve ever attended one of our seminars on crisis management, we often talk about the power of apology.  Real apologies; apologies that are authentic and true; apologies without qualification or the use of “weasel words” (e.g. “mistakes were made”). Perhaps no industry does apology better AND worse than the health care industry (hospitals, nursing homes, […]


Attorneys & Communications Experts – Who Trumps Whom?

[By Stephanie York, J.D., Hennes Communications] Companies and other organizations limit liability by insuring most, if not all, of their assets: buildings, furniture, vehicles, the health of employees, the health of visitors and more. And while some insurance policies now offer “crisis communications coverage,” allowing the insured to engage the services of a specialized firm like […]


Assessing the Board’s Role Before the Next Crisis

From The National Association of Corporate Directors and The Wall Street Journal: As a host of threats continue to mount against organizations, more boards are weighing a broader, more proactive approach to crisis management. This is a positive development: in doing so, these boards are opening the door to adding significant value and stability to the organizations they oversee. Boards are uniquely […]


Snapchat, Lies and Photoshop: Is Social Media A Threat to Our Judicial System?

[By Stephanie York, Hennes Communications] Legal cases in the court of law take a long time to develop, file and litigate – years in many instances. Cases often move at an agonizingly slow pace … through written discovery, motions, depositions and court appearances. The Court of Law is intentionally methodical, governed by strict rules, and overseen […]


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

[By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications] At Hennes Communications, we often tell clients that they have an attorney for the Court of Law. But they have us for the Court of Public Opinion. And those two courts often require different – and at times conflicting – strategies. Attorneys have persuasive arguments for tailoring a strategy completely around […]


Responding to Reports of Sexual Abuse of Students, Past and Present – The Convergence of Attitudes and Expectations

Recently, the responses of independent schools to reports of past abuse of students by faculty have received intense scrutiny by the news media, social media, survivors, victim’s lawyers and alumni. Why is this happening now? I believe we are in a period of cultural change in which there is a convergence of attitudes and expectations […]


Colleges Rarely Apologize for Mishandling Rape Cases, and Survivors are Sick of It

On Monday morning, activist Wagatwe Wanjuki lit a Tufts University sweatshirt on fire, and broadcast it on Facebook Live. She did so in protest, calling on schools like Tufts to apologize for mishandling sexual assault cases. “If they care about ending rape on campus, if they care about justice, then they should be able to do […]


You Can’t Spin Your Way Out of Bad Behavior

A colleague of ours, Don Etling, said it best:  You can’t spin your way out of bad behavior. The Penn State situation exemplifies that.  Joe Paterno & Co. knew that Jerry Sandusky was abusing children – and they looked the other way.  They didn’t have a communications problem – they had a performance problem. Volkswagen is […]


VW’s Crisis Strategy: Forward, Reverse, U-Turn

From The New York Times:  Someday, Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal will be studied in crisis communications textbooks. And not in a good way. “There was something like a tsunami,” Hans-Gerd Bode, Volkswagen’s communications chief since September, said in an interview. “Thousands of calls and emails coming in at the same time.” “A crisis like this, […]


How to Deal with Negative Facebook Comments

From SocialTimes: An unfortunate reality for page administrators on Facebook is the need to deal with negative comments, but deleting those comments or disabling them altogether is a mistake. Social analytics and reporting firm Locowise shared a guide to dealing with negative comments, saying that the positives of leaving comments enabled on Facebook pages still […]


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