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Did American Airlines Profit from United’s Poor Example?

By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications This past weekend provided the crisis communications profession with a Petri dish-like opportunity to study the way two almost identical organizations managed two almost identical situations less than two weeks apart. If we had devised an experiment using the scientific method, we probably could not have created a more precise […]


Crisis Management: Preparing for the Next Big Event

From the Wall Street Journal’s Risk & Compliance Journal: No matter the crisis—a billion-euro loss, a breach that leaves millions of customer records at risk or a major airline accident with the CEO on board—organizations can take steps to weather the storm, according to Jeremy Smith, global leader of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s Crisis Management […]


Shooting Your Reputation in the Foot: Self-Inflicted Crisis Management Lessons from United Airlines

[by Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications] A video recently removed from Facebook shows law enforcement officers violently removing a passenger on a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville right before takeoff. The flight was overbooked, and a United crew of four needed seats so they could get to Louisville, where they had a flight to work. Passengers […]


A Fox In The Bill O’Reilly House: A Study In ‘Mercantile Activism’

From our colleague, Richard Levick: Fox News’ slipshod handling of sexual harassment charges against former CEO Roger Ailes and über commentator Bill O’Reilly should serve as an object lesson for companies caught in Trump-era klieg lights — not to mention the indirect light these crises shed on their sponsors. In an era of one-party rule and […]


Why Buying Forgiveness Doesn’t Work

From Adele Cehrs, writing in Ragan’s PRDaily: Several large companies have taken out expensive ads apologizing for bad behavior. Over the last year, Samsung, Under Armour and Deutsche Bank have all issued full-page mea culpas in prestigious publications. Reasons include missteps by a spokesperson, an attempt to control the narrative and choosing to avoid a […]


I Studied How Journalists Used Twitter for Two Years. Here’s What I Learned

From Alecia Swasy, writing for Poynter: Twitter reflects the good, the bad and just plain ugly reality of social media these days. For academics, journalists and voters, there’s never been a more crucial time to talk about the impact these social media platforms have on factual journalism and being watchdogs of the powerful. It’s in […]


True or False? It Depends.

[By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications] When we talk to clients about the challenges of communicating about an issue they are facing, we often discuss the phenomenon of “confirmation bias” – the tendency individuals have to believe facts that support their personal points of view while rejecting similarly legitimate facts that run counter to their personal […]


When the Friendly Skies Suddenly Turn Hostile

By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications If you watched mainstream news early this week, or had your news feed set to the right coordinates, you no doubt saw that United Airlines became the latest victim of a Tweet storm on Sunday, after attendants on a flight from Denver to Minneapolis refused to allow two girls to […]


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, […]


New Rules of Engagement for General Counsels in the Age of Presidential Tweets

From our colleague Richard Levick, writing in Forbes: Reverberations from President Donald Trump’s recasting of political behavior are being felt in every corporate counsel’s office – not only in the U.S., but abroad, too. Civility, subtlety, even facts, are out. Confrontation, predawn tweeting, and “alternative facts” are in. When coupled with the disquieting new realities […]


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