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Crisis Management Today

March 15, 2017

In The Headlines

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

Civility & facts are out. Tweeting & “alternative facts” are in. When coupled with the new realities of the digital age, does that mean that GC's must overhaul their approach to managing risk?


BBC Interview Goes Awry & Viral

When toddlers photobombed dad's Skype interview with the BBC, fun ensued, creating a viral video. Did dad do the right thing by gently pushing the kids off? We have a different take than most on this.

How to Destroy Your Organization in One Easy Step

Given the approach being taken by the likes of Kellyanne Conway and its apparent effectiveness, how do we reconcile telling the truth when politicians aren’t telling the truth and they don't care?

Our Perspective

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.

The term "crisis management" may seem like little more than a euphemism for "snow job," but there is an art to it.  Spin alone won't do the trick.  Without going overboard, the offending company needs to acknowledge that it has a problem, demonstrate that it has control over that problem, and then make a real attempt to fix it.  This holds true whether or not the company is at fault.
James Surowiecki, The New Yorker


3/14 Summit County Public Information Officers
3/21 Cleveland State Univ - School of Communications 
3/28 Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP
3/28 Cuyahoga Falls Rotary


3/30 Solon Chamber of Commerce
4/4   Managing Partners Roundtable
4/5   Toledo Bar Association
4/6   Miami Conservancy District


Is it an Issue or a Crisis?

If it hits you fast, it’s a crisis.  But it if you saw it coming days or weeks ahead, it’s probably an issue.
Crisis management requires fast action, often without time for deliberation and consensus.  Crises are time-consuming, disruptive, usually off-budget - and often pose existential danger to an organization. Examples: accidents, accusations, environmental events, explosions, financial irregularities, food contamination, indictments, media investigations, sexual and executive misconduct and social media attacks.
Issue management offers time for research and analysis, consensus and a cost-effective response.  Issue management is deliberative, with a greater chance to minimize damage and disruption to organizational efforts.  Examples:  activist attacks, ballot issues, expansions, intellectual property disputes, layoffs, litigation and management transitions.

One way to prepare for both is with a Vulnerability Audit, followed by the creation of a Crisis Communications Plan.  And the best way to do both is to call the crisis and issue management specialists at Hennes Communications.

Attention: Attorneys

As almost any general counsel of a large, publicly traded, consumer-oriented company will tell you, legal controversies today are tried in the Court of Public Opinion -- at least as much as in any Court of Law.  Every organization...has much to gain (or lose) by the way a legal controversy is positioned in the media. Because the value of a company's reputation is immeasurable -- and perhaps its largest uninsured asset -- a corporation loses when the brand image is tarnished, even if the corporation technically wins at trial.  Furthermore, since most legal controversies are settled prior to trial, the Court of Public Opinion has arguably become the most important battleground affecting not only good will and market share, but legal bargaining power and settlement negotiations.   Managing this battleground, therefore, has become integral to many corporations' legal strategies.

Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics

Call us at 216-321-7774 to discuss how our litigation communications support and media training expertise can help you and your client.

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