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Crisis Management Today

February 1, 2018

In The Headlines

The Sex-Abuse Victims America Ignored

The Penn State - Joe Paterno situation immediately grabbed public attention. But it took way too long for the Michigan State University gymnastics scandal to capture the country’s attention. Here's why.


Revealing Client Information

When is it OK to tell tales? Our good friend and colleague, attorney Karen Rubin, has advice for both lawyers and non-lawyers.

Escape from Email Hell: A Simple Change to Work Faster, Save Time and Angst

Fess up - you’ve got email threads as long as your arm clogging up your inbox right now, right? Unless you suddenly remember a keyword you can search on, finding that nugget you need is more like finding a needle in a haystack.

Our Perspective

These Women Are on Front Lines of Harassment Fight

As has been said many times by those in our business, you can't communicate your way out of bad behavior.  It's also true that silence doesn't fix things, either.

The Art of the Public Apology
Former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar formally apologized to the more than 160 women whom he’d sexually abused. He joins a growing list. Over the past few months, many public personalities accused of sexual assault have apologized in public. Many wonder what these apologies mean. Some argue that public apologies are a type of performance and therefore should be understood as being different from private. For the answer, click here.


2/7    BBB of NE Ohio
2/8    Tallmadge Rotary
2/12  Am. Public Power Assoc. (Phoenix)
2/13  Assoc. of Jewish Aging Services (W. P. Beach)
2/13  Baker & Hostetler

2/19   Univ of Akron - Homeland Security
2/28   CAK Safety Council
3/8     Cleve Metro Bar Assoc. Intl. Women's Day
3/20   Stow-Monroe Chamber
3/21   CARE Coalition Healthcare Summit


Weasel Words

“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do. I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes.” 

Equifax CEO Richard F. Smith immediately after disclosure that millions of sensitive data
files were breached

"I apologize for having to re-accommodate
these customers."

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz after
Dr. David Dao was dragged off a plane

Non-apology apologies are called weasel words.  

Perhaps the right legal advice -- but the wrong crisis management advice.

Hennes Communications and your legal team.  

Time to talk?


Not Everything is a Crisis

Most crises are unexpected, happening fast, like a traffic accident, explosion, fire, chemical leak, social media attack or a criminal arrest.

While a crisis usually appears to be sudden, sometimes you can see it coming - or perhaps you should have seen it coming.  For example, an embezzlement, product failure or leadership change.

More often than not, what you're probably facing is an issue, a situation that can and should have been easily foreseen. For instance, three months from now you know you're going to close a plant, terminate a program, get a new board chair, acquire a company or announce a rate hike.

Whether it's a crisis or an issue, the skill set needed to manage both are the same.  And the only difference is the amount of time you have to tell it all, tell it first and tell it fast.

You need a plan that answers these questions:  What do you say, when do you say it, how do you say it and who do you say it to?  For instance, three months from now you know you're going to lay off 50 employees. Your remaining employees, as well as your suppliers, customers and local elected officials better not hear about it in the media or on Facebook -- before hearing it from you.

While we sell "crisis" (hence our website name,, the professionals at Hennes Communications understand the difference between crises and issues.  And now, we hope you do, too.

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Short Takes

Should Independent Schools Have Anti-Texting Policies Between Faculty and Students?
David Wolowitz
Fact-Checking the News
The Atlantic
The 2017 Sidney Awards - Part II
New York Times

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