A consummate guide to America's corridors of power
No international public affairs and crisis management consultancy is complete without a presence in Washington. The founders of HS Strategies established its headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, to serve Central and Eastern Europe. But they knew that a presence in the capital of the United States — the world’s biggest economy — was crucial to serving American companies wanting to invest in Central and Eastern Europe. Our Washington office also offers unparalleled service to clients from Central and Eastern Europe who want to do business in the United States.
Strategic communications involves creating a comprehensive plan to create and promote a positive image of a government, company or other organization, or a public figure.
A key strategy for doing this is working with media. This includes traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television, plus today’s influential digital world. Because online communication has a much broader reach than traditional media these days — and is global — a crucial part of strategic communication is an online media plan. It needs to include the online platforms of news and feature stories and social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If managed properly, social media can put your image-building engine into overdrive.
At one time or another, a government administration, business, organization, official, company executive, or other public figure finds themselves being battered in the media through exaggerations or outright lies. Strategic communications includes having a crisis communication plan to deal with these distressing moments. The team at H5 Strategies knows how to craft and implement such plans to limit reputation damage, and restore it after the fire has been extinguished. We’re experts at helping clients create and implement strategic communications plans that include the right messages and mix of media. Sometimes these plans need to be tweaked at a moment’s notice to take advantage of unexpected communications opportunities — and we know how to do just that. In fact, it’s one of our specialties.
Public Relations Campaigns
Public relations campaigns are a great way to burnish an organization or individual’s reputation, or achieve non-reputation goals such as increasing your business or attaining a prominent government position. As any leader who has built a good reputation can tell you, creating it takes time. And it’s the same with achieving success in the business world or government.
Effective reputation-building or tangible goal-achieving public relations campaigns are done step by step over years, with each step laying the ground for the next one. H5 Strategies’ professionals have created and implemented a range of successful reputation- and business-building PR campaigns. Our team starts by asking an organization or leader what goals they want a campaign to achieve. Then we give them broad strategies for realizing their goals, and tactics for achieving the strategies.
Let’s take a healthy foods start-up as an example. The founder wants to build a reputation as an honest and caring CEO — and of course her business. Because she’s the face of her company, if she develops a good reputation, it’s likely to translate into business. Strategies for developing her reputation and business include obtaining favorable publicity from the media, including online media; appearing at public forums to tell her successful entrepreneurship story; and having her company donate to and work with programs that contribute to social welfare, such as opening shelters for homeless people.
Pubic relations campaigns that help build reputations and business, or achieve other goals, not only include a calendar of each event that an organization or leader should take part in or sponsor, but also the messages to deliver at these events. Messages that are positive, helpful and inspiring lead to the public and influential people alike admiring a leader and wanting to do business with her.
Reputation Management for High Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs)
Our firm represents clients who – for reasons of celebrity, prominence in politics, business or sport, or because of their net worth – face challenges that require extraordinary solutions. For example:
— Wealth and celebrity can deprive HNWIs of privacy. In addition to stripping them and their family members of their independence and right to be left alone, media scrutiny can damage their business relationships and possibilities.
— In the past, most media took great care in publishing sensitive stories — because false information could led to substantial legal claims. Now, a website can destroy a reputation with a 600-word post in 24 hours. The website owner and article writer can hide behind fake identifies and dubious ownership schemes to duck responsibility. We have the tools to track, counter and, if necessary, file legal claims against those disseminating unfounded claims.
— The political and economic circumstances that allowed many government and business leaders to flourish in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s and 2000s have changed. Companies, officials, company executives and public figures who were once viewed favorably can become the subject of skepticism and outright hostility in a moment.
Letting H5 Strategies help you problem-solve not only can make your life easier, but also pave the wave to you having more government or business success. We are leaders in shaping, promoting and defending our clients’ images at home and abroad, both in traditional media and the digital landscape. We not only guard against reputation damage, but also restore compromised reputations. And we use every method legally available to expose lies, convey the truth and rebuild an individual’s career.
Global and Regional Public Affairs
Our firm specializes in serving clients from Central and Eastern Europe that are seeking tailored reputation-building guidance and strategies. We offer a range of services, from developing public relations campaigns and handling crisis communications for clients, to letting domestic and foreign audiences know about organizations’ and leaders’ policies and practices.
We also help clients work with governments and policy-makers outside the region — from the United States and United Kingdom to Nigeria and Japan. We help them build the right relationships and deliver their messages to leaders and opinion influencers who can make a difference.
We also help companies and individuals outside the region create the right image and forge lasting relationships with the public, governments and business in Central and Eastern Europe.
We succeed because clients and policy-makers trust us and know that we understand what comes next. Our public affairs team consists of international-relations, public-relations, lobbying and communication experts with a wealth of experience in the region and beyond.
Team members have served in government and the private sector, speak local languages and understand the Central and Eastern European cultural context. This firsthand insight allows us to create and manage successful campaigns on a wide range of policy issues for our clients, and help them build and protect their reputation.
Our core commitment is providing both exceptional and discreet service.
We work as a team to meet all of our clients’ communications needs. And we strive to continually improve what we do for them.
One way to help clients achieve their communications goals in today’s digital world is to design tools that can help them. H5 Strategies designs both communications software and applications. The first step is obtaining an in-depth understanding of what a client wants a communications program to achieve. The next is to craft broad strategies for reaching those objectives. And the third step is to come up with tactics to achieve the objectives.
Software and apps are important communications tactics these days. An important advantage they offer is providing clients with feedback on the messages they are conveying, including whether they are helping a client achieve their reputation, business or other goals.
Software and apps are becoming increasingly important in political campaigning.
As an example, some politicians ask for apps that can give them instant feedback on policies they are thinking of pursuing. The politician sends a message to an app on constituents’ smartphones, asking whether they should pursue a particular policy. Constituents quickly send a yes or no message, and any comments they want to make. The responses give the politician a good idea of how the broad general public would view such a policy — and thus whether it should be pursed or dropped.
H5 Strategies can create software and apps to meet the needs of governments, businesses, organizations, and public figures. And we can do it smoothly and quickly.
Everyone has heard the old saying that a reputation that was built over decades can be destroyed in a minute. In today’s age of instant, round-the-clock news and commentary, this has never been more true. It literally can take only seconds for a company or person of goodwill to be vilified so savagely in the mainstream or online media that it takes years to recoup their reputation. And, unfortunately and unfairly, many of the accounts that lead to the damage can be false. Even if an organization or individual can prove later that the accounts were false, they will have already suffered a lot of damage to their reputation.
Because of the danger of a reputation catching fire without warning these days, the best client communications operations have a crisis communications component. This starts with a plan that spells out exactly how a company or individual will respond to a crisis that can damage their reputation. The first step is to ask a client what kind of crisis could strike their operation. As an example, a bank president might say a manager embezzling, say, hundreds of millions of dollars. If such news were to become public — and it likely would — it would be a huge hit on the bank’s reputation, costing it big and small clients alike.
A crisis communication plan spells out how a client can respond to a reputation- or business-threatening crisis. The plan needs to include the messages the client will deliver to limit the damage from the crisis. It will also include who to deliver the messages to — such as employees, customers, media, government officials, and the like. Just as building a reputation takes time, so does protecting it during a crisis. This means a crisis communication plan must include a calendar of things to do every day for as long as the crisis lingers. This can be weeks or even months.
In addition to a crisis that an organization or leader can expect, a crisis communication plan must deal with an unexpected one. Let’s say your company’s world-renowned CEO suddenly dies of a heart attack. This could throw your investors, employees, customers and others into a panic. This underscores that a good crisis communication team develops a plan for dealing with unexpected crises, too. H5 Strategies has developed and implemented crisis communications plans for both expected and unexpected crises, guided clients through the worst of the reputation threat, then helped them rebuild their reputation.
What we can do for you:
- Develop communications strategies to help ensure high net-worth individuals’ privacy.
- Develop strategies to discourage media from breaking the law when covering HNWIs.
- Develop strategies for filing and winning legal claims stemming from defamatory media coverage.
- Track media coverage of HNWIs to ensure that any defamatory coverage can be dealt with as quickly as possible.