Fallston Group, the Baltimore-based, global reputation agency, is celebrating its tenth year of building, strengthening and defending reputations. With the milestone comes streamlined service verticals and new offerings to help organizations achieve their short, mid- and long-term reputational goals.
After decades of private and public sector leadership service, Robert Weinhold, Jr., launched Fallston Group in November 2009 to continue his career mission of helping organizations during life’s most critical times. Since then, the company has grown to represent international, national and local brands – including large public companies, banking and financial services, healthcare and academic systems, franchisors, trade associations and individuals. The firm has operated in many industries, managing negative press, social media attacks, investigations, litigation, data breaches, labor issues, mismanagement, discrimination, sex scandals and many, many more triggering events. The firm operates at the intersection of leadership, strategy and communications.
“Fallston Group is clearly the ‘go-to’ firm for crisis leadership,” says Ragina C. Ali, Public and Government Affairs Manager at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Based on my observations during the last decade, executives can implicitly trust Fallston Group’s instinct and experience. They clearly drive results during life’s most critical times. Congratulations to the company on its continued growth.”
After a strategic planning session in 2019, Weinhold and his team decided evolution was in order to properly celebrate a decade of service and respond to an emerging demand for crisis-oriented training services.
“In addition to our robust crisis leadership and marketing business verticals, our firm has completed architecting a new business line which enhances our interactive work in the training and workshop arena. What we’ve heard from clients is our training is unique, immersive, authentic and effective – it ensures they are ready to meet the moment,” says Weinhold. He adds, “We are incredibly grateful for a decade of growth, the trust our clients place in our team and a marketplace which has legitimized our business model.”
The innovative training offerings will offer a variety of customizable learning modules, workshops and tabletop exercises. To learn more, visit fallstongroup.com.
Outside of embracing the basics – operating with integrity, taking responsibility, being decisive and operating with velocity and vision – Weinhold offers his top tips to successfully manage a crisis, based on his decades of experience helping people during their most difficult times:
- Admit you are in crisis and ask for help. Most people don’t want to admit they are in crisis and steadily losing control – do this immediately as your window of opportunity will close quickly. Whether your personal obstacle is ego, complacency, embarrassment or uncertainty, get over it. Admit you are in need and seek the opinion of those you trust.
- Tell your story. If you don’t tell your story, someone else will. And, if someone else tells your story, it certainly won’t be the story you want told. A crisis rarely “goes away” – be transparent and get in front of the media and general public versus refusing to comment. The ability to tell your story is your most important growth strategy.
- Command the facts. Too many times professionals make rash decisions and jump out on camera with either no substantive information or rely solely on the “I can’t comment on that” or “I don’t have that information” phraseology. Bottom line: if you decide to publicly address a crisis, have something important to say – and maintain a strong command of the facts.
- Reframe your public remarks, if misunderstood. Every single person I know has at some point misspoken or has not articulated a point in an optimal manner – reframe vs. denying, debating or being offended. Remember, the general public, not a reporter, is the ultimate consumer of the information you are attempting to convey. Above all else, the most important message is the message received.
- Be direct. There is a tendency to soften words or not be direct with ominous news. While initially shocking, people prefer the bottom line right away. I call this bad habit “circling the messaging runway” vs. “landing the plane.” Do not circle the runway with negative or emergent news; immediately tell people what is going on. You will earn their confidence and trust more quickly.
For additional crisis leadership tips and to learn more about Fallston Group’s anniversary and services, visit www.fallstongroup.com/anniversary. Please direct all media inquiries to Andrea Lynn at 410-420-2001 or by email at Andrea.Lynn@fallstongroup.com.