Survival skills in top management

Wake-up call for communicators and their bosses

Threats to the reputation and standing of a company and its leadership have multiple sources: Product development, investor relations, supply chain, IT, sales, finance, marketing and so on. This is why we speak of a meta-risk. Structurally, companies often only work on preparing for crises and managing the crisis itself. This area is complex enough. The crisis communication guide of the Federal Ministry of the Interior alone comprises 52 pages. However, preparation for a crisis, no matter how professional it may be, does not result in a program of action for avoiding crises. This is where this book comes in. It gives top managers a simple thought pattern for a complex task. The Chinese general Sun Tsu helps with this. His thoughts and insights are around 2,500 years old. Some of these are still taught today at military academies and used in business, especially marketing. The authors of the book, experienced crisis communicators who have proven themselves in numerous assignments, transfer a narrow selection of Sun Tsu’s strategies to today’s business life and thus provide top managers with recommendations for action that can be easily integrated into day-to-day business: Know yourself – Know your opponent – Know the terrain.


About the author and other contributors

Jörg Forthmann is a graduate industrial engineer and managing partner of Faktenkontor GmbH. After a sound journalistic education, he worked as a freelance journalist for the Hamburger Abendblatt and as a PR consultant in Hamburg, among others. He then worked in the press and public relations department of Nestlé Deutschland AG. His scope of work included corporate, brand and crisis communications. From 1999 to 2002, he was head of corporate communications at Mummert Consulting AG. In 2003, Jörg Forthmann founded Mummert Communications, now Faktenkontor, together with Dr. Roland Heintze. At Faktenkontor, Jörg Forthmann is responsible for analysis and in-house editing. He is also Faktenkontor’s crisis PR expert. Jörg Forthmann sees the integration of a business perspective into press and public relations work as particularly important for modern, successful PR. Because PR can do more than just influence the image of a company in the media. By integrating economic principles, professional PR work can also directly promote sales, win new customers and thus increase sales of products and services in a targeted and comprehensible manner. Such a business approach, including a well-founded performance review, also strengthens PR departments within their own companies, because those who can prove that and how much they contribute to the operating result have a much stronger position in budget negotiations.

Dr. Roland Heintze is a political scientist and managing partner of Faktenkontor GmbH. He studied political science and history at the University of Hamburg until 1999, when he received a scholarship from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation to support young journalists. After a sound journalistic education, he worked as a freelance journalist, among others for Die Welt, Welt am Sonntag and Financial Times Deutschland. He worked as a freelance PR consultant for TOPAdvice Heintze & Partner before becoming press spokesman for Mummert Consulting AG from 2000 to 2003. In 2003, Dr. Roland Heintze founded today’s Faktenkontor together with Jörg Forthmann. At Faktenkontor, Dr. Roland Heintze is now responsible for strategy, sales and consulting. Faktenkontor consultants develop customized communication concepts for clients and implement them unerringly in campaigns. Dr. Roland Heintze sees the ability to understand not only the goals of one’s own company but also the view and working methods of editorial offices and journalists and to serve them with the appropriate content as a key competence for successful PR work. A press release only has a chance of being picked up by the media if it not only represents the interests of the sender, but also meets the needs of the readers and this is also quickly and clearly recognizable to the editor. The best means to achieve this are facts that are relevant and resilient from the editorial point of view. Dr. Roland Heintze is also an expert in reputation management, PR campaigns and social media concepts. In his blog Reputation Professionals, he regularly focuses on how companies and managers can nurture and protect their reputations. In addition to his work for Faktenkontor and numerous voluntary commitments, Dr. Roland Heintze was a member of the Hamburg Parliament from 2004 to 2015, where he chaired the Budget Committee from November 2009 to March 2011 and served as deputy parliamentary group chairman from 2011 to 2015. Today he is CDU state chairman.

Überlebenskunst im Topmanagement | IMWF Redaktion

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