Dos & Don’ts of Crisis Management

Cadence Bank Podcast: In Good Companies

In our world, it's not a question of if but when a crisis will strike. In 2023, 96% of businesses experienced emergencies, but only one in five companies were prepared to take action. So in today’s episode, we’re learning to expect the unexpected with the help of our guest: Sydney Isaacs.

Sydney is a Managing Director for H/Advisors Abernathy, a communications advisor with one of the leading crisis management firms in the U.S. Far beyond PR strategy, Sydney has spent the last two decades handling and preventing crises like workplace misconduct, product recalls, cybersecurity attacks and physical disasters.

So today, Sydney helps us come up with action plans to handle many business crises. Together, we learn how to build efficient teams of first responders, spot crises before they occur and prioritize the right course of action to fix imminent issues. We also unpack how trust, emotion and communication influence crisis prevention and recovery.

So keep calm and tune into this week’s episode. With Patrick and Sydney, you’ll learn to weather every storm.


  • What is a crisis? (3:09)
  • A flexible approach to crisis management (5:14)
  • Why actions speak louder than words (8:11)
  • Fight or flight: handling human emotions in a crisis (10:00)
  • Differentiating transparency, honesty and forthrightness (11:49)
  • “In a crisis, we want to be boring” (13:17)
  • When trust interacts with crisis management (14:35)
  • People believe in what they see (16:09)
  • How to assemble a crisis management plan (18:53)
  • The importance of proof-testing your plan (21:37)
  • Qualities of a first responder (23:13)
  • Crisis management and social media (26:54)
  • Building reputation as crisis prevention (29:12)



If you have questions about the show or topics you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producers, [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected].


Read the full show transcript.

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Meet the Host

Patrick Pacheco Patrick Pacheco, Executive Vice President, President of Cadence Asset Management & Trust, has more than 25 years’ experience in wealth management, in addition to the designing and implementation of tax and related planning strategies.

Pacheco’s background includes years of legal practice and multiple degrees, including an LLM* Taxation from University of Houston, a JD from Southern Methodist University, and both an MBA and BS in Economics from University of Texas at Arlington.

He is also board certified in Estate Planning and Probate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Meet the Speaker

Sydney IsaacsSydney Issacs provides strategic communications counsel to companies during times of change, including mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, crises and activist shareholder engagements. Sydney’s work supports companies’ valuations and reputations through a combination of financial communications and PR strategies. She has particularly deep experience advising companies across the energy sector, providing support to clients on communications related to their diverse efforts to participate in and respond to the energy transition.

Sydney joined H/Advisors Abernathy in 2005 in the firm’s Los Angeles office and subsequently founded the Houston office. She was named one of the 50 most influential leaders in corporate governance in 2022 by the National Association of Corporate Directors. She is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from crisis management to investor activism defense. She is also a member of the firm’s six-person Leadership Team.



This podcast is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank and its affiliates make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the content in the podcast. The podcast is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

To the extent that this podcast includes predictions about the economy, these predictions are subject to a number of variables and you should confer with your legal, accounting and tax advisors for their input regarding the possible outcomes of any economic subject matter discussed herein. Predictions are forward-looking statements that reflect current views with respect to, among other things, future events. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and are based on current expectations, estimates and projections, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and beyond the control of any person or entity. Accordingly, please be aware that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees and are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that are difficult to predict.

The views and opinions expressed by the host and guests in this podcast are solely their own current opinions regarding the subject matter discussed in the podcast and are based on their own perspectives. Such views, perspectives and opinions do not reflect those of Cadence Bank or any of its affiliates, or the companies with which any guest is, or may be, affiliated. The production and presentation of this podcast by Cadence Bank does not imply the expression of any opinion on the part of Cadence Bank or any of its affiliates.

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