Crisis Communications2024-03-19T12:01:42-04:00

Crisis Communications


Many agencies claim to provide crisis communications, but few can approach the high level of public relations counsel and experience found at Marx Layne & Company.

Marx Layne professionals have years of experience with crisis management. We are frequently retained by leading law firms to help guide their clients through the media frenzy that often erupts during a company’s most trying times.

Critical issues including industrial accidents, death on the premises, food-borne illnesses and environmental pollution, boycotts, strikes and corporate fraud have all been expertly handled.

During crisis events, Marx Layne public relations counselors are on-call 24/7/365. Crisis communications team members are experienced in working with legal advisors, police departments, municipalities and hazmat teams, while keeping company executives apprised at all times of the crisis situation as it unfolds.

We also train company spokespersons in the development of key speaking points and delivery of messaging. Using the latest media technology, we respond rapidly, whether the crisis occurs in Detroit or in any other major metropolitan area throughout the nation.

Like a community with an outstanding emergency response system, a company with an established crisis management plan always fares better during a crisis. That is why it is crucial to have a complete communications plan in place before, during, and after a potential crisis.

What We Do


Nearly every organization at some point will have to deal with adversity — whether it’s a minor incident that barely attracts attention or a major event that makes national headlines and is splashed across the internet. At the rate of speed that news now spreads — from instant worldwide web headlines to social media word-of-mouth — having a crisis plan in place is a necessity. The more prepared you are, the quicker and more effectively disruptions can be managed and resolved. Our team of crisis management experts can prepare your organization by developing a comprehensive crisis communications plan for company leadership detailing potential scenarios and recommended outcomes; message development; facilitating media training; and serving as spokesperson when your brand is under scrutiny.

Our crisis planning expertise includes:

  • Risk assessment
  • Communication strategy and development of a crisis plan specific to your organization
  • Crisis response flowcharts and reference manuals
  • Scenario and response planning
  • Crisis management preparation and simulation
  • Media training

Crisis Response

Our crisis response team is available 24/7/365, offering expertise, critical thinking and strategic support for managing all aspects of a crisis. Marx Layne offers a broad range of services by our highly skilled crisis management professionals include:

  • Message development tailored for customers, vendors, media and the public (statements, press releases, op-eds, articles and more)
  • Media relations
  • Digital media management, including content development, active listening and monitoring and managing dialogues
  • Stakeholder development and community relations
  • Crisis response “War Room”
  • Online reputation management

Post-Crisis Recovery

  • Post-crisis impact analysis
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Community relations
  • Reputation recovery and fortification

Crisis Team


The Marx Layne crisis management team includes seasoned experts with wide-ranging experience working with the news media and other key audiences when managing a crisis. Our professionals have a keen understanding of how the media works and know best how to engage with all stakeholders during and after a crisis. From the media, customers and suppliers, to employees, civic and community groups, elected officials and others, we are well-versed in mitigating risk while helping manage the message and control the narrative.

Michael Layne

As a founding partner of Marx Layne & Company, a metropolitan Detroit public relations and digital media agency, Michael Layne has been serving established and growing companies since the early 1980s. He provides strategic communications counsel to industry leaders as an extension of their corporate brand.

Layne attributes the rise of Marx Layne & Company to the development and retention of a diverse client base and the careful building of a dedicated and capable team of public relations professionals.

Layne regularly plans and implements unique, results-oriented public relations and digital campaigns for clients in a broad range of industry sectors, including automotive, real estate, hospitality/food service, technology, entertainment, non-profit, professional services, sports, manufacturing, retail, financial services, consumer products and communications.

As both the demand for information about companies grows and the media becomes more complex and fragmented, Layne’s experience provides a basis for creating ongoing, original and highly successful programs. Layne serves clients with their communications needs in major metropolitan areas across the nation.

He strongly believes in personalized service, availability and accountability. Layne respects the correlation between dollars spent by a client and results.


Michael SzudarekMichael Szudarek counsels clients in the automotive, high-tech and consumer product sectors. He previously served with a Fortune 500 Company and has been on both the corporate and agency side of the communications business, understanding first-hand the many issues and challenges businesses face today in this fast paced, competitive world.

Szudarek has managed high-level crises for clients facing labor issues, product recalls and alleged discrimination. He has developed comprehensive crisis communications plans for organizations that did not have processes in place. Szudarek has served as a liaison between his clients, the media and other stakeholders, drafting employee and customer communications, talking points and media statements.

Al UpchurchAlan Upchurch counsels clients in the tech, financial services, retail, legal, health care and nonprofit sectors.

A former news director for WXYZ, the local ABC television station, Upchurch specializes in media training and crisis communications helping executives and business owners interact effectively with the media. Upchurch counsels clients facing labor issues, product recalls and alleged discrimination. He has drafted messaging for customers, employees, investors and other key stakeholders.

Christine SnyderChristine Snyder primarily serves clients in professional service industries, specializing in campaigns for law firms. She is an award-winning business publications writer with 20 years experience as a business journalist and corporate communications specialist. Prior to joining Marx Layne, Snyder worked as a journalist for such publications as Crain’s Detroit Business and The Detroit News as well as a wide array of trade publications.

Case Studies

Whether it is public backlash and organized campaigns against a plant expansion or new shopping center or retail outlet; consumer product safety or food safety campaigns; workplace discrimination issues; or even mismanagement by key executives, organizations need to develop a stakeholder engagement plan as part of any crisis plan.
Al Upchurch, Senior Vice President of Marx Layne & Company shares five tips designed to help an organization effectively communicate in the event of a crisis. Upchurch has 24 years of experience as a television news producer and manager, and 10 years of experience working on media relations and crisis communication initiatives for a variety of organizations.

Contact Us


Marx Layne + Company: Crisis Communication Experts

Marx Layne + Company | (248) 855-6777
Metro Detroit: 31300 Orchard Lake Rd Suite 100, Farmington Hills, MI 48334

Marx Layne is a full-service communication agency. How may we help you succeed?
Go to Top