Managing a Crisis in Communication

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Published February 12, 2020
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The Montclarion
Joe Maynard, managing director of Aventria Health Group and Montclair State alumnus, spoke to Linda Thomas’s class about crisis management. Francis Churchill | The Montclarion

The managing director of Aventria Health Group, Joe Maynard, spoke with students in Professor Linda Thomas’s Crisis in Communication class last Wednesday about his experience in the advertising industry. Maynard is a Montclair State University alumnus, who applied his talents in the fields of marketing and branding after graduating. His decades of experience and work have earned him immense respect and recognition as a brand leader and strategist.

Maynard’s discussions covered how to deal with a crisis in communication, leadership and career opportunities.

“Managing a crisis, take a step back and do not overreact, you probably got to the level you are at and you got there for a reason,” Maynard said. “Use those reasons and skill sets to get yourself through a crisis, think of the consequences and think five steps ahead instead of the next step.”

Maynard and Thomas talked about how pharmaceutical companies, such as Purdue Pharma, have failed to manage a crisis in communication with the opioid crisis and are now suffering the consequences.

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Joe Maynard is the managing editor of Aventria.
Photo courtesy of Aventria Health Group

“Leadership is willing to lose the battle in order to win the war, willing to be strong, to be an enabler, active listener,” Maynard said, describing leadership to students.

Career opportunities were a major theme of the discussions and Maynard elaborated on the opportunities he’s had throughout his career.

“I was in 42 different pharmaceutical launches, talking to the physicians, viewing the different facets of how a product will enter the marketplace,” Maynard said.

Students asked for various types of career advice and Maynard explained how to learn from job interviews.

“My tips for getting to the third or fourth round of interviews: reach out and ask why, know why and learn from it, ask [them to tell you] how you did,” Maynard said. “Always respond, try your hardest to get your foot in [the] door and draw a line of what companies you want to work for.”

Maynard graduated from Montclair State with bachelor’s degree in biology and originally planned to pursue another degree in oceanography. However, he never got to fulfill his desires of employing creativity and communication skills in marine biology, which made him follow down the path of marketing.

“The unique takeaway I got from this was the interview advice, such as if you do not know a specific question, [is] just to be honest with your potential employer,” senior communication and media arts major, Joey Verrico said.

Maynard later expressed how impressed he was with the students he interacted with.

“Montclair State is producing some phenomenal graduates just by the questions they are asking, along with how engaged each of them are looking at taking themselves to the next step,” Maynard said. “Their passions are very clear and they want to know how to navigate it.”

As competent as the students are, Maynard was still able to teach Thomas’ class a valuable lesson.

“One of the things that I have noticed here having taught various classes is that communication students do not realize how many opportunities there are in the advertising industry,” Thomas said. “Joe has excelled as a titan in the advertising industry, he is also an incredibly approachable and warm leader whom people have immense respect for, he was an amazing success with the class.”

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