FARMINGTON HILLS, October 31—Michigan public relations firm Hermanoff & Associates is partnering with Dr. Robert Erard, a psychological consultant, to help companies manage the after effects of the September 11 tragedy and the changing economic environment.
“We’re hearing from clients about various internal issues that have surfaced since the tragedy,” said Sandy Hermanoff, president and CEO. “We’ve seen research that shows managers are dealing with lower productivity levels, a great concern over healthcare issues, and high anxiety regarding layoffs, restructuring and even closing businesses. 
“Some employees are questioning how mail is being handled internally and what precautionary steps are being taken before mail is delivered.  This coupled with company rumors and anthrax stories surfacing daily in the media are causing an underlying stress in businesses.” 
Hermanoff, who has expertise in crisis management, says companies need to be prepared to handle internal crisis, such as rumors and impacts from corporate restructuring. But  many are not equipped to handle such events, she says. Hence the partnership with Erard, a clinical and consulting psychologist, who was one of the first experts Detroit journalists and community leaders turned to for guidance on coping with the terrorist attacks. 
“We believe our partnership with Dr. Erard offers a strong opportunity to businesses, filling a void that most companies have not considered,” said Hermanoff.  “Our team is prepared to help CEOs through this process by arming them with the right communication tools and the best advice and direction to alleviate stress and anxiety.”
“The idea that everything needs to change because of what happened on September 11 represents an over-reaction,” Erard says. “What employers need to offer their employees right now is a sense of continuity and security.  That is best accomplished by helping them keep their emotional reactions in perspective.”