POSTPONED: The PIO and the Right to Know: 3rd Annual Communications Summit

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Date: March 12, 2020
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Student Center Building - 5221 Gullen Mall
Category: Conference

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The PIO and the Right to Know – Detroit’s Crisis Communications Summit

Mission-critical guidance for the Public Information Officer

8:00 – 8:45 a.m.         Check-In, light breakfast

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.         Opening remarks

  • Matthew Seeger, Dean, College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts, Wayne State University

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.       Opening keynote: Melissa Agnes

  • Melissa Agnes, Crisis Management Advisor and Keynote Speaker

10 – 10:15 a.m.          Networking break

10:15 – 11 a.m.          Breakout sessions

Session I: Team of one: Small but mighty

Hilberry ABC

Panelists will share real life examples of how they maximize resources with a small team.

  • Panel discussion with Robin Schwartz, Founder and CEO, Robin Schwartz PR, and Judy Davids, Community Engagement Specialist, City of Royal Oak
  • Moderated by Randi Berris, Corporate Communications Manager, DTE Energy

Session II: Data Breaches: The inevitable crisis


Cyber and data breaches have been growing immensely throughout the country and world. Is your organization prepared? Hear case studies on how it’s been handled, the good and the bad.

  • Will Orlewicz, Esq., CIPP, Principal, Relic Law PLLC 

11:15 – 12 p.m.          Keeping your reputation healthy before, during and after a media crisis

Learn tools to help your organization push through a crisis and continue working with the media after the crisis is over.

  • Mark Geary, Director, External Communications and Media Relations, Beaumont

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.       Lunch

1:00 – 1:45 p.m.        


To engage or not to engage? When a crisis hits, how are you using social media to inform stakeholders and protect your brand?

  • Panel discussion with Jim Thorburn, Social Media Director, Allen Park Police, and Shira Good, Director, Communications & Service Standards, Bloomfield Hills Schools
  • Moderated by Melissa Ives, Social Media Supervisor, DTE Energy

1:50 – 2:35 p.m.         Breakout Sessions

Session I: Keeping the public informed: Ask the media


Panel discussion that will focus on how attendees can effectively communicate with media to get information out to the public during crises. Topics will include avoiding misinformation, communicating effectively and timing.

  • Panel discussion with Annalise Frank, Reporter, Crain’s Detroit Business; Bisma Parvez, Reporter, Detroit Free Press; Heather Catallo, Reporter, WXYZ; and Rob Davidek, Program and News Director, WWJ Newsradio 950
  • Moderated by Matthew Seeger, Dean, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, Wayne State University

Session II: Many Voices, One Message: Coordinating during a crisis

Hilberry ABC

When you have various departments, agencies, and outside forces involved during a crisis, how do you manage the many voices? Listen to tips and tricks on turning down the noise.

  • Jessica VanderKolk, Communications Manager, City of Battle Creek

2:45 – 3:30 p.m.         Back to your regularly scheduled programming: Life after a crisis

We often prepare for what to do during a crisis, but how do you recover and continue on long after the crisis has passed? Learn best practices paired with crisis recovery examples.

  • Sara Meisner, Senior Vice President, Current Global Detroit 

3:30 – 3:45 p.m.         Networking break

3:45 – 4:20 p.m.         What would you do? Panel

Ask various speakers from the summit your questions on their crisis communications best practices.

  • Moderated by Paula Silver, Vice President of Corporate Communications, DTE Energy

4:20 – 4:30 p.m.         Closing Remarks


RoNeisha Mullen




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