The PIO and the Right to Know - Detroit's Crisis Communications Summit

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Date: March 11, 2021
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: Virtually on Microsoft Teams
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   


9:00 – 9:05 a.m.  Opening Remarks  

Paula Silver, Vice President of Corporate Communications, DTE Energy  


9:05 – 10: a.mOpening Keynote: Melissa Agnes  

Melissa Agnes, Crisis Management Advisor and Keynote Speaker  


10 – 10:30 a.m. Breakout Sessions  


Session I: Team of One: Small but Mighty  

Maximizing resources with a small team.   

Judy Davids, Community Engagement Specialist, City of Royal Oak  


Session II: Many Voices, One Message: Coordinating During a Crisis  

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

Jessica VanderKolk, Communications Manager, City of Battle Creek  


10:30 – 10:40 a.m. Break  


10:40 – 11:10 a.m. Breakout Sessions 


Session I: Case Study in Communicating Covid-19 in Wayne County 

The conditions of Covid-19 created many communication challenges at the national, state, and local level. This case study describes how the Office of the Executive of the Wayne County worked to overcome these challenges.  

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

William Nowling, Communications Director, Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans 


Session II: Data Breaches: The Inevitable Crisis  

Cyber and data breaches have been growing 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   


11:10 – 11:40 a.m. Breakout Sessions 


Session I: Keeping the Public Informed: Ask the Media  

Discussion 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 in a timely manner.   

Kimberly Gill, Anchor, WDIV Channel 4 News  

Kennan Oliphant, Assistant News Director, WXYZ Channel 7 News  


Session II: #Crisis?  

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

Jim Thorburn, Social Media Director, Allen Park Police  


11:40 – 11:50 a.m. Break  


11:50 – 12:20 p.m.  Breakout Sessions  


Session I: 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  


Session II: 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   


12:20 – 12:30 p.m.  Closing Remarks  

Paula Silver, Vice President of Corporate Communications, DTE Energy


RoNeisha Mullen




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March 2021