NEW FOR 2022!

Join Us for this Impactful Pre-Conference Session | Tues, Nov 29 from 1PM – 3PM

$75 for Members | $125 for Non-Members


Critical Skill Building: Answer the Tough Questions with Truth & Transparency

Responding to requests for deeper dive topics, we will be offering an interactive 2-hour  workshop on high level district communications, facilitated by Hennes Communications, a nationally known communications firm and valued FSBA Partner.

Ultimately, we think it will be most beneficial to districts if Superintendents, School Board Members and School PR leaders attend this interactive training together.  We believe this will be the best way for district leaders to discuss not only building their district’s communications strategy, but also help leaders understand their roles in communicating the district’s message to the public.


People have questions for today’s school leaders – frequently uncomfortable questions. About school security, school performance, teacher shortages, controversial books, critical race theory and more. And those questions may come from an education reporter, parents at a community forum or an acquaintance who stops you in a parking lot. Are you prepared to tell the truth – fast, before the falsehoods fill up Facebook? Will your answers be consistent with your schools’ messages? Will you know how to protect your district’s reputation – and your reputation?

Course Overview

This seminar blends communication best practices with an interactive, hands-on experience, including mock interviews, to help prepare for any situation involving a Q&A. Thom Fladung, managing partner of Hennes Communications in Cleveland, Ohio, and a 33-year veteran of daily newspapers, emphasizes practical instruction, pragmatic tips and best practices that you can put into play immediately.

Course Topics

  • Establishing and maintaining “control of your message”
  • Developing memorable, quotable key messages
  • Anticipating the toughest questions and preparing effective answers
  • Pivoting back to key messages with “bridging phrases”
  • Applying principles learned from media interview preparation action steps to Q&A sessions at any internal or external meeting or presentation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. How to prepare for an interview or public speaking event
  2. Conceiving and delivering key messages
  3. Maintaining control of your story


Presenter Bio

Thom Fladung is managing partner of Hennes Communications, one of the few firms in the United States focused exclusively on crisis communications and crisis management. Thom spent 33 years in newspaper newsrooms and held lead editing positions at the Detroit Free Press, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Akron Beacon Journal and, most recently, served as managing editor of The Plain Dealer.

What Attendees Say About the Presenter

“At the FSBA/FADSS Annual Summer Conference, this was my favorite session. We have all seen examples of a social media post spinning out of control. The presenter provided simple practical advice for managing social media accounts and protecting a district or school’s brand. I highly recommend.”

—— Sue Woltanski, FSBA School Board Member, Monroe County (Florida)

“Thom Fladung was a great presenter on how to handle sensitive situations in schools.  His message is easy to understand and user-friendly.  He is able to relate to all kinds of personalities and roles.  At our Summer Administrator Conference, he spoke to an array of school officials including Superintendents, Treasurers, Principals, Special Ed. Directors, Curriculum Directors, and more.  He demonstrated the DOs and DON’Ts of media/public interactions and made his presentation very applicable to school personnel.  This is the 2nd time he has presented for us, and he received positive reviews both times.”

—— Terry Strieter, Superintendent, Greene County (Ohio) Educational Service Center

“Thom had a great presentation for our district and my staff.  He covered topics that were relevant to all of our job classifications, from our bus drivers to our administrators, and there was information that every person could benefit from hearing.”

—— Chad Mason, Superintendent, Cedar Cliff (Ohio) Local School District 


Ready to register? Click here to jump to the FSBA/FADSS 77th Annual Joint Conference registration page.

Note:Attendees may only register for ONE pre-conference session, as session times overlap.