Premo Consultants are partnering with experts in the news media and legal counsel to provide an action-oriented workshop addressing the challenging new crises school districts and educational institutions are facing today.


Allegheny Intermediate Unit
475 East Waterfront Drive Homestead PA, 15120


Friday, July 19, 2019
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Districts registering more than two employees will receive ½ off.

School crisis

It’s no longer a question of if, but when

Today, social media is ubiquitous, and your next crisis – whether caused by an internal employee, Mother Nature or a crime – could happen when you least expect it.

This workshop will address key crisis communications challenges and leave districts and institutions with practical, experience-based takeaways on how to better prepare their internal resources as the new school year approaches.

Who is Premo? Our team includes two former members of the Pittsburgh mayor’s communications team who worked as the communications manager and press secretary during a time when the city experienced significant crises, such as deadly weather events and the G-20 Economic Summit. Together with Premo’s growing team of former reporters, crisis managers and digital media experts, we’ve worked with major institutions to prepare and guide them through teacher strikes, bomb threats, controversial employee issues, and more.

As we celebrate the launch of our new brand, we’re providing thought leadership opportunities on the topics we think are most critical in today’s digital age, starting with school district crisis communications.




Registration and networking

All attendees arrive, sign in, network and connect with esteemed peers and friends.

panel discussion


10:15am – 11:00am

Thought leadership discussion

Moderator: Joanna Doven, Premo Consultants Founding CEO, former Mayoral Press Secretary

Ira Weiss – Longtime solicitor for dozens of school districts; partner, WBK Law
Kris Maher – Wall Street Journal reporter who has covered several crises, including school crises
Melissa Friez  Pittsburgh Public School parent, assistant superintendent, former high school principal
Marty Griffin  Long-time media reporter, KDKA, founder Sparkt
Aviva Radbord  Long-time media producer, KDKA & WTAE-TV
Dr. Bart Rocco – Grable Foundation fellow; former high school principal and superintendent
Chris Togneri – Public Information Officer, City of Pittsburgh 

action-oriented workshops


11:00PM – 12:00pm

breakout session #1

To Communicate or not to Communicate? The Risks and Rewards Struggle with Confidentiality: What Can You Say?

Workshop leaders: Jocelyn Kramer and Annemarie Harr, Weiss, Burkhardt Kramer, Niki Kapsambelis, Premo Consultants (former Associated Press editor)

From an air quality report to a school shooting threat, one of the most critical determinants to ensuring proactive communications is to know when you should and should not communicate.  This workshop will go over best communication practices that keep legal considerations top of mind.

Actionable takeaway: Create your own communications matrix with crisis tiers that will guide decision-makers on a) when to communicate and b) which channels are best suited for the situation.




Lunch provided to participants

Please contact us after registering with any food allergies or special dietary requirements.


12:00PM – 1:00pm

breakout session #2

Managing the New Media and Your Social Media During Crisis

Workshop leaders: Joanna Doven, Premo Consultants, Melissa Friez: Assistant Superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools

Kids and parents tend to be more social media savvy than schools. So how can schools stay ahead of that ever-changing curve — especially during a crisis? We’ll examine the rise of parent-based school district Facebook pages and go over how social media is influencing news coverage. After all, with Facebook’s newsfeeds and phones, everyone should be looked at as a reporter.

Actionable Takeaway: Our proprietary Predictive Media Toolkit™ which walks communications’ leaders through the development of the best responses to the worst questions you’ll get from both parents and the news media.


1:00pm - 2:00pm

breakout session #3

Remaking Communications

Workshop leaders: Joanna Doven, Premo Consultants, Niki Kapsambelis, Premo Consultants, Marissa Luznar, Premo Consultants

As more schools embark on shaping curricula that is relevant and engaging for students, we’ll examine how schools are remaking communications to better engage with parents and stakeholders during crises.

Actionable Takeaway: This workshop will take you through a school crisis communications audit and enable you to define the most critical areas for improvement and execution when faced with task of managing a crisis and/or media disaster.

Get Prepared for the new school year

Now more than ever school districts must be prepared for the inevitable. Join us as we provide thought leadership opportunities on the topics most critical to our communities today. Seating is limited and this event will sell out – reserve your seats today.