Virtual Course

Crisis Management and Communications Seminar

Receive practical instruction, pragmatic tips, and best practices, from a communications expert—based on his decades of experience—that you can put to use immediately to communicate effectively during a crisis.
April 7, 2021
12:00pm EST - 4:00pm EST

Virtual Training

Join us on April 7 for this new 4-hour virtual course (through Zoom), where you’ll have the opportunity to interact with the instructor, your industry peers, and earn continuing education credits. This course combines case studies, small group breakouts, live polling, Q&A sessions, and group discussion.


Attend one real-time session from Noon - 4 p.m. Eastern on April 7. There will be two, 10-minute breaks incorporated into the session.

Attendees may also be interested in the One-on-One Media and Public Presentation Training virtual course, taking place on April 14 (also led by Hennes Communications).

Course Overview

Controversies today are tried in the court of public opinion more often than in the court of law. And while it takes a lifetime to build a reputation, it can take only a few seconds to destroy one. That’s why “managing the message” is a necessary skillset for utility executives, legal counsel, and other key utility personnel. The widespread, 24/7 use of social media both opens up your organization’s reputation to potential threats and offers more opportunities to share your message and be responsive.

Receive practical instruction, pragmatic tips, and best practices, from a communications expert—based on his decades of experience—that you can put to use immediately to communicate effectively during a crisis.

Course Topics

  • Establishing and maintaining “control of the message”
  • Using social media effectively
  • What reporters expect; what you should expect
  • The difference between print, TV and radio interviews – and the different skill sets required for each
  • What to do when lawyers insist on a strict “no comment”
  • “Extreme crisis communications” for the most serious situations, including mass casualty events, widespread power outages and other extreme threats to life and limb

Recommended for

  • Utility managers (mid-level to C-suite)
  • Policymakers (board/council members)
  • Attorneys (in-house and outside counsel)
  • Those who interact with customers and the media
  • Utilities can also invite key business leaders and public safety partners to attend

Course Level

Basic: No prerequisites; no advanced preparation.

Technology Requirements

Attendees are required to have strong Internet access, in order to run the Zoom meeting platform. You will need to enable computer audio to listen and speak (alternatively a call-in number will be provided) and it’s also recommended that you have a webcam, so you can fully engage in the small group breakout exercises.

Course Materials

  • Zoom log in credentials will be sent out the day before class.
  • Attendees will receive access to APPA’s secure electronic document portal a week before the course (an eManual will be available to download a day before the class).
  • The session will be recorded and can also be accessed through this portal, in case you can’t attend the live version (available within a week of the course) 


The following continuing education credits will be provided, after successfully completing the live session (click here to review requirements). Certificates will be emailed by April 21.

Recommended CEUs .4/PDHs 3.7/CPEs 4.4
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge


Bruce HennesBruce Hennes, CEO, Hennes Communications
Hennes Communications serves government agencies, corporations, manufacturers, education and healthcare institutions—as well as law firms and their clients—that are “on trial” in the Court of Public Opinion. Bruce has nearly 40 years’ experience in communications, is an adjunct professor at Cleveland State University, is a member of the executive committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and he was recently named a “Go-To Thought Leader” by the National Law Review.


Contact [email protected].


Register Now

Registration fees

  • $350 for members
  • $700 for nonmembers

Not a member? Join today and save on your course registration. Call Member Services at 202-467-2926 to learn more.  

Group Discounts

Save an additional $50 on each when your organization registers 5 or more people. The larger your group, the more you save!

Number of Registrants Discount (Per Person) Member Registration Fee Nonmember Registration Fee
1 - 4 n/a $350 $700
5 - 10 $50 $300 $650
11 - 15 $100 $250 $600
16+ $150 $200 $550

Contact [email protected] for more information and to request the group registration form to receive this special discount.


Registrants who cancel in writing on or before March 31, 2021, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after March 31 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by March 31 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund.


Contact [email protected].

Earn While You Learn!

Participate in online programs to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and Continuing Professional Education credits (CPEs). This course is eligible for the following credits:

Recommended CEUs .4/PDHs 3.7/CPEs 4.4
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge

What educational credits are available?

You can earn the following kinds of continuing education credits for attending live sessions during this event—provided the following requirements are met:

Requirements for Successful Completion

  • Attendees are required to attend and participate in 90% of the live event and complete an online evaluation at the end of the session
  • Partial credit cannot be given for partial attendance
  • Attendance is monitored by an APPA staff member during the event, through an online report log, and upon review of the post-event evaluation data
  • Completion certificates will be emailed out within one week of a live event (for those who meet the requirements)
  • Virtual sessions are recorded (attendees automatically receive access to recordings within a week of a live event), though continuing education credits can only be given for attending live events

IACET logoContinuing Education Units (CEUs) - The American Public Power Association is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. For information regarding certification status, attendance requirements and obtaining attendees transcripts, contact [email protected] or 202-467-2965. Verify our IACET Accreditation.

CPE logoContinuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits - The American Public Power Association is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: Unless noted, there are no prerequisites for the courses offered and no advance preparation is required. Courses are group-internet based offerings at the basic program level (unless otherwise noted). Credit hours and areas of study for the courses are listed on the individual course pages. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as clarification of requirements, complaints, and refunds, please contact [email protected].

Professional Development Hours (PDHs) -  The American Public Power Association’s educational practices are consistent with the criteria for awarding Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Course eligibility and number of PDHs may vary by state.

Format and Log-In Information

This class will be offered on the Zoom meeting platform. Presented in a live 4-hour interactive session, featuring real-time presentation, small group breakout sessions, case studies, Q&A and group discussion sessions.

  • You’ll receive a logistics email with info on how to prepare and access the online document portal one week in advance of the class.
  • You will receive your Zoom access link the day before the class from the APPA Academy <[email protected]>. Please reach out to [email protected] if you do not receive that email.

New to Zoom?

If you haven't participated in a Zoom meeting before, please download the Zoom web client from the Zoom Download Center. This will enable you to access all of the Zoom tools and functionality vs. using the web version (so you can participate in Zoom breakout sessions, etc.). For the course, you will need an Internet connection and sound (we recommend using your computer’s audio and microphone, though a phone number will also be provided). Then, visit to ensure you are able to join a meeting.

If you are not able to download the Zoom web client, you can still participate via your Internet browser. We recommend using Chrome for the best results. If you use your Internet browser, your functionality may be more limited (for example, you will only be able to see one video feed at a time), and you will need to create a Zoom account. (Account creation is a free and straightforward process, but you will want to do this in advance so you do not miss any part of the meeting).

Privacy and Security

The American Public Power Association takes your privacy and security very seriously. For this reason, we have put the following security measures in place for this course:

  • A random Meeting ID
  • Password-protected
  • Enabled waiting room to screen meeting participants
  • Restricted screen sharing to hosts only

Code of Conduct

Participants agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If participants engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the code, the Association may take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings, with no warning or refund.


Contact us at [email protected].