Jerry Topczewski

Jerry Topczewski serves as Chief of Staff and Chief Communications Officer for Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee. He came to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 1997, where he worked for Archbishop Rembert Weakland and Archbishop (now Cardinal) Timothy Dolan and served as media spokesman during the clergy sexual abuse crisis. He also served as part of the media relations team during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States in 2015.

A native of Milwaukee, Jerry earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication in 1985, and a master’s degree in administrative leadership in 1998, from UW-Milwaukee. As an adjunct faculty member, he has taught courses in public relations at Mount Mary University and Marquette University.

Jerry has also been Director of Public Relations at Celtic Advertising in Brookfield; head of communications and marketing for the Women’s International Bowling Congress; and part of the sales and game-day promotions team for the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club. He has served multiple terms on the board of directors of the southeast Wisconsin chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and has assisted with chapter programming. He has earned five chapter PRSA awards of excellence and merit for public relations program.

Master Camp |

Handling Hot Topics and Sensitive Subjects

June 13th, 2018

8:30 a.m. to noon

Room: Grand H

This Master Camp is an expanded version of a session conducted during the 2017 CMC. This camp will provide hands-on advice and best practices to help communicators deal with sensitive issues internally and externally. Learn how to be proactive and prepared for the next issue whether it’s personnel, lawsuits, bankruptcies or school closings. Participants will work through actual case studies and practice message mapping, crafting statements, timing messages, crisis prep for spokespersons on all those subjects you can only share with people doing the same work you do. Work with other participants on best practices for media relationships, how to handle fallout and feedback and get advice and tips for handling the stress of it all. This session will also offer tips for all those communication professionals responsible for publications, broadcast, social media—“the two-hat syndrome.”

Panelists: Helen Osman, owner of Greater Wings Strategic Planning and Consulting, President of SIGNIS
                 Jerry Topczewski, Chief of Staff for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Facilitator: Penny Wiegert, Editor/Communication Director, Diocese of Rockford