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Thom Fladung, Former Managing Editor of The Plain Dealer, Joins Hennes Communications


CLEVELAND – Hennes Communications, one of the few firms in the U.S. focused exclusively on crisis management, crisis communications and reputation management, today announced that Thomas Fladung has joined the agency as vice president. Fladung brings more than 33 years of daily newspaper and digital media experience to the agency, having served as a top editor at some of the nation’s largest newspapers such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Detroit Free Press.

“Thom brings an incredible mix of journalism and digital media know-how to our team and to our clients across the country” said Bruce Hennes, managing partner at Hennes Communications. “He is expert at crafting effective, strategic messages on hard deadlines. He is also experienced at quickly evaluating, assembling and disseminating information; skills that are critically important for clients coping with breaking crises and reputation management issues.”

Fladung has overseen newsrooms of more than 300 journalists and has directed dozens of award-winning investigations, breaking-news stories, human interest stories and features. Highlights include helping direct six journalists reporting from the Iraq war after the invasion in 2003 for the Detroit Free Press, where he served as managing editor; leading coverage during the Northeast blackout of 2003 in Detroit and getting the newspaper out with no power; and overseeing coverage of the Minneapolis bridge collapse of 2007 while serving as editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

He has also held a variety of editing and reporting positions at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Detroit Free Press, the Akron Beacon Journal and other newspapers and has reported on business, politics, state government, crime and courts and sports.

Over the past decade, Fladung has played a lead role in transforming newsrooms for the digital age. His work as managing editor at the Plain Dealer was instrumental in the newspaper’s migration to digital platforms, including web, social media and handheld digital devices.

“Throughout my career working in newsrooms across the country, I’ve dealt with my share of crises – both external and internal,” said Thom Fladung. “I know what it is to be responsible for an organization’s reputation and image. I know the satisfaction that comes with managing a crisis so that an organization and its reputation emerge intact. I am confident the skills I’ve developed will help clients break through reputation roadblocks. I can’t wait to get started.”

“Thom will be a strong addition to what is already one of the most talented crisis management teams in the country,” Hennes added.

A native of Canton, Ohio, Fladung is a graduate of the University of Dayton. He is a current board member of the Press Club of Cleveland and served on the board of the Ohio Newspaper Association.


About Hennes Communications

Hennes Communications is a crisis communications and reputation management consulting firm based in Cleveland. Serving corporations, government agencies and nonprofits that are “on trial” in the Court of Public Opinion, Hennes Communications also offers clients crisis management, litigation communication support, media training, pre-crisis preparation and crisis drills.

For five straight years beginning in 2010, Hennes Communications won the “gold” award in the crisis category from the Public Relations Society of America – Greater Cleveland Chapter. The firm won the coveted “Best of Show” award in 2013 for its crisis work when a passenger ferry boat crashed into a dock in lower Manhattan’s Financial District; and in 2009 for its work with another agency on a national peanut butter recall. For more information, please see

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