Topic Name Description
Course Syllabus Page Course Syllabus


Page Course Terms of Use
1.1: What Is Crisis Communication? Page What Is Crisis Communication?

Watch this brief video on how crisis communication is viewed from a business perspective. In this video, Rick Kelly, Director of Crisis Communications at Triad Strategies, defines crisis communication and discusses the importance of developing a crisis communications plan.

URL Handling Crises in Communication

Read this article for an overview and definition of crisis communication and crisis communication management. This article also addresses reasons why crisis communication is important. Note that it is not necessary to read the other chapters referenced and linked in this article.

1.2: Types of Crises URL Crisis Management

Read the "Types of Crises" section of this article, stopping at "Crisis Leadership". This section will help you understand the various types of crises that can occur and that should be considered and customized for various organizational crisis management planning.

1.3: Crisis Management Stages Page The Role of Public Relations in Crisis Management

Watch this video presentation for a better understanding of crisis communication as a business or organization problem. In particular, note the stages of crisis communication.

1.4: Four Types of Crisis Response URL Apologize, Deny, Justify, or Excuse: How Crisis Response Affects Perceptions

Read this article to learn how the four types of corporate crisis responses affect the perception of the company and the CEO differently.

1.5: The Evolution of Using Social Media in Disaster Response URL Social Networking Changes Everything

Read this article to learn about how social networks have changed everything in public relations. The materials in this subunit will help prepare you for Unit 3.

URL Red Cross Launches Social Media Disaster Response Center

Read this article and watch the embedded video to learn about social media's growing application for disaster response.

URL Introduction to Social Media Strategy

Read this document for an introduction to social media strategy that has application to both non-profit and other organizations.

2.1: How to Prepare for a Crisis: Crisis Communication Plan URL Planning

Read this section to learn the steps for crisis planning. Be sure to take notes as you read. Pay special attention to real-world crisis events, including Wendy's handling of a woman's claim of finding a fingertip in her bowl of chili. Another example discussed in this section is BP's oil rig explosion in the Gulf Coast and how CEO Tony Hayward responded.

Complete exercise 2 (AACSB) Analysis. This exercise requires you to role play as the CEO of a large company and to write the core values you would want the employees of your company to demonstrate. Post your response to the exercise to the PRSM107 Course Discussion Forum as well as review and respond to one or two other students' posts.

Page Crisis Communication Plan

Watch this video to learn the basics of a crisis communication plan approach for business and organizations.

2.2: What Is a Crisis Management Team (CMT)? URL Crisis Management Communications

Read the first six sections of this article, stopping at "Pre-draft Messages", for an overview of crisis management teams.

2.3: Case Study: How Does FEMA's Think Tank Operate? URL What Is the FEMA Think Tank?

Read this article to get a basic understanding of how the Federal Emergency Management Agency uses the think tank forum to enhance the overall effectiveness of its crisis response operations.

URL FEMA Think Tank Conference Call – February 2013

Listen to this audio recording of part of FEMA's think tank conference call on February 6, 2013. Also, download the transcript of the full conference call, and skim the transcript for an overview of this session. This audio recording provides a sample of what goes on in this type of meeting. The topic focuses on innovations and solutions to emergency management.

2.4: Your Role in Crisis Management URL Crisis Management Communications

Read the article, beginning at "Pre-draft Messages" through "Table 8 Post-Crises Best Practices" to get a better understanding of your role as a public relations specialist in helping your organization use best practices during a crisis and in crisis management. This article is also an effective lead into the next subunit, "Dealing with News Media".

2.5: Dealing with News Media URL Press Conferences

Read Section 4 of Chapter 17 to refresh your understanding of the importance of always adequately preparing for news media encounters regardless of the format and whether you are communicating during a crisis situation or non-crisis situation.

After reading about press conferences, complete the exercise at the end of the section. For this exercise, you will select one scenario based on your birth month. Then, you will write a prepared statement that responds to at least five questions related to who, what, when, where, how, and why regarding the scenario. Post your written response to the PRSM107 discussion forum as well as review and respond to one or two other students' posts.

3.1: Why Social Media Is Useful During a Crisis URL Current Trends in Electronic Media

Read this section to learn how trends in social media affect the availability, use, and appeal of social media as effective communication during a crisis.

URL Why You Should Tweet During a Crisis

Read this article, which discusses the benefits of using social media, such as Twitter, during a crisis.

3.2: The Risks of Using Social Media URL Risky Business? Is a Social Media Policy Enough? Do Law Firms Need Social-Media-Insurance?

Read this article, which provides insight into company losses that occur from social media mishaps and security breaches. This article should get you thinking about the inherent risks businesses assume when they incorporate social media into their day-to-day operations.

URL Internet Social Networking Risks

Read this article to learn how to avoid social networking risk that could interrupt and compromise your Internet and social media channel services.

3.3: Social Media Marketing URL Avoiding Social Media Suicide: Optimizing PR

Watch this video to learn emerging best practices for reaching and engaging blogger, reporters, and other influencers to target your messages.

URL Interacting with Your Customers

Read this section and complete exercise 2. This exercise highlights one of Procter & Gamble's most successful social media campaigns. It features former NFL wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa, who points out the power of wearing Old Spice aftershave. For your convenience, you may find the article with embedded videos for this exercise below.

URL The Old Spice Social Media Campaign by the Numbers

Read this article and view the embedded videos as part of exercise 2.

3.4: Effective Use of Social Media URL Social Networking Experiment Shows Effects of Mass Mobilization

Read this article to learn how a government agency used a contest to conduct a social networking experiment to show how quickly large groups can be mobilized in support of a cause.

Page Social Media and Emergency Management

Watch this video, which illustrates how a government agency in Australia has effectively integrated social media into emergency service procedures.

4.1: What Type of Information Does a CCP Contain? URL Crisis Communication Plan Nonprofit Toolkit

Study this document to learn what a CCP is and to understand what a complete and detailed crisis communication plan might look like, depending on the nature of the organization or company.

4.2: How to Design a Crisis Communication Plan URL Crisis Communication Plan

Read this section to learn about what type of information to include when developing a CCP. This section includes a checklist for designing an effective crisis communication plan and reviews the characteristics of a crisis communication team. Answer the questions for exercises 2 and 5. Post your response to the PRSM107 Discussion Forum, and review as well as respond to one or two other students' posts.

Also respond to the following prompt on the forum:

Outline the media plan you would need if your technology business office headquarters that housed 1,500 employees was damaged during a natural disaster such as a hurricane. What considerations would you need to have planned and coordinated in advance to have an alternate media center or location for media to gather while covering the news of the hurricane disaster damage to your office headquarters?

URL Developing a Digital Communication Plan

Study these slides on 11 steps to developing a digital communication plan. Compare and contrast these steps to the earlier more traditional print formatted crisis plan.

4.3: Testing a Crisis Communication Plan URL Tabletop Exercises: Three Sample Scenarios

Read this article to learn how tabletop exercises are used to test crisis communication plans. This article illustrates three scenarios:

  1. a disgruntled employee starts a data center fire
  2. an explosion at a nearby chemical plant releases deadly toxins
  3. a pandemic flu hits.
5.1: Practice Writing Key Messages that Tell Your Company's Story URL The Importance of Public Relations: UPS Case

Read Chapter 1 for a case study about how negotiations broke down and led to UPS employees going on strike. This chapter will help you understand the importance of developing message strategies and how to develop them for crisis management.

URL What Is a Message Strategy?

Read this article on message strategy. This article will help you understand the importance of developing message strategies and how to develop them for crisis management or marketing. This article includes a position statement and three supporting points.

5.2: Incorporate Key Messages Using Online and Traditional Media Tools URL Succeeding in Media Relations

Read these three articles to better understand your role with news media, what you can do to achieve an effective working relationship with the media, and tips for using traditional and new media.

5.3: Help Management to Communicate Truthful Messages URL Crisis Communication in Social Media: Are You Ready?

Read this article, which explains what happens during a crisis, how to plan for a crisis, and how to use the ICE method to guide the actions of management and the crisis response team.

URL Business and Marketing Ethics

Read this article, which will provide you with guidelines for ensuring management is ready to handle a crisis and also outlines specific business ethics that should be followed to ensure truthful disclosures.

5.4: Communicate to Various Stakeholder Groups URL Identifying and Prioritizing Stakeholders and Publics

Read Chapter 7, which defines and prioritizes stakeholders and publics.

Course Feedback Survey URL Course Feedback Survey