Crisis Communications and Media Relations

This course will equip you with the skills you need to cope with the chaos of a crisis while protecting an organization’s reputation. You'll learn how to prepare a crisis communications plan, anticipate public reaction, develop messages for key audiences, and manage media attention.

This course starts with an overview of working with the media and looks at what reporters need from communications staff to do their jobs and report on your crisis story. It explores the communicator’s role in reputation management and issues management, and how social media fits into crisis communications.

Instructors: Talia Beckett Davis and David Connop Price

This course is available only as part of the Public Relations Certificate.

What will I learn?

By the end of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Analyze potential crises for a variety of organizations
  • Describe the difference between an issue and a crisis
  • Implement issues management techniques to deflect potential crises
  • Build a crisis communications team
  • Draft a crisis communications plan
  • Respond to the needs of media in reporting on your crisis

How will I learn?

  • Lectures and class discussions
  • Analysis of four case studies
  • Independent take-home assignments
  • In-class exercises, including a team project

How will I be evaluated?

  • Assignments, reports, and projects
  • Class participation
  • Final exam

Textbooks and learning materials

You need a copy of the Canadian Press Stylebook. We will provide other custom course materials.

Hardware and software requirements

You will access your course materials using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

New to online learning? See About Online Learning for helpful videos and additional information.

Related program(s)