Below are full details of our Crisis (Response) Communication Diploma syllabus.


To develop an understanding of the theories and knowledge required for analysing the causes and weighing the likelihood of unexpected circumstances that demand urgent responses or that might lead to the need for crisis management.

To develop the skills and knowledge needed for auditing, planning and managing public relations for when the pressure mounts for an urgent response or during a crisis:

Indicative content:

  • Public relations and media theories
  • The organisation in society
  • Case study identification, compilation and analysis
  • Issues management workshop
  • Risk assessing
  • Analysing crisis prone organisations and underlying causes
  • Theories and practical examples will be examined to evaluate the opportunities and threats to trust and reputation which out of the ordinary occurrences present to organisations
  • The role of the media (news and social) will be considered using real and hypothetical examples
  • Research methods needed for auditing organisations so that effective plans can be created
  • Planning issues will be reviewed along with the different requirements demanded by the level of response needed and any developing crisis
  • Testing methods and scenarios for the plans will be explored

Learning outcome:

At the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate a wide range of relevant public relations theories and concepts
  • Understand the roots of reputation and the risks it runs
  • Understand the opportunities for reputation development presented by out of the ordinary occurrences
  • Understand the winning, maintenance and destruction of trust or the withdrawal of society's permission to operate
  • Identify, research and write case studies that can be used to develop best practice
  • Analyse and define types of crisis
  • Analyse trends in management practice, organisations and their working environments to predict when a crisis might arise
  • Appreciate the needs of the news media and an organisation's publics and the impact of social media, when normal service is interrupted or not available for a number of reasons
  • Appreciate the ways in which a crisis can be averted
  • Understand the appropriate application of a range of primary and secondary research tools
  • Realise the requirements of producing realistic risk communication audits
  • Understand the importance of sourcing, reviewing and critiquing appropriate case studies and literature
  • Make links between theories, concepts and practices outlined in earlier modules and current public relations practice
  • Create scenarios for testing an organisation's readiness to respond
  • Build, test and maintain plans for managing public relations during a crisis


Assessment is the completion of a 6,000 word set of recommendations for a response/crisis management plan and testing system based on a specific organisation with supporting methodology and rationale.