Thursday, August 24, 2017

Learning about Crisis Management to Understand Crisis Communication

Tonight I kicked off a semester-long class on crisis communication. It's offered through University of San Francisco's M.A. Program in Professional Communication. To that end, students can expect to encounter the range of skills today's crisis communicators must master to survive (if not thrive) in an increasingly hectic world. Go here to view the course syllabus

I approach crisis communications differently than what I've seen in venues populated primarily by professional communicators. I believe we must broaden our scope of inquiry to encompass crisis management, with communication (i.e., the need to respond to crisis) representing one part (and, I admit, often the sexiest one as it involves media relations, social media, and other tools). That means we'll address prevention, preparation, and post-crisis analysis in addition to the actual communication in response to the crisis itself. The class encompasses several fields--strategic communication, risk management and communication, organizational behavior, leadership, and ethics, among others. 

I thus feel it's a bit of a misnomer to title the class "Crisis Communication." That said, communicators can clearly work more effectively by understanding the broadest possible context within crises may be considered. I see my class as an important step in this education process.

Go here to listen to a presentation I delivered in 2012 about crisis communications at West Virginia University's annual Integrate Conference. 

Stay tuned for regular updates on the course here on this blog. 

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