This course will bring participants through an applied practical issues and crisis communications framework covering both the theory and practice. The structured modules include the development of stakeholder environment, risk assessment, the elements required to build crisis communication plans, the management of an issue or crisis and introduce reputational repair. The theory will be complemented by case studies, moderated discussions on key topics and experience at first hand a real-time crisis simulation.

During the course participants will be building their own bespoke toolkit and crisis communications plan. One of the new elements in this updated course will see course participants undertaking reflective journaling to reinforce the learning objectives and learning outcomes.

Who is this course for?

Professionals charged with specific responsibility for communications planning, crisis planning and dealing with media within organisations, agencies, and the public service. This course will be of particular benefit to those responsible for media planning and interaction in more challenging and testing times.

Learning outcomes

This course will provide participants with a deeper understanding of a crisis media scenario and how it can best be anticipated and managed. It will also:

  • Enhance your understanding & knowledge of dealing with issues, which can play out for organisations in the media, with the related public scrutiny;
  • Provide practical guidelines to assist in planning for crisis media events & issues management;
  • Highlight the absolute necessity to communicate with credibility & speed when confronted with unexpected media & public scrutiny;
  • Demonstrate the vital requirement of planning, teamwork & leadership in dealing with crisis situations & responding to issues which for whatever reason attain a public dimension;
  • Highlight the critical value of getting ‘your message' out there in either a crisis or issues management scenario;
  • Afford an opportunity to participate in realistic crisis & issues management exercises; and
  • The development an issues and crisis toolkit including a bespoke crisis communications plan.
Topics covered
  • Planning for the crisis, who will be involved, what plans to guide them?
  • Communicating in a crisis, especially with media & in social media
  • Critical examination & discussion on past crisis & issues management situations
  • Learning to lead & work as part of a team in responding to various scenarios
  • Importance of creating a calm & supportive working environment
  • Maintaining credibility, working with established facts, avoiding speculation
Crisis Simulation

A key component of the course will be the practical application of learning in a live in-person crisis simulation exercise. Participants will be given a scenario to deal with in real time. Participants will be observed as the situation unfolds and then receive coaching and feedback on the application of the framework as developed during the course.



This PRII Certificate course will be delivered using a blended approach incorporating a number of delivery methods (live online lectures; video lectures; live online tutorials, student group work and self-directed learning).

The Remote Blended Course will include video lectures, live session preparatory work in advance of live online sessions where participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and obtain feedback from the lecturer and guest speakers:

This will consist of:

  • A series of pre-recorded video lectures which you can watch in your own time;
  • Exercises to build issues and crisis communications toolkits bespoke to course participants’ needs;
  • Live online sessions to discuss the material covered in the videos:
  • Peer and expert review of issues and crisis communications tool development;
  • Interactive sessions with expert Guest Speakers;
  • Crisis communications simulation exercise; and
  • Learning materials available to students will include a dedicated course resource webpage hosting video lessons, notes, readings and references.

Assessment & Accreditation:

Assessment is by continuous assessment taking account of attendance and participation in class.

Participants are encouraged to apply learning from the readings, modules and discussions and show how these apply to their own work situation and communications challenges.

Assessment for this course is comprised of three elements:

  • A reflective journal where the learner can record and reflect upon their observations and responses to each session’s learning, the crisis simulation exercise and the overall learning from the course.
  • Participants will be set exercises / tasks related with each session/module designed in a way that key elements of a Crisis Communication & Issues Management Resource for their organisation are developed as the course progresses.
  • On completion of the course participants will submit this overall (c 3,000 word) document for assessment and feedback.

This assignment must be completed and submitted four weeks after completion of
the course.

Accredited by the Public Relations Institute of Ireland – the professional body for communications and PR in Ireland, the PRII Certificate in Crisis Communication and Issues Management will be awarded on successful completion of the course assessments.

I found the simulation exercise really beneficial and a way of changing my thinking when it comes to dealing with such processes.

Certificate Participant 2023

I really enjoyed the course and feel like I gained a lot from it.

Certificate Participant 2023

Course Director

Mr Niall Quinn MPRII

Mr Niall Quinn MPRII

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