Course Title: Issues, Risk and Crisis Communication

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Issues, Risk and Crisis Communication

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 2 2020


RMIT University Vietnam


345H Media and Communication


Viet1 2016,
Viet2 2016,
Viet1 2017,
Viet2 2017,
Viet3 2017,
Viet1 2018,
Viet2 2018,
Viet3 2018,
Viet1 2019,
Viet2 2019,
Viet3 2019,
Viet2 2020,
Viet3 2020


Melbourne transfer to Vietnam


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2016


RMIT Vietnam Hanoi Campus


345H Media and Communication


Viet2 2019,
Viet3 2019,
Viet2 2020,
Viet3 2020

Course Coordinator: Ms Philippa Brear

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3849

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 9 Level 5

Course Coordinator Availability: Contact Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required prior study   You should have satisfactorily completed COMM2689 Public Relations Essentials: Concepts or Practice OR COMM1161 Foundations of Public Relations before you commence this course. Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course. Contact your Course Coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning.  Further information go to the RMIT Student Page on Applying for Credit.


Course Description

In this course you will explore what to do if an issue or crisis threatens an organisation, and how effective response demands commitment and involvement across all areas of management. The reputation of an organisation can be damaged overnight in the current digital media environment. The identification of issues and how an organisation responds to them is fundamental to understanding modern crisis and risk communication.   This course provides an overview of key concepts in issues, risk and crisis communication, using case studies to examine the concepts in action. You will explore how issues and risks are communicated and how appropriate communication can make the difference between issues escalating into a crisis or resulting in a public that understands. The perspectives of both the producers and receivers of the messages will be explored as well as the core concepts of trust, reputation, credibility and control.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes    This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes:  

  • Demonstrate the ability to research, plan, implement, evaluate and present public relations communication that respond to the needs of the client organisation.
  • Demonstrate creativity and innovation when identifying and solving problems in diverse contexts within public relations.
  • Communicate using diverse formats and strategies to audiences within and external to your discipline.
  • Work with others in a range of roles and contexts, demonstrating cultural, environmental and social awareness and ethical and reflective practice.

Course Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe the process involved in risk and issues management.
  2. Compare and contrast issues, risks and crises, using appropriate theoretical frameworks.
  3. Evaluate Crisis Communication Strategies Undertaken by a Range of Organisations. 
  4. Create a risk or crisis communication plan that addresses what to do in response to a real-world issue or crisis.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of activities such as lectures, tutorials, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning. The University Library has extensive resources for public relations students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies: The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.


Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.


If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the Program Manager or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.