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


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


Melbourne transfer to Vietnam


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Karen Conrad

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5206

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: B009 F05 R039-2

Course Coordinator Availability: Please check with course coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The reputation of an organisation can be damaged overnight in the current digital media environment. 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 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

This is an elective, which will complement the capabilities you are developing in your program.

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

  • Identify and describe the process involved in risk and issues management.
  • Compare and contrast issues, risks and crises, using appropriate theoretical frameworks.
  • Evaluate communication strategies undertaken by a range of local and international companies in response to crises, and the role of activists and community groups.
  • 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, case studies 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:

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 may include essays, reports, reflective papers, creative projects and presentations, individually and in groups. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.