Crisis Communication

This page offers easy access to my online readings and how-to-do-it tip sheets focused on the challenges of performing public relations in a crisis situation.

Michael Turney, Ph.D., ABC
Professor Emeritus, Northern Kentucky University

What type of crisis will you face?

No one knows. No one can predict what tomorrow will bring let alone what may or may not occur during a lifetime career in public relations. What I can tell you, and what I've written elsewhere, is that countless books, articles, and news stories offer urgent warnings about the increasing likelihood of facing a major public relations crisis regardless of what kind of business, industry, or non-profit organization employs you.

Even if you end up being one of the lucky ones who never faces a crisis, the possibility of confronting one deserves consideration and advance planning. You need to pay attention to what's happening around you and keep up to date on current trends in crisis occurrence and crisis response techniques. But, unless you work for a high profile organization in a high-risk environment, crisis planning needn't be a daily concern.

One of the best ways to keep up with crisis trends is the Annual ICM Crisis Report published by the Institute for Crisis Management (ICM) of Louisville, Kentucky. It's been doing crisis communication planning, training, and consulting for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses around the world since 1989. Its Annual Crisis Reports summarize the crises that hit each year and analyze the news coverage they triggered. They're a wonderful way to maintain a clear perspective on the need for crisis management. Here's a link to the latest ICM Annual Crisis Report.

Public Relations

main page

Online readings in public relations

Turney's Tips

Institute for Crisis Management

Read more about crisis communication.

  My online readings in public relations supplement many basic public relations texts. They range from basic terms and concepts of public relations through the evolution of the profession to performing everyday PR tasks. This is a partial list of those that address crisis communication:

Prepare for a crisis.

  Turney's Tips are how-to-do-it guides for writing a news release, formatting a speech, drafting a strategic communication plan, and other common public relations tasks. Developed to guide students through class assignments, these pdf-format tipsheets are helpful reminders for working professionals.
Directory of tipsheet links.

Used together, the following tipsheets can (a) help you prepare for a crisis and (b) keep your efforts on track while you're actually facing one.