Crisis Communication

This page was developed to provide easy access to a number of online readings and how-to-do-it tip sheets that address the special challenges of trying to
conduct public relations during 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

Want to read more about it?

  My online readings in public relations were written to supplement typical PR textbooks. Topics run the gamut from basic terms and concepts of public relations through the evolution of the profession to performing various everyday tasks. Click here for the complete table of contents.

The following articles deal with crisis communication:

Need to prepare for a crisis?

  Turney's Tips are how-to-do-it guides for PR tasks such as writing news releases, formatting speeches, and developing strategic communication plans. Originally developed to help students complete class assignments, they're helpful desktop reminders for working professionals. Click here for a directory
with links to each of the pdf-format tipsheets.

Used in conjunction with one another, the two following tip sheets can help you prepare for a crisis before one happens and then keep your communication efforts on track if you actually face one.