Crisis Communication Certificate Program

This live online course is not currently available. Email the Professional Development Department to inquire about future availability of this program.

Category: Crisis & Reputation

This Certificate Program, originally offered live, is now available on-demand!

View On-Demand Course

Effective crisis communication can help organizations maintain trust, inspire consumer confidence and build competitive advantage. Recent poorly handled crises in business, government and nonprofits show how ineffective crisis communication can set an organization back significantly. To provide more education and understanding surrounding crisis communication, PRSA has developed this brand new professional development offering. Designed as a certificate of completion program, the Crisis Communication Certificate Program will equip management-level communicators with best practices in industry perspectives by sharing resources and ideas, and working through various crises.

Each module will be led by nationally and internationally recognized experts in their field. Most also will include a case study presented by an industry leader who worked through a crisis, and can share what was effective and what wasn’t.

The live, online series of six modules will launch on Nov. 1, 2017, and run through Dec. 13, 2017, airing each consecutive Wednesday from 3–4:30 p.m. ET (with a break during the week of Nov. 22, in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States). All modules will be recorded so that participants can listen or review them after the live date or to relisten in preparation for the final exam. Additionally, member participants will be given access to PRSA’s Online Crisis Communications Community, an exclusive online forum offering private access and interactive dialogue with other members taking the course.

After successfully completing the 18-question, multiple-choice exam at the end of the series, attendees will be awarded a certificate of completion and digital badge for their LinkedIn profile and/or resume.

Certificate Program Modules:

  • Principles of Effective Crisis Response
  • Obtaining Public Forgiveness
  • Telling Your Story in a Crisis
  • Influencing Leaders
  • Operational Readiness No. 1: Establishing an Effective Crisis Response Team and Process
  • Operational Readiness No. 2: Effective Crisis Planning

This certificate program is designed for:

  • Manager and senior-level PR and communication professionals.
  • Professionals who are responsible for corporate reputation.
  • Any professional responsible for managing a corporate communications team.
  • Leaders charged with advising leaders, lawyers and other executives.
  • Professionals responsible for managing digital communications.
  • Risk Management professionals.
  • Managers with five or more years of experience.

By the end of this certificate program, participants will have learned how to:

  • Master key skills and tools needed to understand the drivers of trust in the context of fulfilling expectations.
  • Discover how to obtain forgiveness through the specific language of apologies.
  • Understand the techniques for building and sustaining a corporate narrative.
  • Effectively communicate how to persuade CEOs and other senior executives during a crisis.
  • Develop clarity around roles and processes.
  • Define how to plan for both timely and effective crisis responses.


Participants with the APR credential earn 1.0 APR Maintenance Credit for each completed session of this course, for a total of 6.0 credits.