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Crisis Communication and Media Relations: Strategies for Survival

Offered by the College of Communication & Information in partnership with the College of Business Administration’s Center for Executive Education

  • Duration: Two  Days
  • 2013 Dates: September 12 – 13, 2013
  • Class size: Limited to 12 participants

Participant Profile

This program is designed for mid-level managers who strive to enhance their skills to deal with crises and the media.  The program will help participants how to better understand their customers and develop communication plans and campaigns in all situations.


Many companies in the past few years have experienced crisis situations ranging from the BP Oil Leak disaster, the TVA Coal Ash spill, Bank failures, and major American automobile companies.  Many of these companies have suffered significant damage to their reputation and public image.  High profile athletes and celebrities have also had to deal with difficult circumstances resulting in loss of their public image.   All businesses and corporations need to better understand how to cope with crises, communicate with their customers, and deal with media relations.

Crisis Communication and Media Relations will focus on the most compelling challenges faced by leaders and corporations today.  Participants will be presented with practical and applied strategies for identifying the most effective communication strategies and mapping out the right paths to success.  Developing a crisis communication and effective media relations strategy will strengthen every business and will aid in preventing reputation and image damages in the future.


  • Understanding Media-Old and New
  • What Journalists Want and Need
  • Press Conferences and Press Releases
  • Being Interviewed on camera
  • Corporate Image and Reputation
  • Understanding the Public and your Customers
  • Developing Consistent Messages
  • Listening to the Public
  • Issues in Management and Crisis Communication
  • Best Practices in Crisis Communication
  • Use of Social and New Media in Crisis Communication
  • Crisis Communication Press Conferences
  • Public Communication
  • Business Presentations to the Public
  • Communicating with Disgruntled People
  • Working with Government Leaders
  • Performance measurement in shopper marketing
  • Global similarities and differences in shopper marketing
  • Sustainability and ethical issues of shopper marketing

Key Objectives

  • Improve and manage your external communication skills
  • Improve your media relations techniques
  • Improve and manage your public image and reputation
  • Communicate more effectively with all publics

Program Outline

Day One    Dr. Elizabeth Avery

  • Corporate Image and Reputation
  • Understanding your Public
  • Developing Consistent Messages
  • Media Relations
  • What Journalists Want
  • Press Conferences

Day Two   Dr. Michael Palenchar

  • Crisis Communication
  • Best Practices of Crisis  
  • Communication and Rumor Management
  • Mock Crisis Communication Press Conference    
  • Case Study 


Classes are held in the state-of-the art classrooms of the Haslam Business Building at the University of Tennessee.

Contact Information

Dr.  Sam Swan, Professor and Director, Internationalization and Outreach, College of Communication and Information.
Office: 432 Communications Bldg.
1345 Circle Park Drive
Knoxville, TN. 37996

Register online at