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PRL2001 Issues and Crisis Management

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: Issues and Crisis Management
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 080509 - Public Relations
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Barbara Ryan

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


Issues and crises can arise in organisations and do irreparable damage to the organisation if not managed well. Public relations practitioners are responsible for successful issues or crisis communication and therefore need to be aware of how issues develop and how they can progress into a crisis. They also need to know how to deal with issues and crises and their reputational effects on the organisation. This course will provide students with the tools to do this successfully.


This course assumes the management perspective that when organisations are faced with an issue either accidental or intentional that significantly disrupts normal operations, effective communication is essential. Students will be made aware of potential issues affecting the public and private sectors and required to develop their individual skills in planning and implementing communication management strategies which reflect their ability to adapt to specific workplace needs. In their efforts to minimise risks and to deal with them, students will examine risk identification, advance preparation, environmental surveillance, crisis-management planning, and evaluation. At all times students will be encouraged to develop a commitment to ethical and responsible practices as part of the on-going development of effective issues management strategies and to develop appropriate communication policies used to facilitate issues management plans.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. develop an appreciation of the ongoing approach to crisis management
  2. understand and apply the core elements of crisis sensing
  3. demonstrate problem-solving skills by diagnosing a crisis and suggesting ways to prevent or deal with a crisis
  4. demonstrate an ability to differentiate between different crisis types
  5. construct and implement issues management and crisis management plans
  6. demonstrate academic and professional literacy skills by critically analysing and evaluating existing crisis management approaches
  7. understand the importance of be able to develop stakeholder relationships as a foundation to effective crisis and issues management
  8. demonstrate written communication skills appropriate to the discipline by preparing and submitting a crisis management plan and scenario.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Crises and issues: what are they and how do they work? 15.00
2. Crisis management theory 10.00
3. Effective and ethical crisis communication 20.00
4. Issues analysis and planning 20.00
5. Crisis analysis and planning 30.00
6. Crisis recovery. 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Jacques, Tony 2014, Issue and Crisis Management:, exploring issues, crises, risk and reputation, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 45.00
Independent Study 120.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
CASE STUDY CRITIQUE 30 30 12 Aug 2019
CRISIS MGT PLAN & SCENARIO 60 60 14 Oct 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.