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Crisis Communication Practices

Course overview

As the COVID-19 crisis first unfolded, organizations of every type and size reached out to their customers and communities. Each sought to stay connected with—and be helpful to—their audience during a time of confusion. Which organizations were able to communicate effectively during the crisis, and how did they do it?

In this course, you'll learn how to communicate meaningfully in the midst of a crisis. But more importantly, you'll learn how to create a communication plan before crisis strikes, and how to evaluate whether it's reaching its audience.

When you complete this class, you'll know how to speak clearly, truthfully, and helpfully for your church or business despite the chaos of a crisis. And that's a skill every organization needs—now more than ever.

Course distinctives

Plan for the future - In this course, you won't just focus on reacting to crises after they occur. You'll learn to plan ahead wisely so you can respond swiftly in any situation.
Faithful speech - Your instructor believes that truthful, ethical communication is a powerful tool for accomplishing good. You'll be challenged to view all crisis communication as a way to bring hope and inspire action.
Expert teaching - Kathi Groenendyk is a widely published scholar and department chair who has deep experience as an editor, speaker, and professor.

Course details

There is no set meeting time for this course. You will have opportunities for live collaboration with the professor and other students. If you choose to audit the course, plan to spend 10-14 hours over the course of three weeks reading, writing, watching videos, and having discussions. You won't be graded. If you are taking the course for academic credit, expect an additional 20 hours of course work. Credit-seekers are awarded a credit on a completed/not-completed basis without a letter grade.


Kathi Groenendyk's staff photo

Kathi Groenendyk

Kathi Groenendyk received certification in crisis communication and also in integrated communication from the Public Relations Society of America, and has earned the PRSA badge of completion in executive communication. In addition to teaching public relations, she has helped develop new curriculum programs in strategic communication and media. Her research currently focuses on social media and effective climate change communication.

Basic information

IDIS 170
$400 for college credit (1 semester hour)
$200 to audit the course
June 22–July 10, 2020
Kathi Groenendyk


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