Technische Universit├Ąt Ilmenau

Managing Strategic Crisis Communication - Modultafeln of TU Ilmenau

The Modultafeln have a pure informational character. The legally binding information can be found in the corresponding Studienplan and Modulhandbuch, which are served on the pages of the course offers. Please also pay attention to this legal advice (german only). Information on place and time of the actual lectures is served in the Vorlesungsverzeichnis.

subject properties Managing Strategic Crisis Communication in major Master Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft/Media and Communication Science 2013
subject number100976
examination number2400533
departmentDepartment of Economic Sciences and Media
ID of group 2555 (Group for Resarch in Public Relations and Communication of Technology)
subject leader Dr. Andreas Schwarz
term Sommersemester
credit points6
on-campus program (h)22
self-study (h)158
Obligationobligatory elective
examalternative examination performance
details of the certificate
  • Frequent and active participation, evidence of preparation including a crisis management exercise and a spokesperson drill (30% of the final grade)
  • At least three research presentations and case assessment presentations (35% of the final grade)
  • Case study paper (35% of the final grade)
Signup details for alternative examinations
maximum number of participants
previous knowledge and experience

This course requires a basic knowledge in the field of communication and media studies and a basic understanding of strategic communication and management practice.

learning outcome
  • An understanding of principles and elements of an ongoing approach to the strategic management of crisis communication
  • Developing abilities to apply findings of crisis communication research in an organizational and managerial environment, including private companies, governmental authorities and non-governmental organizations
  • An understanding of measures and mechanisms to prevent and to detect crises
  • An understanding of sustainable and effective crisis preparations in an organizational environment
  • Understanding and application of effective crisis response strategies (form and content)
  • An understanding of core mechanisms of crisis learning and crisis communication evaluation
  • Deduce trends and future challenges of crisis communication from current cases and research (e.g., international dimensions of crisis communication)

By examining crisis communication from the perspective of an ongoing approach to the strategic crisis management (Coombs, 2011) course participants will get an overview on each step of the management process including crisis prevention, crisis preparation, crisis response, and crisis learning/evaluation.

Students will be introduced to the international state of research in crisis communication (concepts, theories, findings) and understand basic principles of an evidence-based crisis communication practice. This includes current trends and future challenges of crisis communication such as international crisis communication, internal crisis communication or innovative crisis communication technologies. The course offers a broad perspective on crisis communication practice in different organizational environments (e.g., companies, government, NGOs) and different crisis types (e.g., human-error accidents, product recalls, natural disasters, mega damages, etc.).

Course participants are working in small ‘crisis teams’. Each team is going to work on real-world crisis cases and assess them on the basis of core research-based recommendations for effectively managing organizational crises. The course includes practical exercises such as risk assessment, crisis planning and spokesperson training. In addition, students will write their own case study at the end of the course.

The course is designed as one of the ‘specialization modules’ in the Master program Media and Communication Science.

media of instruction
literature / references

All relevant course materials will be made available on the online learning platform Moodle (

Furthermore, the course is based on the following list of recommended readings:

  • Coombs, W. T. (2007/2011). Ongoing crisis communication. Planning, managing, and responding (2nd/3rd ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.
  • Coombs, W. T., & Holladay, S. J. (eds.). (2010). The handbook of crisis communication. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Fearn-Banks, K. (2011). Crisis communications. A casebook approach (4th ed.). New York: Routledge.
  • George & C. Pratt (eds.), Case studies in crisis communication: international perspectives on hits and misses. New York: Routledge.
  • Ulmer, R. R., Sellnow, T. L., & Seeger, M. W. (2007). Effective crisis communication: Moving from crisis to opportunity. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
evaluation of teaching


Freiwillige Evaluation:

SS 2013 (Seminar)