Crisis communication and reputation management

 The purpose of this assignment is to apply the four elements of a crisis communication plan and other resources to any one of a number of serious circumstances when presenting a plan to an organization’s internal crisis management team. 


Read through the options and choose one of the scenarios below for this assignment. The scenario statements provide a glimpse into the circumstance, but you will need to customize it for your crisis.

  • Scenario 1: Employee or Hiring Discrimination: We take diversity and inclusion seriously at [company]. We are an equal opportunity employer and [consider all applicants/respect all employees] without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Our goal is to ensure that we are providing a safe and inclusive workplace for all employees. As such, we are actively and seriously reviewing [this claim/these claims] to determine the appropriate next steps.
  • Scenario 2: Sexual Harassment: At [company], we believe that all employees should treat each other with respect. We stand with any individual who has the courage to speak out when those values are not honored. Our goal is to create a safe and inclusive workplace for all. We are actively reviewing [this claim/these claims] to determine the appropriate next steps and are offering our full support to the [person/people] who came forward.
  • Scenario 3: Unexpected Loss of CEO/Executive (Death): We are saddened to announce that [name] has passed away. Amidst this time of tragic loss, our focus right now is on supporting the people closest to [him/her], our employees, and all of those affected by [his/her] passing. [Insert name], who had the benefit of working closely with [name], will be serving as interim [Title of deceased].
  • Scenario 4: Unexpected Loss of CEO/Executive (Unexpectedly Quits/Resigns): [Name of employee] has resigned from [his/her] former position at [company] as Crisis communication and reputation management, effective [date]. [Name] will assume the position of Crisis communication and reputation management on an [interim/permanent] basis. We believe this transition will aid us in achieving our mission as a company. We wish nothing but the best for [resigned employee] and [his/her] successful and prosperous future, and we thank [him/her] for [his/her] [months/years/decades] of dedicated service to [company].
  • Scenario 5: Unexpected Loss of CEO/Executive (Removed from Role): [Company] can confirm [employee] is parting ways with the company, effective [date]. [Optional: If this termination is due to a public crisis, such as harassment or illegal activity, mention that his/her behavior was unacceptable at the company, and to protect the integrity of your company, he/she was removed from his/her position].  We have officially named [name] as [interim/permanent] Crisis communication and reputation management. We believe this transition will aid us in achieving our mission as a company. [Optional: If this termination is due to a public crisis, such as harassment or illegal activity, mention that the company is actively reviewing the situation and what steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again].


Create a 5-7-slide PowerPoint presentation that will be delivered to the internal crisis management team. In your presentation, be sure to include the following:

  • Address the four key elements of a crisis communication plan: crisis team, designated spokesperson, media policy/plan, and statement. Note also how the recommended statement is persuasive to achieve the desired outcome.
  • Articulate final messaging for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate confidentiality and address the role of legal in your crisis communication plan.
  • Include two or three resources in your references list with at least one from the Wall Street Journal.

Refer to the “Crisis Communication and Reputation Management: Response Strategy Roadmap” and watch the videos, “Judy Smith on Responding to a Crisis” and “Watch Judy Smith Speak at Fortune’s MPW Summit – Fortune Most Powerful Women,” located in topic Resources, to provide guidance when addressing your selected situation. 

 While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.  

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