Lead with confidence in the face of adversity

As a seasoned public relations professional, you recognize the critical role effective crisis communication plays in shaping the reputation of your organization. Supported by industry recognition, this program equips you with the in-depth skills to not only handle a crisis, but to successfully manage and triumph through crises. Seize this opportunity to advance your career, elevate your strategic thinking and confidently guide your organization through the storm. Don’t wait for lightning to strike—prepare for the inevitable and be the resilient communicator your organization needs in turbulent times.

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Program description

In a time characterized by 24-hour news cycles and unparalleled interconnectivity, preserving reputations has become more crucial than ever. When crises emerge, preparation is the key to an effective response. The Micro-certificate in Crisis Communication for Public Relations Professionals is designed for communicators seeking to enhance their skills by providing them with the expertise to develop, implement and assess robust crisis communication plans.

Exploring crisis communication theories and real-world case studies, participants will learn to navigate the complexities of crisis preparation, craft narratives for tumultuous times, ready spokespersons, effectively engage with media and social platforms, and maneuver through the post-crisis landscapes. Graduates of this online micro-credential will emerge as resilient communicators, armed with the knowledge and skills to navigate and respond to crises.

You will learn the following topics in this online program:

  • predicting and preparing for a crisis
  • crisis vulnerability analysis
  • best practices for developing an effective crisis communication plan
  • assembling a crisis communication team
  • spokespersons and leadership
  • crisis communication theories
  • crisis responses
  • ethics of crisis communication
  • media and crisis
  • crisis communication evaluation strategies

You will be guided by a subject matter expert who will facilitate your learning during the entire 12-week course.

Program highlights

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Online Flexibility
This program is delivered online, allowing you to work independently within deadlines set by your instructor. With this format, you don't have to worry about travel or scheduling conflicts while you study. You can work at your own pace, on your own schedule and maintain a balanced lifestyle.

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The University of Victoria is one of Canada's leading universities, recognized for preparing students for careers in a wide range of disciplines. Upon successful completion of this program you will receive a Micro-certificate in Crisis Communication for Public Relations Professionals.

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This program is designed to provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve your professional goals in just 12 weeks.

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Teaching Talent
Our instructors are industry professionals with years of experience. They’re dedicated to helping you develop the knowledge and skills to realize your full potential.

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This program will give you laddering opportunities into other micro-credentials or to non-credit programs.


Program outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, you will be able to:

  • determine what constitutes a crisis and how it is distinct from day-to-day issues
  • identify a proactive approach to crisis management
  • choose strategies for effective crisis communication relevant to your industry or organization
  • create, implement and evaluate an effective crisis communication plan that supports an organization’s mission and vision

Who is this program for?

This micro-credential is designed for professionals employed in the public relations and communication field and working in the public or private sectors.

The program will also be beneficial for those in leadership roles who work with a variety of stakeholders and oversee the functions of public relations and communication in their organization. 

In addition, if you are just entering the public relations field, but want to have formal education in PR, this program also provides the necessary qualifications.

This could be the opportunity you’re looking for to gain essential crisis communication skills, if you are:

  • employed in public relations and communication fields in public or private sectors
  • looking for professional development opportunities in the area of public relations and communication management to stay relevant in a competitive job market, improve workplace performance or employability
  • interested in upskilling or reskilling with an industry certification on your resume
  • enrolled in the public relations program and wish to complete this course as an elective requirement towards the Diploma in Public Relations

Career options

Some of our learners pursue careers in the following roles:
  • Public Affairs/PR Officer
  • Communication Specialist/Consultant
  • Media Relations Coordinator
  • Communication and Engagement Manager
  • Corporate Communication Director


News and resources

Application and fees

All learners who complete the Crisis Communication for Public Relations Professionals micro-credential program will receive a non-credit, micro-certificate from the University of Victoria, Division of Continuing Studies.

Admission requirements

Although not required, current or prior experience in a work environment is recommended for success in this program. It is the responsibility of the participant to ensure they can complete all assignments and contribute meaningfully to all discussions by drawing from their experience. If you have any questions about your suitability for this program, please contact us directly before the program start date. Regular access to a computer with a reliable internet connection will be required as well.

Applicants whose first language is not English are expected to possess strong English language skills equivalent to TOEFL score of 90 on the online test or 575 on the paper-based test, with no section less than 20, or an academic IELTS score of 6.5, with no individual component less than 6.0. 

How to apply

There is no application necessary for this program. Simply register for the one course below, and upon successful completion, you will receive a micro-certificate.

Registration details

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Info you should know:

Continuing Studies statement on use of educational technology

This course will require the use of Zoom and may use other education technology such as internet-based applications, cloud services, or social media. In order to complete this course you will be required to either consent to the disclosure of your personal information outside of Canada to enable use of these technologies, or work with the Division of Continuing Studies to explore other privacy protective options (such as using an alias or nickname).