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  1. 1. Mission Statement: Our mission is to serve as a leading center of Christian thought and action providing an excellent education from a biblical perspective and global context in pivotal professions to equip Christian leaders to change the world. COURSE SYLLABUS SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION & THE ARTS DEPARTMENT JRNU 385 PUBLIC RELATIONS: CRISIS MEDIA MANAGEMENT SUMMER, 2009 ONLINE INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION Instructor: Gene Kapp Phone: 757-880-1960 E-mail: gkapp@regent.edu Page 1 of 9
  2. 2. All students are required to read and have a thorough understanding of the syllabus. Any questions or concerns need to be addressed to the instructor. COURSE DESCRIPTION No catalog description RATIONALE/COURSE OVERVIEW Students will focus on a comprehensive study of the specialized public relations field of crisis media management. By learning how to recognize, manage, and resolve a crisis situation, students will gain valuable insight into how the media operates during a crisis and what you must do to weather the media storm. All of this examined as the more ‘traditional’ forms of media gives way to the up-and-coming ‘new’ media. Emphasis will be placed on preparation and taking preventive action to lessen the impact of a crisis and, when possible, to keep a crisis from occurring in the first place. The course will also examine how a crisis can cripple an organization or company and what must be done to restore and protect the reputation of the organization or company. Students will take textbook strategies and theories and apply them to real world situations through the examination of case studies of current and past crises. Journalism in its truest form is a ministry of truth telling. There are many biblical references that provide a solid foundation for Christian journalism. Among the many references is this passage taken from Luke, Chapter 1 – quoting from the New American Standard version: 1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write {it} out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. Luke 1:1 PREREQUISITES None DEPARTMENTAL JOURNALISM PROGRAM OUTCOMES Students will demonstrate the ability to integrate and apply Christian faith with biblical truth and principles to the study and practices of communication within a journalism context. Students will demonstrate understanding and comprehension of the theory and practice of the evolving field of journalism. Page 2 of 9
  3. 3. Students will demonstrate practical applications of 21st century journalistic skills within the global marketplace. COURSE JRNU 385 OUTCOMES Students should emerge from this course with a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to crisis media management. Students will see that each crisis is different – in the potential damage it can cause and in the way it is to be resolved. By assessing the severity of a crisis, students should understand that the tactics and strategies employed in crisis management must be adapted and applied to each specific case. Students should emerge with an understanding of the fundamental dynamics of recognizing, managing and resolving crisis situations in a manner consistent with sound ethical and management principles. COURSE MATERIALS Required Materials: Ongoing Crisis Communication Planning, Managing, and Responding By W. Timothy Coombs Second Edition, 2007 Publisher: SAGE ISBN Number: 9781412949927 Recommended Resources: Crisis in Organizations, II by Laurence Barton 2001 Publisher: South-Western College Publishing ISBN Number: 9780324024296 Page 3 of 9
  4. 4. COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND ASSIGNMENTS A. Textbook readings WEEK ONE: Chapter 3, Prevention: Finding Warning Signs Chapter 4, Taking Preventive Measures Chapter 5, Crisis Preparation, Part 1 Chapter 6, Crisis Preparation, Part 2 WEEK TWO: Chapter 7, Crisis Recognition Chapter 8, Crisis Response WEEK THREE: Chapter 9, Postcrisis Concerns Chapter 10, Final Observations and Lessons B. Discussion Boards Instructor will add discussion questions to the Discussion Board on a regular basis. Students are expected to engage in energetic and thoughtful discussions on topics raised. Check Discussion Board daily as new questions will be posted for discussion. All students are expected to participate in the debate on Discussion Board. Participation in this forum will account for 20 percent of your final grade. C. Provide Written Reponses to Questions Posed in Each Weekly Lesson Students will provide written answers to the questions posed at the end of each of the lessons during the three week period. The assignment questions are included in the audio/written presentation posted on Blackboard under the appropriate Week. Students can rely on resource material for the course or cite other materials outside the course for the reasoning used in responses. Page 4 of 9
  5. 5. Here are the deadlines for submitting your written responses to the lesson questions. Week One – Tuesday, May 26, 6pm EST Week Two – Tuesday, June 2, 6pm EST Week Three – Tuesday, June 9, 6pm EST These written responses will account 30 percent of the final grade. Please provide the written responses either on the Discussion Board for the week or emailed to me directly at gkapp@regent.edu D. Research Paper Research and write a 3 page paper focusing on crisis media management. The student should select a real-life crisis – either past or current – and analyze the crisis media management strategy employed. Using theory and principles from the class, the student will determine whether the strategy used was/is successful. Students are expected to present their paper and findings to the class via the Discussion Board in Blackboard and participate in an energetic discussion on the topic. The student should provide a detailed examination of the effectiveness of the strategy used. APA style, including title page and references, is required. This research paper will account for 50 percent of the final grade and will be due no later than Monday, June 15th at 6pm EST. Once research paper is posted to Blackboard discussion page, students are expected to engage in discussion about the papers – discussion on the research papers will be accepted through and including Wednesday, June 17th at 6pm EST. E. Important Note About All Assignments & Deadlines: Page 5 of 9
  6. 6. Crisis media management is a deadline driven discipline. The instructor will not normally accept graded assignments turned in after deadline. If any late assignments are accepted, they will automatically be graded down 20 percent. The deadline for submitting the Research Paper is Monday, June 15th at 6pm EST. No research papers will be accepted after this deadline. EVALUATION AND GRADING A. Grading Weights: 20% Full and timely participation in each class session including informed responses and interaction in Blackboard discussions. 30% Providing written responses to questions posed at end of each weekly lesson. Written responses must be submitted either via Blackboard discussion board on to instructor’s email and must meet deadline outlined above. 50% Research Paper. To be submitted to the class on Blackboard Discussion Board and once posted students to interact in discussion forum about papers and findings. Research papers due no later than Monday, June 15th at 6pm EST and online discussion about the papers will continue through Wednesday, June 17th at 6pm EST. A. Grading Scale: All assignments are graded along the following parameters: Grade Percentage A 93–100 A- 90-92 B+ 87-89 B 83-86 B- 80-82 C+ 77-79 C 73-76 C- 70-72 D+ 67-69 D 63-66 D- 60-62 Page 6 of 9
  7. 7. F 0-59 COURSE SCHEDULE (WEEK-BY-WEEK) Week One – May 18-22, 2009 Will it happen? For organizations and companies, the question is not will a crisis happen, but when will it happen? And in today’s environment where communication is instantaneous, handling a crisis becomes even more challenging. And now with the reliance on the ‘new’ media, it is even more important than ever to know how to anticipate a crisis, prepare for it, and even be able to recognize it before the media does. We’ll examine ‘tried and true’ theories and strategies regarding crisis prevention and detection and apply them to real world situations. Students will post briefings on selected topics from readings for class interaction and discussion. Week Two – May 25-29, 2009 Don’t just survive – learn how to thrive. Crisis management requires a keen understanding of how the media works and applying time-tested strategies and tactics to resolve it. In week two, we will examine a number of actual crises that have occurred and use proven communication strategies to determine if the crisis was handled correctly. Students will evaluate the outcome. What worked? What didn’t? What would you do differently? We’ll examine what works best to build confidence and enhance the chances of taking a negative situation and turning it around. Students will post briefings on selected topics from readings for class interaction and discussion. Page 7 of 9
  8. 8. Week Three – June 1-5, 2009 Will the future reflect the past? As the instantaneous ‘new’ media continues to develop, an examination of what’s ahead. Where do we go from here? We’ll examine the relevance of putting together an action plan that will pave the way for the handling of future crises. Also a closer look at how we can learn from the past. Even with cutting-edge communications tools at the ready, we’ll focus on the key strategies that will spell the difference between ‘success’ and ‘failure’ as future crises unfold. Students will post briefings on selected topics from readings for class interaction and discussion. UNIVERSITY POLICIES AND RESOURCES Please review the following links for important information on University policies: Academic Calendar/Registrar Information Bookstore Honor/Plagiarism Policy Regent Library Student Services (includes links to student handbook, disability services, University calendar, University Writing Center, etc.) Technical Support – University Helpdesk Grading Policies (incompletes, extensions, IPs, etc.) Student Course Evaluations Page 8 of 9
  9. 9. Last Updated: 5/26/2009 At times, due to unforeseen circumstances, course content may be subject to change. Please check with your professor to insure you have the most recently updated Syllabus for this course. Regent University 1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach, VA, 23464 Phone (888) 718-1222 © 2009 Regent University, All Rights Reserved. Page 9 of 9