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Reputation, Crisis and Media Industries


Hibberd M.

Course director

Nucci A.



“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed”. Iago in Scene 3, Act 3, of Shakespeare’s Othello.

Reputation and crisis are two terms which are closely linked. As ‘honest’ Iago famously points out above, and put in contemporary terms, ‘a good reputation is the most valuable thing we have—men and women alike’. A crisis is the threat to a person or organisation’s reputation. Typically a crisis occurs when an organisation or its products and/or services are perceived as responsible for damage (physical, financial, moral) caused to individuals, groups, or the environment. A crisis can also occur when a person or organisation are perceived as not having reacted appropriately when involved in a situation where damage was caused.


This module will examine the key issues of reputation and crisis management, ranging from corporate meltdowns to international emergencies. Crucially, the module will examine how the media industries, especially social media, are central actors in crisis situations and management and, occasionally, are themselves subject to severe reputational damage through corporate crises or unethical practices. This module therefore examines key issues of reputation and crisis through the complex web of media relations and industries. The module will draw on numerous case studies relating to media companies and other national and international organisations.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

The course will be structured into lectures led by Professor Hibberd. Sessions will be accompanied with power point presentations.

Students must attend class for at least 60%. Teachers will not provide alternative teaching materials beyond online teaching materials presented in class.

Examination information

The final grade will be composed of the results achieved by students:

  • One 3000-word essay (70% of the final evaluation)
  • In class presentation of one key issue related to course (20% of the final evaluation)
  • In-class participation (60% minimum) (10% of the final evaluation)

Required Material

Key Texts:

Lucinda Austin and Yan Jin’s edited edition Social Media and Crisis Communication (2018, Routledge).

Andrew Griffen’s Crisis, Issues and Reputation Management (2014, CIPR).