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Crisis Communication and Management in Tourism


Ingenhoff D.

Course director


Companies and institutions today need to consider an increasing number of (digital) publics ready to take action on issues that concern them, and for which they hold these organizations responsible. The increasing complexity of social, economic and technological systems is also the reason why the number of crises that can potentially harm a company, a whole branch or even nation is constantly growing. Active reputation management and well-prepared crisis communication have therefore become standard management tools in well-run companies.
Students will learn about the processes and structures of reputation and crisis management, both in theory and practice. Using case studies, empirical research studies, and by means of analysis of the problems and the expectations of the stakeholders concerned, students will gain knowledge about issues and crisis management policies and tools. In a full-day crisis simulation exercise, they will also have the chance to apply and deepen their knowledge on issues and crisis communication strategies


• To give participants informed insights into the basic elements and terms of the interrelated concepts on issues and crisis management as part of a strategic communication strategy (identity, image, reputation, issues, crisis, issues management, crisis management, stakeholder theory, public sphere).
• To learn more about crisis communication theories, reputation and issues management, the role of activists, internet contagion theory, stakeholder theory, business ethics and CSR, and the role of culture.
• To give insights into the overall issues and crisis management processes and structures in today’s companies, including challenges like the development of issues in social media.
• To prepare for crisis communication situations and develop a crisis communication strategy.
• To practice your knowledge in a crisis simulation exercise (speak in front of a camera, press conferences, tv-statements…).
• To develop the ability to think critically and creatively about issues and crisis through collaborative working in small groups on selected case studies and through analyzing
current PR issues.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

We will combine presentations, discussions, case studies and a whole day crisis simulation exercise

Examination information

Participants’ overall evaluation for this course will be based on:

Group work 40%
Final exam 60%


Each participant is expected to attend all sessions, complete the readings, and participate in the discussions and group work during class. Class participation may result in an up- or downgrade of 0.25 points