Advanced Crisis Communication Certificate Program

May 25–June 29, Wednesdays from 3–4:30 p.m. ET

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Effective crisis communication can help organizations maintain trust, inspire confidence and build competitive advantage. 

And the pandemic, the great resignation and political polarization have made the need for effective crisis communication even greater. Increasingly, public relations professionals are being seen as more than communicators, but as business problem solvers who can help their clients navigate the challenges of maintaining the trust of stakeholders.

PRSA builds upon the foundation of our prior live Crisis Communication Certificate programs (offered in 2017 and 2019), and this year we are thrilled to launch a brand-new certificate program in Advanced Crisis Communication. This program is best suited for professionals who have taken a past Crisis Communication Certificate Program or who already have more than eight years of understanding crisis communication best practices.

The Advanced Crisis Communication Certificate Program will be led by an internationally recognized expert in crisis management and communication, Helio Fred Garcia, and will feature guest speakers who can provide in-depth and real-world examples of crisis best and worst practices. This professional development offering is designed as a live, online program of six modules and will launch on May 25, 2022, and run through June 29, 2022, airing each consecutive Wednesday from 3–4:30 p.m. ET. All modules will be recorded so that participants can (re)listen or review them after the live date in preparation for the final exam. Additionally, participants will be given access to PRSA’s Online Advanced Crisis Communication Community, an exclusive online forum offering private access and interactive dialogue with other members taking the course.

The certificate program involves a combination of presenters, curated by Helio Fred Garcia. Each week he will be joined by one or more experts in various aspects of the week’s topic who will present case studies of how they applied the concepts. After successfully completing and passing the 18-question, multiple-choice test at the end of the certificate program, registrants will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Required prerequisite: All registrants of this certificate program will be asked to (re)watch the on-demand module, “Principles of Effective Crisis Response,” prior to the certificate program’s start date. This on-demand module will be made available to each participant within the program’s online community after their registration.

This certificate program is designed for:

  • Senior-level PR and communication professionals.
  • Professionals who are responsible for corporate reputation.
  • Professionals responsible for managing a corporate communications team.
  • Leaders charged with advising leaders, lawyers and other executives.
  • Professionals responsible for managing digital communications.
  • Risk management professionals.
  • Communication leaders with eight or more years of experience.

By the end of this certificate program, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the most effective mindset for guiding organizations through crisis.
  • Determine how to get buy-in from non-communicators, including CEOs and other business leaders.
  • Explain the power of decision criteria in managing and mitigating risks.
  • Define how to work collaboratively with lawyers and how to manage the sometimes-conflicting priorities of lawyers and communicators.
  • Understand the dynamics and effective ways to counter crises in which your organization is targeted by adversaries, critics, and others.
  • Evaluate the particular dynamics and challenges of mass casualty events.

Certificate Program Modules:

  1. It’s Never About Us; It’s Always About Stakeholders
  2. Getting Executive Buy-In
  3. Taking Risks Seriously
  4. Working With the Lawyers: Balancing Legal and Reputational Risks
    Featured Speaker: Dr. Tony Jaques, editor, Managing Outcomes
  5. Being Prepared: When You Are the Target
    Featured Speaker: Larry Kamer, CEO, Kamer Consulting Group
  6. When the Whole World Is Watching: The Challenges of Mass Casualty Events
    Featured Speaker: Rick Pietzak, project manager, crisis communications, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center


“Crises do not necessarily cause trust or reputation to fall; a well-handled crisis can actually improve trust and reputation. It isn’t the severity of the crisis that determines the outcome, but the timeliness and quality of the response. And we have more control over the outcome than we may initially believe. This certificate program helps demystify what it takes to respond effectively in any crisis.”

— Helio Fred Garcia, Executive Director, Logos Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Leadership

Accreditation Information

Participants with the APR credential earn 0.5 renewal CEUs for each completed module of this course, for a total of 3.0 CEUs.


PRSA members save $200 when they register by May 11.



Certificate Program, Crisis & Reputation, Live Online