Master Class in Crisis Communication

February 9–10, 2023, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. ET (Eastern Standard Time)

This PRSA Master Class is a two-day, in-person workshop that is designed as an in-depth immersion in best practices in crisis communication.

Led by Helio Fred Garcia and his team from Logos Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Leadership, this Crisis Communication Master Class will focus on how to maintain the trust and confidence of critical stakeholders when things go wrong.

During the two days, the instructors will discuss the business decisions, management processes and leadership skills necessary to anticipate, plan for, manage through, communicate about and recover from crises affecting companies and organizations. Participants will be taught in the fast-paced style of an executive MBA course and will be able to test their skills during in-class exercises and roleplay. Participants also will receive a copy of “The Agony of Decision: Mental Readiness and Leadership in a Crisis,” which will serve as the source book for the Master Class.

Note: Some of the content will be repetitive of content included in PRSA’s 2022 Advanced Crisis Communication Certificate program. Participants in the 2017 or 2019 Crisis Communication Certificate program would benefit from this Master Class.

Who should attend: Professionals who have significant (five years or more) experience in PR or crisis communication.

By the end of this master class, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the predictable patterns that crises follow and be able to anticipate how a given crisis is likely to play out.
  • Understand the decision criteria that help organizations make smart choices about what to do and say, and when to do and say it, in a crisis.
  • Understand how to obtain public forgiveness when there are victims in a crisis.
  • Understand how to plan effectively for a crisis.
  • Get executive and legal buy-in on best-in-class protocols and procedures.


PRSA Headquarters
120 Wall St.
Floor 21
New York, NY 10005



Day 1 – Thursday, February 9

Foundational Principles of Crisis Response

  • Crisis response and competitive advantage.
  • Elements of mental readiness.
  • Rigor, and the importance of decision criteria.
  • Deciding on What.
  • Deciding on When.
  • In-class exercise: Crafting a well-structured stand-by statement.

Obtaining Forgiveness

  • Legal and other barriers to apologies.
  • The Victim Cycle.
  • The Michigan Model: apologies and litigation.
  • Structures to attain public forgiveness.
  • The Five Languages of an Apology.
  • In-class exercise: Crafting a well-structured apology.

Day 2 – Friday, February 10

Getting Executive Buy-In

  • The barriers to executive buy-in and overcoming those barriers.
  • The art of giving advice to non-communicators.
  • The Three-Minute Drill.
  • In-class exercise: Giving advice through the Three-Minute Drill.

Operational Readiness

  • Creating crisis teams, operation centers and working groups.
  • The difference between planning and having a plan.
  • Building an effective crisis plan.
  • In-class exercise: Drafting elements of a plan for a particular crisis.
  • Course Wrap-Up, A Path Forward and Next Steps.

Accreditation Information

Participants with the APR credential earn 2.0 CEUs for this two-day workshop.




Course/Workshop, Crisis & Reputation, In-Person