Public Relations Management

Textbook reference (chapter 12):
Chia, J. & Synnott, G. (Eds.) (2013). An introduction to public relations and communication management (2nd edition). Melbourne: Oxford UP.
Assignment 3: Preparing your client for a crisis response: Official statement,

distribution list and rationale.

Purpose: To demonstrate knowledge of the public relations literature on issues, relationships,

reputation, and their management; and to illustrate and apply the principles of media strategy,

media writing, and crisis communication, and analyse their place within public relations strategy.

(Learning outcomes 3 and 4 for this paper).

Brief: Prepare a proactive crisis response official statement template and distribution list for your

Aotearoa/New Zealand organisation, in respect of a hypothetical issue that could arise in relation

to their campaign. Provide a referenced rationaie explaining how your proposed communication

responses, messages and channels constitute best practice in crisis communication and
relationship and reputation management.

Word limit: 800 words excluding references.

What we are learning:

In this assignment we are learning to: anticipate and plan for crises including thinking strategically

about what to say and whom to say it to; use research and theory guidelines to remain focussed

on relationship management even when under pressure; follow standard media statement
structure to organise our material; write in a brief, professional style relevant for industry
documents; justify our professional recommendations with supporting research and theory; and
be honest and disciplined in our acknowledgement of sources.

Suggested process:

1. Use the same Aotearoa/ New Zealand individual or organisation engaging in public relations
activity and focus on the same one single specific issue that the individual or organisation
currently faces that you used for the previous assignment. (This will ensure that the scope of
your assignment work remains manageable.) Look at the publics analysis you prepared for the
previous assignment and identify the single most important public.

2. Look carefully at the threats and weaknesses you identified for your organisation’s relationship
with this most important public. (If you did not do a relationship SWOT for the previous
assignment, make sure you do one now, for the organisation’s relationship with its most
important public.) Select ONE threat as the focus for this assignment. You need to prepare
an official statement template that your client could quickly refer to if the threat you have
identified came true.

3. With reference to your readings about crisis communication (Readings N & O in particular, but
also the textbook chapter and all the other places in your textbook where crises are
discussed) think about what the organisation should say in order to best respond to this crisis



Public Relations Management