Contentious Issue Management and Crisis Communications


At one time, contentious issues management and crisis communications may have been preoccupations of only some organizations – perhaps those in more controversial sectors or those who deal in matters of health and safety, as examples. Things are different in the era of 24/7 news cycles and an often-unforgiving social media environment. Even the most benign sectors and well-meaning organizations can suffer public humiliation and reputational damage if they are not alert, prepared and mindful of risk.



  • How to monitor the external and internal environment to track risks and effectively identify emerging issues
  • How to organize internal leaders and experts to navigate the management of a developing issue
  • How to identify, collect and analyze sources of information to help diagnose the situation and formulate a plan
  • How to determine whether to engage in proactive or reactive media relations around an issue or crisis
  • The role of social media in issues management and crisis communications



  • Communications and marketing teams (media and social media leads, management, people responsible for public-facing messaging and coaching others)
  • Senior and mid-level managers
  • Program leads of highly visible public-facing programs
  • Content-matter experts (program leads, researchers, policy experts)



12 hours



  • $1095 (plus tax)


Featured Instructor

Paula Bernardino, MCM, CSR-P, SCMP® Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP) with more than 15 years of experience, Paula has an expertise in strategic corporate communications and public relations acquired while working for large global corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Paula is currently a strategic independent consultant in communications and corporate responsibility while also guest speaking at conferences and panels.

She is a course lecturer at McGill University in the Public Relations program where she teaches the Internal Stakeholder Communications and Communication in the Corporate Sector courses. She is also the teaching assistant for the Organizational Public Relations and Applied Ethics in Communications Management courses at McMaster University in the Masters in Communications Management program.



Event CodeTitleBegin DateEnd DateTermDelivery Method
P00462402AContentious Issue Management and Crisis Communications2/5/20242/6/2024WinterIn PersonRegister
P00462403AContentious Issue Management and Crisis Communications3/4/20243/7/2024WinterOnlineRegister
P00462405AContentious Issue Management and Crisis Communications5/13/20245/16/2024SummerOnlineRegister