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Communications: crisis prevention and management

In this age of digital communications, the speed at which information — and misinformation — circulates has increased exponentially. Reputations can be made or mauled in the blink of an eye. So when a crisis occurs, organizations have no choice but to react quickly and decisively.

A number of recent examples (Disney, Uber, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Just for Laughs, etc.) have provided us with precious insight into the best and worst ways for dealing with unexpected events in a world where the only constant is change. They are also an invaluable source of information with regard to post-crisis preparedness and ongoing public perception issues.

But how exactly do you go about planning for the unplannable? How do you communicate transparently and efficiently in the midst of information overload, or when a message takes on a life of its own? How can you learn from the experience and, in the best-case scenario, turn crisis into opportunity?

When dealing with a digital crisis, planning, organizing and taking the lead are all avenues that are open to you. Controlling the message, however, is a whole other story. And yet crisis represents an important stage in the life of an organization: it is a time where leaders and brands are born — or killed.

Learn how to step up and guide your partners and your company when the worst comes to pass. Get a better handle on the expectations and demands of the media in sensitive situations. And find out how to take a proactive approach to building confidence and trust among your stakeholders and the public at large.


$995 + taxes


One day - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Course given in French

On-site, Downtown
Hélène-Desmarais Building

December 12, 2023
Avril, 18, 2024

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This course will allow you to:

  • Understand key reputational issues for businesses in an increasingly digital world
  • Identify and assess the first signs of a true crisis
  • Be more strategic in reacting to the situation at hand
  • Make use of the appropriate tools
  • Use information from recent real-world situations in Quebec and elsewhere to improve your own crisis management skills
  • Protect and rebuild your organization’s reputation before, during and after a crisis
  • Discover the importance of a solid communication plan in addressing a crisis situation
  • Engage internal and external partners in your reputation management efforts.

Is this for you?

Communications professionals in all types of organizations, and managers with decision-making power in the communications arena.

Special features

  • First-hand input from crisis management specialists
  • Unique and timely content designed to help you react faster and more effectively when faced with a crisis
  • An opportunity to benchmark your own experience in crisis or emergency situations against your peers
  • An overview of actual real-world business cases and best practices in the field


Sylvain Lafrance
Sylvain Lafrance

Adjunct Professor, HEC Montréal

The new media ecosystem

  • Impact of social media
  • Immediacy of communications
  • Reputational vulnerability
  • Issues of trust and confidence
  • Repercussions of globalization

Communicating during a crisis

  • Planning for the unplannable
  • Tips on being a better communicator
  • What makes a crisis a crisis
  • Development of an emergency communications plan

Recent case studies

What to do before, during and after a crisis

  • Dealing with the media
  • Managing fallout
  • Building, maintaining and measuring trust

Hands-on communications exercise

  • Interactive approach
  • Sharing best practices
  • Small-group and class discussion

Participants in all of our seminars will receive a certificate of completion from Executive Education HEC Montréal.

For more information about this program

 Make an appointment with:


Joëlle Zoghbi
Program Manager

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