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Communication Studies Students Prepare for Crises and the Media Spotlight

Emerson students Kayla Goodale ’21 and Ryan McDowell ’21 participate in a mock interview in the Emerson TV studios. Courtesy photo

Emerson College students recently participated in a crisis simulation in the school’s television studios as part of an exercise conducted in a Crisis Communication course taught by Communication Studies faculty member Owen Eagan. The course highlights the school’s unique ability to combine the assets of the Communication Studies and Visual & Media Arts programs to provide realistic, interactive classroom experiences.

The students were presented with a crisis scenario in which they serve as the CEO of a multibillion dollar global corporation that was accused of knowing about a product defect that caused significant harm to its customers. Specifically, students were charged with developing a plan to respond to this crisis and then conduct media training for the intense scrutiny they are likely to endure. Next, the students participated in mock interviews utilizing the college’s campus TV studios.

“The course begins by educating students on how to prevent crises from occurring through risk assessments and vulnerability analyses,” said Owen Eagan, a political consultant who teaches the course. “However, this exercise will prepare them for leadership roles in communicating effectively should crises occur. This is essential to both protect people and an organization’s reputation.”

Kayla Goodale ’21, a Communication Studies major, said the simulation was a great learning experience.

“We’ve spent the semester learning strategies and talking about how other people respond to crises and what we should do differently. It was so valuable to put that information to use when under pressure,” Goodale said.



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