One of the reasons I’ve been so quiet on the blogging front recently has been the fact I’m studying for the CIPR Diploma.
I started studying back in June 2007, and was delighted to pass the first hurdle, the critical reasoning test, last Autumn.
The second formal assessment on the diploma course is the planning assignment which was handed in just after Christmas (no prizes for guessing what I spent my holidays doing!). The assignment aims to encourage students to demonstrate their ability by applying planning theory to a practical public relations situation.
This time the scenario was about crisis communications and issues management – two areas I have had limited exposure to in my career so far, so I found the assignment a challenge. The objectives were to produce an action plan and rationale for a major organisation facing a crisis addressing key issues and developing a strategy for restoring reputation for the longer term.
One aspect of the assignment I found tricky was writing a workplace strategy, but then at the end of it having to write an academic rationale for the business decisions and approaches I had taken. This certainly forced a degree of rigour into my thinking that wasn’t there before.
The results for the planning assignment were published just before Easter. I was quite apprehensive as I wasn’t sure how well I’d done, so I was delighted to be awarded a “distinction” grade.
I’m publishing the assignment and my answers here to help other PR students, particularly those studying for the diploma. I found a number of web resources useful when researching my assignment, so it seems the right thing to do to put my work into the public domain to help others.
There are three PDF files in this assignment:

Now my attention turns to the final stage in the diploma – the personal project – where I’m researching the role of social media in local government communications, but more on this as things progress.