WSC professor highlights crisis communication

Brianna Parsons, Staff Writer

Dr. Allyn Lueders, a Wayne State College associate professor of communication, presented about Crisis Communication in result of her grant that she was rewarded for her webinar on Nov. 5 at 7:15 p.m. in the Elkhorn room.

Lueders is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, which is where she got her webinar practice started.

“I was encouraged to apply for the Vice President of Academic Affairs Grant and with that, I needed to have something to spend the money on,” Lueders stated. “The PRSA started sending me emails of all the webinars they have, and Crisis Communication was one of them, so I thought it would be interesting.”

Lueders believes that everyone goes through a crisis at one point or another, which is why she wanted to present about it.

“I thought this topic was interesting because of everything going on in the news, just how everything and everyone ever has a crisis,” Lueders said. “It would be helpful to know a better way of dealing with the crisis.”

For her to receive the money for the grant, she needed to extend her project in further detail.

“I had to have a reason to ask for the money because the money would go towards the webinar,” Lueders said. “A webinar is like an online class that you sign up for, which is a program and there is tuition, so you pay for it. There was a month solid that [PSRA] would send out emails to say there is a session up and where to log in to start the webinar course.”

Lueders was unsure of what other webinars were available at that time, so that is why she decided to present about Crisis Communication.

“I did prefer the Crisis Communication topic because I see it as so widely applicable no matter where you are or what you do,” Lueders said. “There will be a chance that there will be a crisis, so it’d be better if you have some knowledge about how to deal with it in the best way.”

Lueders believes that society may not be powerful or big enough to solve a huge crisis.

“Personally, in an organization where you’re working, you want to figure out a way to make it better and hopefully still earn the money that you want to get the customers that you want, as well as keep everybody happy,” Lueders said. “We all work in a situation where we want to do better things to better the company. Solving things in the way that solves it for you makes it better for you and better for other people.”

She wanted to convey the presentation as interesting to the audience.

“My main goal was to get [the audience] interested like I was interested and even still hopefully share more about communication studies, get more people interested into the major and see what we can do with it,” Lueders said.

Lueders stated that the presentation went how she wanted and that it came together nicely. She was thrilled about how many people came.

“I thought it went well,” Lueders said. “I think I got sidetracked on my notes, but I think people were understanding, especially at the end when people were asking questions.”

According to Lueders, in order to handle a crisis, one must get out in front of the story if possible and show that he or she cares.

“The whole time shows how much that you and your organization care about people that got hurt, that got in trouble or disenfranchised,” Lueders said. “Show that you are going to try and make it right.”

Brianna Parsons