LCC’s Mass Media Course Prepares Students for Crisis Communication Challenges

April 9, 2024

Jaran Dixon
Unveiling the power of effective communication, Parsons Sophomore Jaran Dixon, channeled a Nike spokesperson in his Mass Media class crisis simulation recently.

Recently, Labette Community College's Mass Media course, under the guidance of Adjunct Professor Daneen Landis-Coover, has been turning theory into practice with a unique crisis communication project. In this innovative approach to learning, students are stepping into the shoes of spokespersons for companies facing various crisis situations. 

The exercise, designed to simulate real-world scenarios, tasked students with crafting responses to crises such as The Tide Pod Challenge, the United Airlines incident involving the forced removal of a customer from a plane, a prolonged E. coli outbreak at Chipotle, and the Starbucks incident where two black men were racially profiled. 

After researching and strategizing about their specific crisis scenario, students acted as Public Relations Directors during a mock press conference. They gave presentations to their peers and six special guests who acted as journalists. Then to further mirror the pressures of real-time crisis management, students faced a barrage of challenging questions from the mock journalists. This exercise enhanced their ability to think on their feet and navigate tough questioning. 

“Empowering students to navigate real-world challenges is at the heart of learning at Labette Community College,” said Landis-Coover. “By immersing them in experiential learning, this exercise fosters critical thinking, communication prowess, and strategic decision-making – essential skills for their future endeavors in the dynamic realm of professional communication and beyond.”  

This assignment provided students with insights into the complexities of managing crises. “I learned how to advocate for myself and found new ways to approach a situation, big or small, through this hands-on project,” Sophomore Mia Howard said. “This class overall teaches you how to handle communication appropriately and effectively.” 

LCC’s Interim Director of Public Relations, Lindi Forbes, participated as one of the mock journalists. “This exercise is likely to be one of those assignments that students always remember,” she said. “Having six professionals come in and ask tough questions one after another can be quite intimidating, but the students handled it very well. I was thoroughly impressed with the level of preparedness and professionalism our students displayed.” 

The exercise not only prepared students for potential future roles as communication professionals but also cultivated an understanding of the challenges faced by organizations in times of crisis. Through their responses, students were encouraged to prioritize transparency, accountability, and empathy in their communication strategies. 

“The Communication Department at Labette Community College is dedicated to equipping students with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the ever-evolving field of communication,” Communication Department Chair Tonya Neises said. “Projects like the crisis communication simulation exemplify the hands-on, practical learning approach that sets our program apart.” 

For more information about Labette Community College's Communication program and its innovative projects, please contact Neises at

PR Contacts

Lindi Forbes

Interim Director of Public Relations
(620) 820-1212