Bernstein Crisis Management. Crisis response, prevention, planning, and training.

Crisis Manager Internet Newsletter about Crisis Management

© 2008 Jonathan Bernstein
Circulation: 4,500+
Estimated Readership: 17,000+


A man's errors are his portals of discovery.

James Joyce


Editor's Note: What can I say. Jerry Brown just keeps the good stuff coming. Enjoy!

Beating Your Critics to the Punch
By Jerry Brown, APR

Sometimes it's a good idea to own up to a really bad mistake before your critics can point it out for you.

Like Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony's assessment of his team's embarrassing 102-84 loss Saturday to go 0-3 in their NBA playoff series with the Los Angeles Lakers: "We quit. Everybody. From the coaches to the players, we quit. And I said it."

Anthony's criticism of his team worked because it was undeniable and because he included himself: "I'm not blaming anyone. I'm not pointing the fingers at nobody. I didn't play worth a damn...and I can accept that. But as a competitor, there's no way that I should lay down and quit and lay down on my team like we did tonight...We all just gave up."

Contrast that with teammate Allen Iverson's complaint about being pulled from the game early: "To not go back in, I don't understand that. And (Coach George Karl) didn't even say nothing to me even afterward...I played every game with a broken finger and all. I always came to play, every game we had. So why not tell me nothing?"

Unlike Anthony, Iverson pointed the public finger of blame at his coach while ignoring his own lousy performance during the game. Iverson's lucky that Anthony's quotes got top billing in the media. His comment was divisive and made him look like a whiner. It would not have played well as the lead of the stories about the Nuggets' loss.

Here's the lesson for the rest of us. If you screw up in a way you know will be noticed (and sometimes when it wouldn't be noticed), your best PR strategy may be to own up to it yourself before you critics do it for you. And almost always, pointing the finger of blame at yourself when it's deserved will serve you better than trying to find someone else to pin the blame on.

Jerry Brown is Senior Counselor, Public Relations, at Corporate Advocates and author of "A Practitioners Guide to Media Relations." He also writes the "Monday Morning Media Minute" email newsletter, to which you can subscribe by writing to Jerry at

Survey About Social Media Use For Healthcare Crisis Management

PRSA Fellows Fred Bagg and Dr. Dan Miller are conducting research about the use of social media for healthcare crisis management. If you are in that field, your participation in a survey is invited. You'll be allowed to access the survey results for your participation, and you can also expect to see an article based on those results in this ezine. You can access the survey here.

New Regs Could Mean Jail Time If You Unwittingly Deal With Terrorists

Did you know that your company could be held liable for deals with terrorists or ID thieves, even if you had no knowledge that was who they are at the time? This is a MUST READ.

The Conference Board 2008
Annual Business Continuity, Security and Crisis Management Seminar New York, NY - May 13-14

Certification in Organizational Business Continuity and Emergency Response is upon us. Join senior executives and content experts to learn how the new Public Law 110-53 will affect you and your organization and what you can expect in the near future. Sessions will include up-to-date information such as:

  • Panel discussion on becoming or not becoming certified;
  • Best practices in Corporate Preparedness;
  • Best practices for incident response (which happens to feature Jonathan Bernstein, your editor, and Mark Duffy, CEO of Griffith Laboratories USA, a Bernstein client); and,
  • DHS work on the voluntary certification program for private sector preparedness.

Register for this important seminar, which will answer your questions and help you get "certification ready." Don't miss your chance to get ahead of the game. Register now at and receive a complimentary discount of $360 on registration (use code DS-1).

Click to learn more about Public Law 110-53.

Comment on Past Article

Reader Phil Cox has an at-least-partially tongue-in-cheek response to last issue's article, "Prepare to be Blindsided."

"Your reprised author, Larry Rosenfield, writes:

A company's reputation is king, especially in the government market, where buying decisions hinge on past performance and trust.

"Really. This assertion might beg the question of a survey, as to how many of your readers have just fallen off of turnip trucks?"


Keeping the Wolves at Bay 3.0 Reviewed

"Keeping the Wolves at Bay" is much more than another media training guide - it is perhaps one of the most concise, insightful, useful and savvy guides to strategic thinking about reputation issues available.

Gerald Baron
Founder & CEO of PIER System and host of

"It's like a Swiss Army knife -- lots of cool tools in a compact package. In case of emergency, grab this."

Steven R. Van Hook, PhD
Publisher, About Public Relations

The spiral-bound print manual is available for $25, the PDF version for $10. Both can be ordered at

Jonathan Bernstein also offers on-site media training worldwide, using this manual as the basis for training. Write to

Internet Counter-Intelligence CD-ROM

In a one-hour teleseminar recorded in December 2007, search engine optimization expert Diana Huff interviewed Jonathan Bernstein, a pathfinder and innovator in the field of Internet-centered crisis management, who described how a wide range of companies have been damaged by the Internet's virtual terrorists, and how some companies have been responding effectively.

In this one-hour session, you'll learn how to conduct your own Internet vulnerability audit; develop strategies for identifying your foes -- activists, disgruntled employees, or unhappy customers -- and tracking Internet chatter; build the case within your organization for ensuring someone is monitoring the blogosphere, news, and Internet forums every day; plan for an Internet crisis and, when one hits, assess the situation to determine an appropriate response; develop the action steps you can take to neutralize attacks, including starting your own blog and developing collateral such as brochures, video, podcasts, and Web links to other reputable and informative sites; and effectively use search engine optimization tactics -- not just because you want customers to find your products -- but so you can beat these guys at their own game!

Available at

Disaster Prep 101

Bernstein Crisis Management is pleased to present one of the most comprehensive and user-friendly family preparedness texts available today. "Disaster Prep 101." by Paul Purcell, goes above and beyond the simplistic "72-hour kit" concept and provides simple, yet detailed educational material that will drastically improve the ability of any family to respond to all manner of disasters or emergencies. This preparedness package contains over 400 pages of well-organized, original preparedness material written in an easy-to-understand, non-panic format; 80 pages of family data forms and worksheets (many of which are also useful to the employer); and a 2-CD set containing two interactive and searchable links collections for additional educational sources; all the family data forms and worksheets in softcopy format; and a complete emergency reference library of over 450 additional books and training manuals! US$59.95. Available here.


Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. has formal or informal co-promotional and mutually beneficial business associations with a number of the services we mention periodically in this newsletter. No, we can't go into details because that's confidential, proprietary, etc. But our relationship is NOT "arm's distance" and you should know that, since we regularly write about these services as we use them for crisis and issues management or other purposes. That said, you should also know that Bernstein Crisis Management sought the relationships because its staff is convinced that these services are the best of their kind for Bernstein Crisis Management's needs and those of its clients. If you have any questions about these relationships, please contact Jonathan Bernstein, (626) 825-3838.


Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc.,, a national crisis management public relations agency providing 24/7 access to crisis response professionals. The agency engages in the full spectrum of crisis management services: crisis prevention, response, planning & training. He has been in the public relations field since 1982, following five-year stints in both military intelligence and investigative reporting. Write to


GUEST AUTHORS are very welcome to submit material for "Crisis Manager." There is no fee paid, but most guest authors have reported receiving business inquiries as a result of appearing in this publication. Case histories, experience-based lessons, commentary on current news events and editorial opinion are all eligible for consideration. Submission is not a guarantee of acceptance.


When I find a site that I think will be useful to my readers or site visitors, I put it on our Links page. If you have a site that would be of specific use to crisis managers and want to discuss a link exchange or other cooperative effort, please write to me,


All information contained herein is obtained by Jonathan Bernstein from sources believed by Jonathan Bernstein to be accurate and reliable.

Because of the possibility of human and mechanical error as well as other factors, neither Jonathan Bernstein nor Bernstein Crisis Management is responsible for any errors or omissions. All information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Bernstein Crisis Management and Jonathan Bernstein make no representations and disclaim all express, implied, and statutory warranties of any kind to the user and/or any third party including, without limitation, warranties as to accuracy, timeliness, completeness, merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose.

Unless due to willful tortuous misconduct or gross negligence, Jonathan Bernstein and Bernstein Crisis Management shall have no liability in tort, contract, or otherwise (and as permitted by law, product liability), to the user and/or any third party.

Under no circumstance shall Bernstein Crisis Management or Jonathan Bernstein be liable to the user and/or any third party for any lost profits or lost opportunity, indirect, special, consequential, incidental, or punitive damages whatsoever, even if Bernstein Crisis Management or Jonathan Bernstein has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

A service of this newsletter is to provide news summaries and/or snippets to readers. In such instances articles and/or snippets will be reprinted as they are received from the originating party or as they are displayed on the originating website or in the original article. As we do not write the news, we merely point readers to it, under no circumstance shall Bernstein Crisis Management or Jonathan Bernstein be liable to the user and/or any third party for any lost profits or lost opportunity, indirect, special, consequential, incidental, or punitive damages whatsoever due to the distribution of said news articles or snippets that lead readers to a full article on a news service's website, even if Bernstein Crisis Management or Jonathan Bernstein has been advised of the possibility of such damages. Authors of the original news story and their publications shall be exclusively held liable. Any corrections to news stories are not mandatory and shall be printed at the discretion of the list moderator after evaluation on a case-by-case basis.


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Articles in "Crisis Manager" were, unless otherwise noted, written and copyrighted by Jonathan Bernstein. Permission to reprint will often be granted for no charge. Write to