Ono the Ostrich CRISIS MANAGER
The Internet Newsletter about Crisis Management
Editor: Jonathan Bernstein

"For Those Who Are Crisis Managers,
Whether They Want to be or Not"

2010 Jonathan Bernstein

Volume XI, Number 03
February 11, 2010


The better your reputation, the worse the online gossip when you stumble.


A short issue this time, with an article by my long-time professional associate and friend, Jackie Lynn, providing some tips on Controlling Workplace Rumors.

As always, if you like what you see -- please, share it with others and tell them to subscribe!        


My best to all,



By Jacquelyn Lynn

The spread of misinformation can often be more damaging to a company than any real crisis. This is especially important in smaller organizations, where workplace rumors can cause Jacquelyn Lynnenough concern and insecurity that morale and productivity suffers, and your best employees may decide they'd be better off working elsewhere. Rumors may even be passed along to customers and competitors, damaging your position in the marketplace. Your best approach is to be proactive.

Use the following tips to stop rumors before they start:
  • What employees are not told, they invent, so tell them what's going on before their imaginations take over.

  • Honesty acts on a rumor like water acts on a fire. You can slash the grapevine back with the truth-even if the truth is not always good news.

  • If things are changing, keep the workforce informed at every stage. This will help employees feel like an important part of the process and avoid panic.

  • Avoid closed doors. They're a sure sign that secrets are being told.

  • The best way to communicate news is to hold clear, direct, face-to-face team briefings, where questions can be asked and answered. It may be tempting to hide behind memos and e-mails, but these should be used in addition to face-to-face meetings, not in lieu of them.

  • Encourage questions. Employees who are comfortable asking questions will be more likely to get the real story before they spread any rumors.

Jacquelyn Lynn is the managing editor of Flashpoints, a comprehensive information resource for business owners and managers. For your free subscription to the Flashpoints newsletter and a free copy of The Mindset of High Achievers, visit The Flashpoints website.

(aka blatant self-promotion)

A Riddle

What has 80 pages of hard-hitting, entertaining and easy-to-read guidance on how to deal with both traditional and online media during times of crisis?  The answer is the soon-to-be-published Keeping the Wolves at Bay - Media Training.BCM

This isn't merely an update of Jonathan Bernstein's well-known Keeping the Wolves at Bay: A Media Training Manual, which was delivered as a black and white, ring-bound, card-stock document, but is actually a dramatic improvement over the previous publication, both in content and in look.  Keeping the Wolves at Bay - Media Training is a four-color, perfect-bound, 8x10 book.  The price, however, will be the same: $25 per hard copy; $10 per PDF copy.

Here's a couple of teaser reviews for you:

When you get well known for what you do, the media will want to interview you, which is a good way to get your message out or alternatively, to look really bad. You need to be prepared for interviewers who might tell your story straight -- or who might do the opposite. I've found that Jonathan Bernstein's book and training are real-life preparation for whatever can happen, and they've helped me get the real stuff out there, and helped keep me out of trouble!
Craig Newmark - Founder, craigslist
Even if you think you'll never, ever be interviewed by the media, buy this book and read it cover to cover. It isn't a substitute for media training. But it will give you the tools and confidence to go head to head -- and possibly even defang -- rabid reporters, blood-thirsty bloggers and social networking buffoons who are out to besmirch your good name.

Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound

Individual sales will be announced soon, but organizations interested in deeply discounted quantity purchases for internal use and/or as premiums to give to important business contacts should contact jonathan@bernsteincrisismanagement.com.

Current titles remain on sale at the Crisis Manager Bookstore

Want To Blog And Tweet About
Your Organization But Don't Have Time?

Missing out on all the promotional and SEO advantages of doing so? Hire someone to be your voice...like Erik Bernstein, aka "Son of Crisis Manager."

More info:jonathan@bernsteincrisismanagement.com.


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.


JonatJB Headshothan 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 jonathan@bernsteincrisismanagement.com.


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.

In This Issue
Just a Thought
Employer Mishandling of PTSD
Controlling Workplace Rumors
Quick Links