The Internet Newsletter about Crisis Management
 Editor: Erik Bernstein
 Publisher: Jonathan Bernstein

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

2011 Jonathan Bernstein


Volume XII, Number 12

November 29, 2011  



You have to be able to see the signs before you can read them.


                           Jonathan Bernstein   





The holiday season is well underway, and that means packed stores and slow web pages as everyone scrambles to get their shopping done. While this is typically a booming time for retail, it also presents many opportunities for trouble to rear its head.

While I'm sure most every retail business has prepared a holiday marketing plan, I'd be willing to bet a hefty sum that far fewer have prepared crisis management plans specifically for the season.

Want proof? Just take a look at one of the most outrageous events of Black Friday. We had a woman fending off fellow shoppers with pepper spray at a Wal-Mart who was able to finish shopping, pay for her items, and stroll out untouched by security.

Do you think they were prepared?

As per our new format, below you'll find a summary of the best of our recent blog posts.

And as always, if you like what you see, please share it with others by using the "Forward Email" link at the bottom of the ezine and tell them to subscribe!  IMPORTANT NOTE: If you just "Forward" using your own email program's "Forward" function and your recipient thinks they're being spammed, they can click on the Opt Out link and opt YOU off the list. So use the "Forward Email" link, please. 




Thank you, and read on!


          - Erik




In today's business climate, your reputation is your most valuable asset. Of course, it's also one of your most vulnerable. Social media has given word of mouth never before seen power, with some prominent Tweeters reaching millions of hungry eyes with every post, and believe me, when someone has a bad experience, they are more than ready to share.

If you're overwhelmed at the prospect of creating a reputation management plan, or simply want to learn more, including:
  • How to monitor online reputation
  • How to prevent reputation threats
  • When to respond to reputation threats
  • How Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a role
  • Who should be responsible for online reputation management  
Consider Jonathan Bernstein's upcoming FREE webinar, Reputation Combat: Protecting Your Company's Online Reputation, coming Tuesday, Dec.13.

For more information, or to register, click here.
By Erik Bernstein

We've got a slew of new posts for you at both the Bernstein Crisis Management blog and our Crisis Management blog over at Carter McNamara's Free Management Library. This bunch spans topics from when to keep your mouth shut, to how to open up and communicate with both corporate leadership and the general public.

The bizarre interviews accused molester Jerry Sandusky gave after his arrest weren't part of any sane crisis management strategy. In a special guest post, Rick Kelly explains When "Shut the Hell Up" is the Best Advice.

Convincing the C-Suite that you need a crisis management budget is often an uphill battle, but Jonathan Bernstein's got a couple of tips to get you on your way.

FEMA's National Test uncovered some glitches, but that's what it was for. The organization's open and honest interaction afterwards once again indicates that it's come a long way since Katrina.
Erik Bernstein
Erik Bernstein

You can't erase it, but, given the right tactics, you can Shut Down Negative Chatter online. It's not about slamming detractors, it's about fixing problems at their root and making sure everyone knows you've done it.

We've all become amateur reporters. The massive popularity of social media means it's rare for an event to go uncovered, and it's impossible to keep an incident contained. Welcome to the age of the

One of the first things I ask any business I work with is, Are You Vulnerable? While most point out one or two weaknesses to begin with, by the time I've finished a vulnerability audit every one is floored at the number of items on the list.

BofA Gets Brandjacked takes a look at the very first Google Plus brandjacking, which targeted the already-shaky reputation of Bank of America using a craftily forged approach.

While most businesses live in fear of negative feedback, crisis management experts say to Bring On The Hate! With proper preparation and handling, taking some flak will actually make you stronger.

Crafting the Ideal Apology is an art form, one that takes a confident but humble hand. Make the right moves, say the right things, and those you offended could become your strongest proponents.

Erik Bernstein is a freelance writer, BCM SEO associate, and editor of Crisis Manager.

What a crisis manager does to relax on his vacation


Costa Rica Rafting Nov 11

That's Jonathan Bernstein at center/left in the raft, with his wife Celeste opposite him, on a just-completed outing in Costa Rica.









Got crisis management questions? We've got answers!  


We cordially invite you, the Crisis Manager readers, to "Ask the Crisis Manager" on VYou. You send a question, and Jonathan Bernstein comes back with a unique video response for all to see.


We've had some great questions so far, and will keep doing our best to answer all submissions, so keep 'em coming! 

(aka blatant self-promotion) 



Manager's Guide to Crisis Management



Whether you're a seasoned manager, aspiring up-and-comer, or student of crisis management, Jonathan Bernstein's new book, "Manager's Guide to Crisis Management," (McGraw-Hill, 2011) will put you in control of any situation. Recently featured in a Forbes article, Amazon.com's initial stock ran out quickly, but more copies are on the way!   




Keeping the Wolves at Bay: Media Training 


Book Cover JPG

What has 80+ pages of hard-hitting, enter-

taining and easy-to-read guidance on how to deal with both traditional and online media during times of crisis?  The answer is 

Keeping the Wolves at Bay - Media Training. 

The, four-color, perfect-bound, 8x10 manual is currently available both in hardcopy ($25) and PDF form ($10). Volume discounts are available; write to Jonathan Bernstein for that information.  

Here's a couple of teaser reviews for you:


Jonathan Bernstein's Keeping the Wolves at Bay is an eminently practical guidance for anyone - business leader, celebrity, politician - who must willingly or unwillingly face the glare of media attention. It appears
at a moment in time when the social media and other digital communications have upped the ante exponentially.
Bernstein's practicum on media relations takes on renewed urgency as news, gossip, and opinion now drive
public perception virally and at the speed of light.

Richard Levick, Esq.
President & CEO
Levick Strategic Communications, LLC

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 


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, editor of Crisis Manager.


More info:erik@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.


JB NewErik Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein is both publisher of Crisis Manager and 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 at: jonathan@bernsteincrisismanagement.com.

Erik Bernstein is editor of Crisis Manager and is also a writer, publicist and SEO associate for Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc.

Write to Erik at: erik@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
Reputation Combat
Apropos of Nothing
Quick Links


BCM Blog
Crisis Management Blog

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