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"

2012 Jonathan Bernstein


Volume XIII, Number 1

January 5, 2012   



A stakeholder is someone likely to put what he's holding through your heart if you mishandle a crisis.


                           Jonathan Bernstein   



"Getting old isn't for sissies," says my 87-year-old mother, Merle, who still can dance for three hours and teaches Mac use to her fellow retirees.
The gray hair in my beard and hair is proof that 18 years have passed since I walked away from a great job as senior vice president and head of Ruder Finn, Inc.'s Crisis Communications Group -- on January 4, 1994 -- and into the uncertainty of self-employment.  Some years there's been a VERY fine line between self-employment and unemployment, but I have zero regrets about that decision.
Also, on February 1, 2012, this newsletter will be 11 years old, and every single issue remains archived and available free.
Thank you from my heart and my slightly warped mind, readers, clients, friends and other contacts, for making my dream come true.






When I began working with Bernstein Crisis Management in an official capacity, having a Web presence meant you had a website and, if you were really on top of things, you'd started a blog. As social media appeared and quickly expanded (exploded might describe it better), we all learned and grew right along with it.  

A study just published by the comScore Data Mine found that there are 1.2 billion social media users worldwide, 82% of the world's online population, and one in every five minutes of those user's time online is spent on a social network.

What truly began as a group of innovators feeling in the dark sometimes appears to have been figured out and fully mapped on the path to becoming a multi billion dollar industry, yet brilliant people continue to surprise with unique campaigns and amazing new tools.

With some predicting that social media will plateau in 2012, I counter with a prediction of my own:

I strongly feel that we will continue to see a rise in use. With the mass amount of publicity social media has captured this year, the New Years resolution of many small business owners will be to get on board, and we will see a surge in use of Twitter, YouTube, and blogs/vlogs by the little guys.

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




The (Internet's best!) Bernstein Crisis Management blog is moving! We're leaving our long-time Blogger location to a Wordpress platform.

Effective immediately, new posts can be found at http://bernsteincrisismanagementblog.com

In case you're curious just what a whitewater rafting picture is doing at the top of the blog, it's our intrepid president himself, Jonathan Bernstein, doing what he calls "relaxing!"  He's in the middle/near seat, next to his best friend and wife, Celeste.
By Erik Bernstein

This batch represents our first on the NEW Bernstein Crisis Management blog, and of course our Crisis Management blog over at Carter McNamara's Free Management Library is still going strong!

We've got posts on everything from social media meltdowns to protecting your reputation.  Here's a rundown on some of the latest:

Without it, you don't have customers, investors, heck, you don't have a business. In this blog we try to answer the question, What's Your Reputation Worth?

Did Someone Break the Delete Button? It sure looked like that over at the Lowe's Facebook page, where a storm of racist comments went unmoderated for FIVE days, attracting well over 20,000 posts.
Erik Bernstein
Erik Bernstein

You Might Be a Crisis Manager If...you've ever sated a horde of angry customers, wiped a virus from the company computers, and posted your latest charitable event on every social media channel, all before lunch! Check out this post by Jonathan Bernstein for more Foxworthy-inspired wit and wisdom.

When a test of Verizon's emergency management system accidentally went to customer's cell phones, thousands of New Jersey residents were unwittingly instructed to Take Shelter!

Free rides for tipsy drivers on New Years? Good. Promoting the service in areas across the country that would not be eligible for the service? Not so much. AAA's Wrong-Way Reputation Management makes for a perfect case study on how dishonest promotion can and will backfire.

As always, Rumor and Innuendo will gladly fill in any gaps your crisis communications leaves open. The difference now is the speed and ease at which those negative forces travel. We've taken word of mouth and magnified it by thousands with the Web, so be prepared to get ahead of your story.

The way Social Media Impacts Customer Service is slowly shifting the thinking behind this crucial age-old practice. If a single influencer has the potential to move thousands to action, how to you handle their complaint?

Everybody makes mistakes. The difference between a snag in operations and a complete meltdown is how you respond afterwards. Don't Let Reputation Damage Become Disaster.

Erik Bernstein is a freelance writer, editor of Crisis Manager, and Social Media Manager for Bernstein Crisis Management

Social Media Examiner Clubs


The new Small Business, Blogging and Facebook Clubs over at Social Media Examiner have, in just a couple of weeks, become my most valuable online source of useful information to improve my biz.  Check 'em out!


Crisis Management Database


If you are a crisis management professional or work in a related field -- e.g., media training, business continuity -- write to me for information on how to be part of my new Crisis Management Database.


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 Social Media Manager 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
Our Blog is Moving
Apropos of Nothing
Quick Links


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