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 5

March 16, 2012   



Today, Nero would file lawsuits while his reputation burned.


                           Jonathan Bernstein   





Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple weeks, you know who Joseph Kony is. With an unprecedented 100 million YouTube views between the main Kony 2012 video and user responses in just six days, the campaign left such notable entries as Lady Gaga (18 days) and Justin Bieber (56 days) in the dust on its way to breaking the previous record of nine days, set by an extraordinary clip of Susan Boyle performing on Britain's Got Talent. It just takes a glance at the 800+ video responses uploaded by users worldwide to see that this campaign struck a chord in viewers, inspiring immense amounts of participation and social sharing.

In a perfect demonstration of the way modern and traditional media's positions have been transposed, the Kony 2012 campaign was born on YouTube and promoted, with the help of several celebrities, via Twitter and Facebook. Finally, we began to see stories like "How Obama should stop Kony," from CNN and other traditional outlets.

Political discussions aside, this entire situation is proof that the ceiling for social media use hasn't yet been hit, and, as usership continues to explode throughout 2012, may not even be in sight.

On another note, if you will forgive a bit of self promotion, we would like to take a moment to make an announcement that we're very excited about. Bernstein Crisis Management, in association with PRO Sports Communications, will be expanding its services to offer sports crisis management. In this arena, prominent figures are tried in the court of public opinion before they ever see a court of law, and reputation management is of the utmost importance.

Our squad of professionals, including former league and team personnel, is now available to provide comprehensive crisis prevention, management, and response services to you. For more information, visit this page on our website

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

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



By Erik Bernstein

Steroids, (allegedly) stolen jewelry designs, and maxing out social media's crisis management potential on a nearly nonexistent budget are just a few of the stories we've covered in the past couple of weeks. Check out some of the latest from our Bernstein Crisis Management blog and our Crisis Management blog over at Carter McNamara's Free Management Library!

Scandal started off the Major League Baseball season for yet another year, and the controversy surrounding whether 2011 MVP Ryan Braun used performance enhancing drugs drew nationwide media attention. In this guest article, Rick Kelley poses the question, Ryan Braun: Victim or Villain?

Having (and practicing) Social Media Crisis Management Strategies is one of the best ways to not only protect your reputation, but also keep communication flowing during disasters, both natural and man made.
Erik Bernstein
Erik Bernstein

The Red Cross UK Disaster Challenge is one of the most in-depth and educational crisis simulation exercises you'll ever find. If you've ever wondered if you could handle a real disaster, or just want to build your crisis management muscle, this is the place.

Gone are the days that a business could clam up in the face of crisis. Before rumor and innuendo begin to take hold, it's critical that you Get the Right Story Out.

Funky earrings and trendy accessories are two things you'll find at Claire's. One thing you won't find, however, is a solid social media plan. Crisis Management at Claire's exposes a textbook "how not to do it" scenario that left a serious dent in the retailer's reputation.

In a follow up piece, Triad Strategies' Rick Kelley takes a look at The Ryan Braun Saga: Part Two. Full of finger pointing and dramatic speeches, emerging evidence shows that this story may be more than meets the eye.

One Kenyan Chief's Twitter Crisis Management is a shining example for law enforcement and public safety offices the world over. If he can effectively use social media to beat crime on a budget that, quite literally, doesn't even include shoestrings, then why can't you?  In fact, this piece of news motivated publisher Jonathan Bernstein to contact his local (Sierra Madre, CA) police department to see if they wanted to establish a similar system, pro bono, and he's meeting with them this week - stay tuned for more on that.)

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

Thanks USC!


We had a wonderful time speaking at USC's acclaimed Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism this past week. Our thanks to the students and to Professor Jennifer Floto for the invitation and hospitality!  


Crisis Management Database - from Jonathan Bernstein


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.


Constant Contact All-Star Award



We're pleased to be a recipient of Constant Contact's

2011 All-Star Award for exemplary marketing results, a recognition given to the top 10% of the distribution service's customer base. Many thanks to all of you for your interest!


(aka blatant self-promotion) 


Riddle Me This...


How much would you pay to have an international-caliber crisis management expert come to your establishment and give a one-hour presentation on best practices and tactics for communicating during the first 24 hours after a crisis breaks?


Would you change that figure upwards, perhaps, if the same expert made himself available for up to one hour of free consulting during the year following the presentation?


Given the numbers we know you're thinking of, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that a replay of the recent Communicating in Crisis: The First 24 Hours webinar, featuring Jonathan Bernstein, is just $245 with the special promo code available only to those who follow Jonathan either via this ezine or through his social media accounts. Oh, and that free hour of consulting? The original webinar attendees didn't get that, only you do.


Topics covered in the event included: 

  • Principles of Effective Crisis Communications
  • The Crisis Has Broken - Now What?
  • Killing Vs. Fixing Stories
  • When the Media Goes Too Far
  • A Little-Known Tool for Keeping Journalists Honest
  • Alternatives to Traditional Media Relations
  • The Forgotten Stakeholders - Internal Communications

100% of the webinar attendees rated Jonathan either "Very knowledgeable and qualified" (88%) or "Quite Knowledgeable and Qualified" (12%). There were no votes for the three lesser ratings.


You like? Go to the replay purchase page of our webinar host, Communitelligence, and use the promo code bernsteincrisis to reduce the cost from $255 to $245 and get your one hour of free consulting to be used anytime in the subsequent 12 months.


BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! No, it doesn't dice or slice, BUT...Communitelligence has another cool thing going, the ASK Peer Learning Network, that gives you unlimited on-demand access to 50 (and growing) all-time best webinars. You'll also be able to upcoming webinars free and other privileges you'll find described on the ASK Membership page. Using the bernsteincrisis promo code, you'll get the ASK Peer membership at a $10 discount, and that will include access to "Communicating in Crisis," so you won't need to buy that separately. And it also includes that free hour of consulting by Jonathan Bernstein.



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. Reviews at Amazon (the link above) are stellar, and McGraw-Hill reports they are pleased with sales-to-date. 




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.

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