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 6

April 3, 2012   


Untrained, unprepared spokespersons can destroy your reputation.


                           Jonathan Bernstein   





By now you've probably caught wind of the controversy surrounding the meat filler used in ground beef dubbed "Pink Slime" by critics, including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. I just can't get over this case because it's such a particularly spectacular example of the power of words.

The use of the product formerly known as "finely textured lean ground beef" has been a standard in the meat industry for years, but due to a sudden blast of negative publicity, kicked off by Oliver popularizing USDA microbiologist Gerald Zirnstein's term "Pink Slime," supermarkets across the country are boycotting any meat that includes the filler, schools are screaming for the slime to be banned from their menus, and some beef processors are shutting their doors.  One firm, particularly owned by Magic Johnson, declared bankruptcy yesterday, blaming the Pink Slime Crisis as part of the reason, and our publisher Jonathan Bernstein had a comment to make to the LA Times.

The industry is fighting back, even setting up media tours of a plant that produces the filler, complete with politicians chomping burgers (purportedly) containing the additive, but let's face it, with a name like "Pink Slime," they have their work cut out for them.  
Keep an eye on our blogs and right here for more updates as the situation pans out.

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

As always, here's the latest rundown of posts from our Bernstein Crisis Management blog and our Crisis Management blog over at Carter McNamara's Free Management Library. Featuring tips from several guest authors, this collection reads like a CliffsNotes of crisis management expertise!

The media ruckus caused by the cyber antics of groups like Anonymous have made it clear, Hacking is The Modern Smash N Grab. Protect your organization against online threats, or pay the price in dollars and reputation.

The Red Cross UK Disaster Challenge provides participants with the opportunity to get their hands dirty with one of the most realistic crisis simulations ever created. If you're looking to improve your skills, or simply test your limits, this is the place.

In order to maximize your crisis management potential, every department needs to be on the same page. Some have conflicting goals, and you'll have to go the extra mile to get them there. That's why it's important for you to say, "Legal, Meet Social Media."
Erik Bernstein
Erik Bernstein

Let's face it, even the experts can be overwhelmed with the volume of communication that flows through social media in a crisis. Follow the simple advice in Get Engaged and Boost Your Crisis Management, though, and you can maximize your crisis management potential.

Believe it or not, the government is opening up. First FEMA makes massive advancements in communication following Katrina's mistakes, and now a shining example of Crisis Management from the Marine Corps. Take a look at how the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos, deftly handled a potentially nasty situation with some simple communication.

Although we're the first to espouse the importance of communication in a crisis, there are some serious reasons to avoid certain topics. In How To Say No Comment Without Saying No Comment , guest author Stephen Rafe offered up some solid techniques to help you dodge or delay those trouble questions.

While you can tell your employees not to talk company business on social media, reality is, it's going to happen. In Social Media and Your Next Crisis, social media crisis specialist Melissa Agnes shared her tips to turn this possible vulnerability into a powerful crisis management tool.

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


Hangout with the Crisis Managers


In the near future, stay tuned for announcements via our various social media channels (and, of course, this ezine) about opportunities to "Hangout with the Crisis Managers."  We're going to start hosting both free and low-cost fee-paid opportunities for you to join Jonathan Bernstein and some of his many crisis management associates around the country (and around the globe) via a Google Hangout video chat.  If you haven't had this experience yet, think of it like of the "Chat Rooms" that used to exist on Yahoo, MSN, AOL, etc. -- only connecting via webcam.  And, in our case, connecting only with people whose ID we know in advance.


If you want to be ready to participate, this link will take you to a page with everything you need to know about Google Hangouts. See you - quite literally - at a future Hangout!  And if you've been thinking about upping your broadband speed, this would be a good time; reliable webcam connections really require a broadband download speed of at least 8-10 Mbps, in my experience. -- Jonathan


Constant Contact


The folks over at Constant Contact have really outdone themselves with the latest changes to their editing program and social campaigns. We've tried other options for our newsletter and continue to be happy Constant Contact customers. -- Erik 


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. -- Jonathan


(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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