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 9

May 16, 2012   



The due diligence process MUST include investigating an organization's most important asset - its reputation


                           Jonathan Bernstein   





I'm a huge fan of social review. When considering a major purchase or hiring a service, I always do a search for reviews on the Web, especially on sites like Yelp, and often drop texts or IMs to several friends to see if they have personal experiences to share.

Why does this matter to you? Because I'm not alone. Recent research shows that 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations. That means that when someone has a bad experience with your company and posts about it online, potential customers are reading it. Not only are they reading it, but they're believing it. Yelp is just the tip of the iceberg, as it offers some modicum of protection against blatant, baseless attacks or those just looking to get a rise. Pages like Ripoff Report will accept negative reviews and never, ever take them down. Oh, and its solid search engine positioning will make it very easy for consumer eyes to find.

It's a given, we're all going to make mistakes at some point, mistakes that piss someone (sometimes a lot of someones) off. When they take to the 'net with those scathing reviews, resist the urge to get defensive. Take a look at this excellent article, How to Retain Control in a Social Media Crisis, by our social media crisis consultant and associate, Melissa Agnes.  There isn't a one-size-fits-all response to such attacks, but Melissa's article is a great start.  It is possible to make lemonade out of those lemons if you know how and have created the infrastructure - in advance - to respond quickly.
As always, below you'll find a summary of the best from both of our blogs.   

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

Here's a look at some of our most recent posts on both the Bernstein Crisis Management blog and our Crisis Management blog over at Carter McNamara's Free Management Library. You'll notice we've featured a couple of guest posts recently, and we're always on the lookout for fresh content. If you've got something to say about crisis management, send it to erik@bernsteincrisismanagement.com and we'll give it a look!

A compelling case study from our multicultural colleague, Carlos Victor Costa, Crisis Management During Hard Times looks at a crisis that may change the way the Spanish royal family communicates forever.

Middle East Airlines learned first hand, Correcting a Customer Complaint Crisis is critical. With images of ragged plane interiors
Erik Bernstein
Erik Bernstein
speaking volumes about MEA's lack of care to stakeholders on the Web, the company stepped up and vowed to make things right.

In today's climate of social review, it's essential that organizations get comfortable Handling Negative Comments. Respond the right way, and you have the potential to turn your harshest critics into staunch supporters.

The Digital Media Law Project is a Harvard University group focused on ensuring that those involved in online journalism and digital media have the resources they need to being ethical in their reporting. Thanks to its director, Jeff Hermes, we have the full scoop.

What was the University of Pennsylvania's Crisis Management Fail? Brushing off the media! After news broke that U of Penn's grad school vice dean had lied about having a doctorate, the school simply declared the matter closed. Of course, being spurned is nothing but motivation for most journalists, and the story took on new and wider coverage.

A photo depicting bloodthirsty spectators, dogs battling in a dirt-filled ring, and a long row of Heineken banners went viral on the 'net. Here's the compelling story of How Heineken Beat a Crisis Management Nightmare.

Here's a fact: Forward Thinking Means Better Crisis Management. Be honest about vulnerabilities within your organization, identify the causes, and work to eliminate them. Do that, and you'll have a leg up on any crisis that comes your way.

One thing that lands many organizations in hot water is forgetting to Practice Crisis Management Before #&%@ Happens. It's just not possible to do your best without practice. Run those crisis simulations and detect flaws before you're performing in public.

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




Brandify, now in Beta testing, offers what I've found to be VERY useful insights about my business' reputation across multiple social media platforms.  Unlike Klout, it's not set up to be a popularity contest.  Your score on Brandify is a measure of how well you've done your job in establishing a solid presence online, and to the extent there's more you can do, Brandify's system makes recommendations.  Caveat: it still has glitches, but they're being worked out rapidly.  I had the pleasure of speaking with Brandify's developers and think this site has a lot of potential for both proactive PR and for understanding if your presence is robust enough to weather a crisis.  I've volunteered to be an (unpaid) Beta tester, so stay tuned for more info on this in the future. -- Jonathan


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) 



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.

In This Issue
Just A Thought
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