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 12

June 28, 2012   



Have you ever asked yourself 'How did we get into this mess?' and don't know the answer?    



                           Jonathan Bernstein   





Summer is upon those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means it's time for your seasonal crisis management checkup. Just as with the others, this season presents its own risks, opportunities, and challenges. Address them before they create crises, and you're free to focus on the business at hand.

For those in areas where heat can impact your stakeholders, just plain hydration can be a concern. If you're a retail business, consider having cool water ready for customers. In my home town, smart businesses that rely on foot traffic do the same for customer's furry friends as well, garnering a bit of positive reputation (and karma) in the process, and boosting sales by making it easier for customers to stick around.

Don't forget about your employees, either. School being out for the summer can present child care issues that affect the attendance or work quality of team members. Some large companies have actually found they boost productivity and reduce missed days by creating their own child care centers, while smaller organizations may want to partner up with a local child care or sitting service to provide special deals to employees during the summer months.

Obviously, the particular challenges that face each organization will vary greatly. If you're having a tough time thinking on your own, don't be afraid to ask your stakeholders! They are usually more than willing to share exactly what they want and need from your organization, and will be all the more pleased when they see their suggestions being implemented.


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 recent posts from both the Bernstein Crisis Management blog and our Crisis Management blog over at Carter McNamara's Free Management Library. Whether you're looking for case studies, crisis management advice, or simply love to shake your head at the antics of misguided PR folk, we've got something for you.

We've seen some truly ham-fisted moves over the years, but when reporter Mike Elk tried to ask some controversial questions of Honeywell CEO Dave Cote, he encountered resistance which almost went beyond the scope of reality. By barricading Elk in a room for some minutes, then falsely reporting him to police, Honeywell Communications Director Rob Ferris may have earned the title of Worst.PR Guy. Ever.Erik Bernstein

In today's business climate, stakeholders demand immediate answers, which means good Crisis Management Takes Communication. If you aren't providing a solid source of information, then they go to the rumor mill to spark damaging conversation, and you'd better believe social media will facilitate their spreading far and wide.

Although we often reference a "global culture," fact is that great differences in thinking still exist, even among cultures with a long history of interaction. Using the example of a recent crisis management mess involving the Australian swim team, guest author Tony Jaques shares why A Crisis in One Culture May Be Commonplace in Another.

Need evidence that Rumors Cause Crisis Management Catastrophe? Look no further than this post, which examines how a few misinformed tweets and blog posts ran wild, causing a major crisis management issue for the Environmental Protection Agency.

When you're speaking on behalf of any organization, it's critical that the information you share is accurate, reflects well, and ISN'T EXTREMELY CONFIDENTIAL! Army General Neil Tolley Opens Mouth, Inserts Combat Boot, Endangers Secret Ops is the perfect headline for this post, which takes a look at how one slip of the tongue endangered U.S. operations, and lives, in South Korea.

Rapid fire crisis response is the name of the game these days. When the proverbial @#&% hits the fan, your stakeholders don't care whether you have working phone lines, Internet access, or a roof on company HQ, they want answers, and they want them now. The only way to be as fast as possible is to be prepared, so train up, practice, and be ready for High-Speed Crisis Management.

Finally, Adidas learned a difficult lesson when it released pictures of its upcoming "JS Roundhouse Mid" shoe on Facebook - Shoe Shackles Raise Consumer's Hackles. The shoe, which features a bright orange chain and shackle dangling from the back of each foot, ignited outraged comments over perceived associations with slavery that dominated the Adidas Facebook page. Did Adidas stick it out, or pull the plug? Read on!

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


AARP & The Geek Squad - Exposť on our Blogs Soon


The following is a direct quote obtained online from a former GeekSquader (and there are plenty more like this):


I also found that many of my co-workers would intentionally remove the customer's anti-virus or tell that customer that in order for us to guarantee the work completed our anti-virus had to be installed. In addition to trapping many people with the threats of stolen data and virus infections causing further damage we were instructed by our managers to specifically target older customers, first time computer owners and the lesser educated. 


That's the same Geek Squad which AARP is now touting as a special benefit to its members.  And that's the same AARP out of which I've been trying to drag answers about this horrendous association for two weeks now.  Look for the story on one of our blogs, soon, and of course we'll mention it here too.  I've already reported Geek Squad horror stories twice in the past, so was particularly shocked, as a member, to receive the AARP announcement. -- Jonathan  


The Crisis Show - Third Episode Up Now! 


The Crisis Show debuted on June 13, and we've just posted the footage from our third live show on our YouTube channel. Our live format provides a great opportunity to interact with viewers in real time, just tune in every Wednesday at 7 EST/4 PST and tweet your questions or comments with the tag #thecrisisshow. We'll take breaks to read and respond live on the show! Of course, you can submit questions when the show's not online as well. Just use our "Ask the Experts" page. -- 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
Apropos of Nothing
Quick Links


BCM Blog
Crisis Management Blog

Facebook ButtonLinkedIn ButtonGoogle  Button