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 14

July 30, 2012   



Don't automatically believe what you learn from a single social or traditional media source. Fact checking is everyone's responsibility.



                           Jonathan Bernstein   





Over the past couple of weeks, NCAA president Mark Emmert, in an unprecedented move, made a "pre-emptive first strike" against Penn State regarding the Sandusky case. Emmert decided the reputation of the NCAA as a whole was at risk, and took decisive action based on the findings of the Freeh Report, avoiding the typical bureaucratic NCAA process altogether.

As I write this, the penalties against Penn State have just been announced, and they are, as expected, the heaviest in NCAA history - $60 million in sanctions, a vacating of all wins dating back to 1998 (which will be reflected in Joe Paterno's record, dropping him out of the top spot for total wins), a four-year postseason football ban, and a loss of 80 scholarships.  This will cripple the school's football program for years to come. Additionally, any current or incoming football players are free to transfer and compete at other schools, if they so desire. The entire Penn State athletic program will also be on probation with the NCAA for five years and be required to collaborate closely with an NCAA-designated athletic integrity monitor.

More important for our consideration, however, are the implications for the reputation of Penn State and all schools with large athletic programs.  What Emmert and the NCAA are saying with this decision, in effect, is that Penn State -- not just its athletic program -- has completely failed its duty to provide a safe environment for students of any age. There will still be die-hard fans, mostly alums and locals, but the average American parent is going to be directing their children toward alternate schools, at least until Penn State can prove that it's cleaned house and set protocol in place to ensure nothing like what occurred can ever happen again. In addition, the NCAA has sent a warning shot across the bow of any university that has or might act in a manner similar to the actions which resulted in these wide-ranging sanctions.


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. The past couple of weeks have brought us stories from around the globe, spanning topics from crisis leadership to nuclear planning. Here are some of the best:

What do these three items have in common?
  • President Obama's finance team and Nancy Pelosi are recommending a 1% transaction tax on all financial transactions.    
  • Mitt Romney said, "Of course I'll win, I'm the white guy."    
  • Target Corporation does not contribute to veterans' causes and provides corporate grants only for gay and lesbian causes.
If you're not 100% sure you know the answer, then you have to read about the almost frighteningly manipulative reasoning behind what Jonathan Bernstein calls The Outrage Trap.

In The Crisis Show Ep. 6, co-hosts Jonathan Bernstein, Rich Klein, and Melissa Agnes covered the biggest stories in crisis management, including the Colorado theater shootings, Tony Robbins' failure to communicate, prejudice in the Boy Scouts, poor decision making from the IOC and more.

Crisis Management Know-How is Prerequisite for Success, Say 65% of Global CCOs. If you don't know how to prevent crises, or to respond properly when they arise, your reputation is going to take a hammering from every incident. Too much of that, and you won't have a business left to manage crises for at all.
Erik Bernstein
Erik Bernstein

A report from the Japanese Parliament's independent investigation commission called Japan's Nuclear Disaster a Man-Made Crisis. Controversial quotes about government overseers and plant owners manipulating regulations, scapegoating, and environmental impact fill the document. With new nuclear plants currently under construction in the U.S., regulators here would do well to take note!

With most every business reliant on computers in some capacity, it's critical to have a clean and secure network. To help, guest author John Dayton shared his Crisis Management Tips After a Network or Computer Hack, a thorough primer on web security.

The average household doesn't even have the recommended 72 hours of supplies on hand to get them through potential disasters. FEMA's Pledge to Prepare is all about keeping Americans safe during those critical hours after crises strike, and to help prove the point Dan Stoneking, Director of FEMA's Office of External Affairs, shares a personal story of how being prepared helped protect his own family from a natural disaster.

Glaxo's $3 Billion Deceit was the largest in pharmaceutical history. Pleading guilty to several counts of misbranding or pushing drugs for alternate, unauthorized uses, Glaxo has also opened itself up to legal reprisal from those affected by the company's misdeeds, and a jury pool that's completely contaminated by this public admission of guilt isn't likely to be forgiving.

Paterno Family's Reputation Management no Touchdown takes a look at the family's poor choice in the wake of the Freeh Report. Instead of quietly looking into the findings, they loudly announced that they'd be sharing the results of their own investigation soon. What happens if that investigation comes to the same conclusions as the Freeh Report, though? 

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


Want a Free Crisis Management Training Program?


Attention corporate trainers and college professors!  You can use past episodes of The Crisis Show as free and entertaining education tools.  And many of the articles in back issues of this ezine are available for the same purpose. -- Jonathan




Even the prospect of having to call customer service puts me in a surly mood, but I had cause to get in touch with Rackspace IT this past week and it was an absolute pleasure. Shout out to one company that's doing it right! -- 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) 


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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