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 15

August 21, 2012   



B.S. used to be a lot easier before the Internet made it even simpler to fact-check you, even when those in the media often don't.



                           Jonathan Bernstein   





The London Games' closing ceremonies are over, and despite the legitimate fears that prefaced its start, the entire event ran as smoothly as could have been expected. There were no terror threats or protests, and Londoners largely heeded the advice of their government and chose public transit over battling congested streets, with all reports stating that trains and buses were moving smoothly. The swift ejection of athletes from several countries as a result of racist tweets made it clear the IOC was serious about enforcing a behavior code for this, the first "Social Olympics," and the focus was able to lay solely on what the Olympics Games are supposed to be about - sports. The promotion of social media use among both competitors and viewers led to a unheard-of level of interaction, but a flock of angry sports fans flooding various accounts with complaints was one side effect NBC probably didn't predict.

Speaking of NBC, perhaps the biggest reputation knock coming out of the Olympics will be the one the broadcast giant takes. Its thoughtless and flat out uncaring coverage at times included editing out a tribute to the victims of the 2005 London bombings from the Opening Ceremony and airing an hour-long preview of an upcoming sitcom over closing ceremony performances by Ray Davies, The Who, and even Muse, who penned and performed the official Olympic song.

Tape delays of over six hours for marquee events enraged hardcore fans, who were doubly upset when they attempted to stream them live on NBC's website and were unable to. One angry user shared the sentiments of many when he tweeted, "Usain Bolt outruns the NBC live stream's buffer!"

NBC also partnered with Twitter for the event, and quickly compromised the once-paragon of free speech's morals when reporter Guy Adams hit a sensitive spot with his rallying call for the public to complain directly to NBC execs about Olympic coverage. You can find more on that story in our blog post, "Twitter #Fail on Integrity Test."  


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 weeks have brought us plenty of corporate folly, as well as a host of tips to share with you. Here's a sampling of the best:

Alleged Delta Employee's Reddit Posts Create Crisis Management Stir is a prime example of how social media has opened up organizations to never before seen crises. When someone claiming to be a Delta employee dropped some shockingly frank responses to questions from posters about airline policies and practices on Reddit.com, the company was caught flat-footed.

Shocking stories and scary stats are the most popular tools most disaster preparedness agencies employ in attempts to encourage the public to get prepared. CARD - A New Angle on Disaster Preparedness looks at Oakland, CA nonprofit CARD, and its "Use NO Fear" preparedness movement.Erik Bernstein

Sometimes, a single upset customer or client can spell disaster for your organization. When you have an influential voice spreading negative sentiment on the web, it's time to order up Crisis Management for One, Please.

Twitter's partnership with NBC represented a turning point for the organization. Would the symbol of free speech and base of many social movements maintain its position once partnered with big broadcasting icon NBC? Reporter Guy Adams was the first to find out, nabbing a suspension for tweeting the (publicly available) email of an NBC exec. As we shared after hearing of the incident, "Twitter #Fail on Integrity Test."

Warnings for airmen, safety lessons for their families, and guidelines for crisis management all included in an easy to understand web doc? Yep, the Air Force's Social Media Policy is On Target. With the introduction of its social media program, "Navigating the Social Network," the Air Force's web policy has stepped fully and formidably into the 21st century.

The SumoSalad Hepatitis A Disaster is the topic of this guest post by Tony Jaques. When an employee at one of the Sydney salad bar's locations sparks a hepatitis A scare, will its CEO come through with some quality crisis management, or pile more reputation damage on the organization?

If have any doubt that Cloud Computing Creates Computer Crises, ask Mat Honan. Through a security overlap between Amazon and Apple, the Wired writer's entire online identity was compromised, costing him irreplaceable family photos and control of his email and social media accounts.

When Travelocity offered a discount to attendees of a National Federation for the Blind conference, it had no idea that the offer would go viral. After the online travel booking giant realized it was experiencing a huge spike in discounted purchases, it made the decision to cancel reservations made by users who weren't at the conference. Of course, this led to a nasty backlash, and that's how Travelocity's Good Deed Goes...Punished.

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

Attention Corporate Boards of Directors (and those that serve them). 


If you're connected with a corporate board of directors in some way and think that board would benefit from having a veteran crisis management pro amongst its membership, please contact me. -- Jonathan


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


A Shout-Out for Nudgemail


Here's a message I just shared with my Mac Users Group - although the recommendation is definitely NOT Mac-specific.

I have to give Nudgemail a shout-out as one of the least-known, but most-useful online tools I've ever found in decades spent online.  Here's how it works and how I use it:

  • Nudgemail, http://nudgemail.com, is free and requires no sign-up.  The first time you use it, it recognizes your email address and starts an "account" for you.
  • Nudgemail allows you to remind yourself of anything simply by sending email address to (date)@nudgemail.com.  So, for example, I just sent myself a note to aug21@nudgemail.com reminding me to bring a certain subject up again with a client on that date.  If you did that, you'd get back a confirmation that your reminder was received and, on August 21, that email will be sent back to you by Nudgemail.  You will have the option of turning off confirmations if you don't want to receive them. Once I grew to trust the service, that's what I did.
  • There are a number of ways to format your date that are explained at the Nudgemail website.
  • When you receive your reminder, the email header gives you one-click options to extend the reminder by any number of days, weeks or even months, just by clicking on a link.
  • Besides the obvious use as a reminder note to myself, I also now send a BCC Nudgemail when I write to someone and want to remember to follow up with them in X days.  So the format TO line of my email is to my addressee, and the BCC is to (date)@nudgemail.com.
  • All of this means I don't have to put reminders on a To Do list, or on my calendar, they come to me automatically at the date set.
Nudgemail has more options than I've named here; visit their website to learn more, and happy nudging! 


(aka blatant self-promotion) 


Keeping the Wolves at Bay: Media Training


Book Cover JPG

Reflecting a significant change in the book-selling marketplace, we have reduced the cost of this popular media training manual from $49 to $25 for the hard copy and from $29.95 to $10 for the PDF.


Visit The Crisis Manager Bookstore for more information and/or to purchase.





Manager's Guide to Crisis Management



Whether you're a seasoned manager, aspiring up-and-comer, or student of crisis management, Jonathan Bernstein's textbook, Manager's Guide to Crisis Management (McGraw-Hill, 2011) will put you in control of any situation. 






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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