JUST A THOUGHT
The term "media training" has to be redefined as training for communicators responsible for using ALL forms of media, traditional and social. The term "mass media training" may, in fact, be more appropriate.
FROM THE EDITOR
Instant Death by Social Media
"The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue." -- Edward R. Murrow
Those of you who frequent our social media accounts know that we're quite fond of using quotes to put the world of crisis management into context. What so struck me about this particular quote is the fact that Murrow died in 1965, and the truth of his words has only been magnified as time passes.
What do you think Murrow would say if he was given a look at Twitter some 30 seconds after a major incident? I imagine even the man who challenged McCarthyism at its height would be taken aback at the sheer volume, ridiculous speed, and frightening carelessness with which many reporters churn out stories before the facts are in front of them, as well as the public's ravenous hunger for more, not to mention its addiction to re-broadcasting without hesitation. Together, it creates an environment conducive to instant death by social media.
Recent examples include that of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, whose career was dampened when a local blogger's false allegation was picked up and reported as truth nationwide. For another, this very month the price of crude oil jumped up a full dollar when a Twitter account claiming to be a Russian official stated (falsely) that the president of Syria was dead and was echoed by users across the service.
As writers, we have a duty to question our sources and seek undeniable proof before reporting information as fact. At the same time, as readers, we have a duty to question the information that's presented, even when it comes from a trusted figure. Unless both sides are working toward the truth, there remains room for rumor and innuendo to make their way in.
This will only become more true as the speed of communication grows ever faster and, as it does, we would all do well to keep Murrow's words in mind.
As always, below you'll find a summary of the best from both of our blogs.
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Thank you, and read on!
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. Recently we've covered everything from Progressive and Todd Akin's #CrisisFails to high school election scandals.|
When the face of your company is a trendy, goofy, perpetually smiling woman, people expect that's what your tone will be. When Matt Fisher called Progressive out online for (allegedly) battling to avoid paying out for his slain sister's insurance, Progressive's #CrisisFail was that it didn't have Flo in mind at all, and turned to legal to handle communications, inciting rage amongst the online community.
You probably never heard of Rep. Todd Akin before last week, but if you took a poll today he'd be a likely winner for least-liked politician of the moment. With just a couple of sentences, Akin made himself into both a laughingstock and a widely hated person, making him the perfect example of How to Trash a Political Career in 15 Seconds or Less.
If you'd like your business to survive, you have to think about Crisis Management for the Long Haul. Sure, it may be easier to patch a problem up with the first solution you come across, but unless you consider the ramifications down the line, you could find that your "solution" has blown up in your face.
Yeah We Lost Your Kid, So What? That's exactly the attitude United Airlines employees had when confronted by a pair of scared and angry parents who were wondering why their child, who was flying unaccompanied, had not arrived at her final destination. After taking a thorough lashing on social media and some amateurish and ham fisted attempts at online reputation management, would United finally do the right thing?
Although Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has been plagued by public scandal and employee arrests, he still hasn't embraced transparency. After announcing a recent review of anti-corruption controls, Murdoch still insisted it was "not based on any suspicion of wrongdoing," even though the rest of us can see plainly that he's full of it. Has News Corp's Crisis Taught Rupert Murdoch Anything?
A high school senior uses a faculty password to break into his school's computer system, but this was no act of vandalism or theft. Jacob Bingham pursued proof that a teacher had fixed the student elections. He got it, and quickly caught a suspension, but this story of Tampering Teachers and Bad Crisis Management drew the notice of the media, and things got complicated for the district in a hurry!
With hosts Jonathan Bernstein, Rich Klein, and Melissa Agnes at the wheel, along with guest Karen Freberg, The Crisis Show's latest episode was a whirlwind of crisis management advice. Examining several social media blunders, reputation management issues in the world of sports, West Nile, and the #CrisisFail of the week, Rep. Todd Akin and his foot-in-mouth moment, The Crisis Show Ep. 10 - Sports, Schools, and Politics is available for viewing.
Erik Bernstein is a freelance writer, editor of Crisis Manager, and Social Media Manager for Bernstein Crisis Management
|APROPOS OF NOTHING|
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ABOUT THE PUBLISHER AND EDITOR
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.
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Erik Bernstein is editor of Crisis Manager and is also Social Media Manager for Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc.
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