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

Goodbye 2012! 

Volume XIII, Number 23

December 31, 2012   


I'm a pretty persuasive speaker, but I could talk all day to a stone wall blocking my path and not convince it to get out of my way.


                              -- Jonathan Bernstein      





2012 has been a defining year for the role of social media in every crisis (or perceived crisis) from the still-looming (at this writing) Fiscal Cliff to the Mayan Apocalypse to the horror of the Newtown massacre.

The many platforms, still led by Facebook and Twitter, have featured in just about every major crisis of 2012, and the cover of Newsweek's final issue, being published today, prominently features the hashtag #LastPrintIssue, a bittersweet tribute if there ever was one.

Bottom line is that all signs point to social media continuing its amazing upward trend and becoming further entwined with every aspect of human life. If your organization isn't already actively involved, then you're WAY behind the curve.

In addition, new technologies will connect us like never before, with tools like Google's Glass enabling instant recording and sharing of anything the wearer sees or hears. Of course, those same tools will create headaches (and fodder for our blogs!) left and right as transparency is forced upon resistant organizations and reputation-damaging situations are broadcast to the world at large by legions of amateur I-reporters.

Thank you to everyone who reads and shares this newsletter, and a safe and happy New Year to you and yours!

If you like what you see in this ezine, please share it with others by using the "Forward Email" link at the bottom of the ezine and tell them to subscribe! 

(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.


          - Ed.
By Erik Bernstein
It's the last issue of 2012, but that doesn't mean our blogs are going anywhere! Both are chock-full of case studies, how-to's (and how-not-to's!) and the latest news in crisis management. 

Here's a look at some recent posts from the Bernstein Crisis Management blog and the new and improved Management Library Crisis Management blog:

There's no such thing as a "hands off" crisis management policy for company leaders, and that image of the CEO rolling up his/her shirt sleeves and lending a hand is cliché for a reason - Good Crisis Management Means Getting Your Hands Dirty.

Angry faculty, a disillusioned student body, votes of "no confidence" and a mysteriously leaked and highly controversial letter that stirred up the whole mess. Yep, there's a Crisis at St. Louis U.

An attempted kidnapping at a Virginia Fashion Square mall was thwarted, but after securing the child mall security let the perp walk free! Failed Child Abduction and Atrocious Crisis Management tells the tale of how the security company and mall management handled (or failed to handle) the fallout afterwards.

The CDC's Crisis Management for Flu Season is once again top-notch. Wholeheartedly employing the strategy of communicating and educating for crisis management, the CDC has a wealth of web resources available to help protect at-risk parties, including the @CDCFlu Twitter feed and even its own app!

With the storm of emotions surrounding anything firearm-related in the wake of the tragic Connecticut school shootings, The NRA's Measured Silence immediately thereafter was the topic of much scrutiny. Many called for a faster response, but according to several crisis management professionals keeping mum was the organization's only option.  Of course, then they made the WRONG response, but that made for a separate blog post.

KFC was served up a Kentucky Fried Crisis when it took 'net users only hours to dig up footage of the chicken chain's newest spokesman, Benji Madden, espousing his vegetarian beliefs on YouTube. PETA even jumped in to volunteer the fact that both Benji and his brother Joel have joined in on anti-KFC demonstrations. Woops!

Still operating under the illusion that behavior on your personal social media accounts can't be held against you in the workplace? Bad Social Media Manners Cost NHL Mediator is a cautionary tale that shows how being a jerk online can come back to bite you in the rear end.

Crisis Management Preserves Paper's Reputation is a perfect example of how media outlets should conduct themselves when they discover they've printed unethical material. The extreme speed of the modern news cycle makes it easier than ever for fabrications to slip through the cracks, whether intentional or not. Do the right thing and protect your rep.

Coming in the midst of the year's biggest shopping season, to say that Dell's Self-Inflicted Reputation Crisis was an untimely mistake would be an understatement. Pulling a bait-and-switch on deal hunters hoping to cash in on a Black Friday deal, the already-beleaguered computer company sparked angry blogs, postings and news articles all over the web and scared away what could have potentially been a huge holiday crowd of return customers.

What happens when your social media communications run afoul of regulatory bodies that are behind the times? Social Media Throwdown: Netflix v. SEC takes a look at the conflict touched off by Netflix CEO Reed Hasting's announcement of company performance info via Facebook, as well as sharing some advice for avoiding the same sort of trouble.

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

We Are Giving Away Business!!


Did that get your attention? Bernstein Crisis Management has been blessed for some time with more work than I can handle on my own, so the expert contractors in my Crisis Management Database have been getting more and more referrals lately and/or brought in as my subcontractors.  That's the virtual business model I've had since 1994, and today that model is widely accepted and appreciated by our clients.  So, if you have a crisis management-related business and would like to be considered for my Database, please write to me!  - Jonathan 


The Bernsteins Available to Deliver Free Guest Lectures


Jonathan alone, or the team of Jonathan and Erik Bernstein, are available at no charge to deliver guest lectures to college classes via Skype or Google Hangout. We've already conducted several with our friend Dr. Janice Frates at Cal State University Long Beach, and are ready to expand our offering to any college professor. All you need at your end is a single computer with webcam and a strong broadband connection. Contact us for more info!


Attention Corporate Boards of Directors (and those who 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


(aka blatant self-promotion) 


Expanded Crisis Manager Bookstore 


We've recently expanded the Crisis Manager Bookstore to include offerings from esteemed colleagues like Melissa Agnes, Gerald Baron, Chris Syme and Jim Lukaszewski that cover topics from crisis communication and traditional PR to social media and cutting-edge crisis management.  We'll be adding other authors we admire in the weeks ahead. 

Visit the new Crisis Manager Bookstore to see all of the  material available now!



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.


Head to 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.

In This Issue
Just A Thought
Apropos of Nothing
Quick Links


BCM Blog
Crisis Management Blog

Facebook ButtonLinkedIn ButtonGoogle  Button
twitter button