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"

© 2013 Jonathan Bernstein

Carnival's Catastrophe  

Volume XIV, Number 3

February 15, 2013    


What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.


                              -- Jason Fried, "Rework"         




"We are very sorry for what our guests have had to endure."

                                  - Carnival President Gerry Cahill

You know what, Carnival? It's going to take a lot more than words to prove you're sincere, and so far, your actions are screaming "we don't care."

In fact, this past Tuesday, while thousands of his paying customers slept in tents on a listing, odiferous ship deck, navigated cabins with urine-soaked carpets, ate cold onion sandwiches and sent frantic text messages detailing the steadily declining conditions aboard the Triumph every time they were able to find reception, Carnival CEO Micky Arison pulled a Ken Lay, smiling courtside as the Miami Heat, which he owns, defeated the Portland Trail Blazers.

What Arison could have possibly been thinking is beyond me entirely. Even if he doesn't care about the plight of the stranded passengers (which I think is abundantly obvious at this point), one would expect a smart businessman would know better than to be seen out having a good ol' time while his organization is in the midst of a major crisis.

Carnival's plan for getting passengers back home doesn't sound like it had any more care put into it than the rest of the mess. The cruise line's plans to bus passengers from the arrival port of Mobile, Alabama all the way to New Orleans, rather than a few minutes into town, has even been questioned by the Mayor of Mobile, Sam Jones, who spoke with Fox News:

"We raised the issue that it would be a lot easier to take a five-minute bus ride than a two-hour bus ride" to New Orleans, Jones said. Jones said Carnival employees will be staying in Mobile, adding he was not told of the company's reasoning for putting passengers on extended bus rides after their experience at sea.

Judging by their actions, Carnival officials still don't realize, or don't want to realize, just how much trouble they're in right now.

The Triumph is SUPPOSED to make port on the eve of this writing, and if the cruise line continues on its chosen path of bare-minimum crisis management then the barrage of negative coverage thus far will prove to only be the tip of the reputation iceberg.

Stay tuned to our blogs and social media accounts for the latest analysis of this incredible example of crisis management done wrong.

If you like what you see in this ezine, please pass it on to 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
Case studies, crisis management lessons and how-tos have filled the pages of our blogs recently. Below, we have a rundown of recent posts from the Bernstein Crisis Management blog and the Management Library Crisis Management blog.

Want to talk about something you read on our blogs? We welcome comments, or even better, hit that little Twitter button on the page and tag your tweet with @bernsteincrisis or @nomorecrisis. We're listening!

A guest post from Triad Strategies' Rick Kelly, An Alpine Road to Redemption describes the situation in which disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong finds himself following his doping confession, as well as the opportunities that lie ahead of him should he be up to the challenge.

Some organizations just don't want to take the steps needed to truly clean up shop. L.A. Catholic Officials Caught in Scandal...again looks at the latest revelation of cover-ups from a Catholic diocese. We can't venture a guess as to whether fear of repercussions or a stubborn refusal to admit things were done wrong is holding them back, but either way the Catholic Church will continue to be hammered by scandal until its leadership makes the decision to truly set things right.

With the revelation that, while chomping down "beef" burgers, shoppers in the UK and Ireland may have actually been Eating Mr. Ed, the meat industry in Europe was plunged into crisis. With angry customers, confused vendors, and serious questions from regulators, this was nothing to horse around about.

It takes practice and training to be good at, well, anything. That's why we say, Crisis Simulations for the Win! By putting people through the paces of crisis management, you spot flaws in plans and enhance your organization's ability to cope with the real thing when it happens.

Popeye's Favorite Needs Crisis Management after CDC Report examines how the way in which mainstream media covered a study on food contamination created a potential crisis for those up and down the leafy greens supply chain.

Crisis Ripples Rock Herbalife's Boat is an interesting case study in that this crisis was caused not by anything to do with Herbalife itself, but actually came about as a result of FTC actions against an entirely different organization.

In the midst of its launch hype, Growing Pains for Twitter's Vine threw a wrench in plans. As the video-sharing app became a hot spot for pornographic material, Apple yanked the influential "Editor's Choice" section of its App Store.

In the same month that a complete lack of Hall of Fame elections proved voter's disdain for 'roiders, we got the MLB Doping Scandal, 2013 Edition. With major names like Cabrera, Colón, Cruz and Rodriguez found on documentation from a Miami-area clinic said to be a hotspot for distributing performance-enhancing drugs, will we see a reprisal of the same old denials, or will someone step up and get crisis management right?

The NY Times revealed this month that it had been the target of an extensive cyber attack by Chinese hackers attempting to ferret out how the Times gathered information for an October report on Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao. NY Times Hacking: What it Means to You explains what you can learn from the Times' experience, as well as what's required to secure your own computer systems against intruders.

Even if it's true, The "I'm So Stupid" Defense really isn't a tactic you want to put to use for crisis management. Find out why when you read this case study of an Australian restaurant group owner who tried to defend his $28,000 debt to an employee by explaining that he just couldn't keep up with those tricky wage laws.


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 


Bernsteins Available to Deliver Free Guest Lectures, Q&A Sessions


Jonathan alone, or the team of Jonathan and Erik Bernstein, are available at no charge to deliver guest lectures and host Q&A sessions with college classes via Skype or Google Hangout.  


Our latest virtual visit found us speaking with students from the University of Minnesota's journalism program on the topic of writing for crises, and we have another engagement at Toronto's Humber College coming next month!


The lectures are fun for both us and students, and we're more than happy to allow recording of the sessions for your future use. 


All you need at your end is a single computer with webcam and a strong broadband connection and we can appear in your classroom in real-time.   


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

Learn how to deal with traditional or social media during a crisis in this educational and entertaining guide from Crisis Manager publisher Jonathan Bernstein. $25 for the hard copy and $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 Someone to Set Up and Turn-Key Your Social Media Activity for You?


Missing out on all the promotional, SEO and reputation management advantages of being active on social media platforms? Hire someone to be your voice...like Erik Bernstein, editor of Crisis Manager.  He's the one largely responsible for keeping the Bernstein Crisis Management website and social media accounts highly ranked and popular. 



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
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