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

Oops, we were hacked!   

Volume XIV, Number 4

February 28, 2013    


Begin somewhere. You cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do.


                                  -- Liz Smith          




In a month where we've penned not just one, but two different blog posts on the topic of cyber security, it's almost fitting that we had a little 'net security issue of our own here at BCM.

An email from reader Cheryl Smithem, of Charleston PR, brought to our attention the fact that the words buy cialis had been inserted into several recent posts, and linked to an outside, unaffiliated page.

Now, we're not averse to the idea of occasionally pitching products like crisis management books or training manuals, but the men's bedroom aid department is a bit out of our wheelhouse.

Within hours, a vulnerability audit from our web team had turned up a couple weak spots in our WordPress security, and we quickly resolved the issues.

We apologize to anyone that may have been annoyed by the spam-like nature of the links, and will be stepping up our monitoring to ensure that visitors to our site can click on every link with confidence.
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!

PepsiCo Removes Controversial Ingredient after Online Petition is a case study on consumer pressure, reputation management, and how a 15-year-old's online petition may very well have led to the beverage giant making changes to its Gatorade formula.

The battle of Google vs. i-Privacy WAS a secret one, in which Google used tricky programming to slip tracking cookies into user's mobile search sessions. Now, with a lawsuit settled in the U.S. and another pending in the U.K., will Google be forced to live up to promises to respect search privacy?

Social Media Hijacking - an Inside Job tells the tale of UK retailer HMV, whose leadership neglected to pull employee access to its Twitter feed before making mass layoffs. One employee sarcastically Tweet-casted the happenings to the world, and HMV quickly became a case study in "what NOT to do."

Sometimes, the simplest crisis management strategy is just to Give the People What They Want, especially considering that, in many cases, all they want is for you to acknowledge that you've heard their complaints and taken them to heart.

WARNING! This post contains a number of horrible puns - read at your own risk! As the Horsemeat Crisis Stampedes Across Europe, we take a look at the steps that those up and down the EU meat supply chain need to take for crisis management.

Preparing and publishing an ad that lampooned the Super Bowl blackout in the blink of an eye was an impressive feat of marketing, but looking deeper we can also learn some powerfully Crisis Management Lessons from Oreo's Super Bowl Ad.

If you didn't hear about Carnival's Crippled Cruise Ship Crisis then you must have been living in a sensory deprivation tank. With power out, sewage flooding, low food stores and thousands of angry passengers toting cell phones (and sending out texts or tweets describing the situation whenever possible), this was a nasty reputational crisis.

SARS-Like Virus, a Smoldering Crisis? examines the possibility the nasty bug that's killed several people overseas could be a mounting crisis, as well as offering up some one-size fits-all advice for health risks.

With reporters, both professional and amateur, taking to social media like politicians to a microphone, it just makes sense to include Tweetable Soundbites in your crisis messaging. Craft those key messages to fit in under 140 characters and watch your mention count climb!

It always pays to keep your ear to the ground, especially when it comes to social media. Social Spikes: an Early Crisis Warning System describes the types of patterns that appear when trouble's on the horizon, and what to do when you spot them.


Controlling Crises in the Digital Age:  

Case Studies and Lessons Learned


Join Jonathan Bernstein and a panel of LA's top communications pros as they discuss the challenges of crisis management in the digital age, where news cycles are lightning-fast and the court of public opinion can be swayed with a single tweet.    


When: Wednesday, March 27, 5:30 - 8:30 pm  


Where: Museum of Flying, 3100 Airport Ave, Santa Monica, CA  90405


For more information and to register, just click here. 


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 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
Apropos of Nothing
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