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

Welcome to the Digital Age     

Volume XIV, Number 6

March 29, 2013    


If you treat your stakeholders like they're wallets with legs, don't complain when they walk their money elsewhere.


                                  -- Erik Bernstein            




Last night I attended PRSA LA's "Controlling Crises in the Digital Age" panel, and came away with some great insights that I'd like to share.

One of the biggest, brought up by USC's Brenda Maceo, was the need to understand and establish objectives BEFORE starting a social media campaign. In the big rush to "just be there," many organizations are losing sight of the fact that social media is a means to an end. Whether your goal is to manage reputation, drive sales, keep abreast of hot topics or simply converse with your stakeholders, your efforts will be far more focused and successful if you work with a goal in mind.

Another great piece of advice, shared by Southern California Edison's Megan Jordan, was the need to learn when to engage on social media and when to step back. Sometimes it really is OK to just ignore a few comments, and sometimes the situation calls for an immediate mobilization and response. Making the right move can often mean the difference between a small situation fizzling out or fanning the flames higher.

During a discussion on today's story-hungry media, Sitrick's Terry Fahn pointed out the importance of telling your own story, and telling it first. Neglect to, and others will tell THEIR version for you, leaving plenty of room for your reputation to take a beating. He also made the point that, even though we've very much gone digital, the old skill of creating relationships with reporters remains invaluable.

Finally, our own Jonathan Bernstein spoke on search engine optimization's role in pushing negative stories out of the public eye. SEO, commonly seen as being used to boost Google rankings for competing stores, can vastly increase the chances of stakeholders finding the information you want them to find, while at the same time making it difficult for negative stories to stand out. We fully expect SEO to play a bigger role than ever in crisis management as we move on in 2013.

If you aren't up to par on your knowledge of the digital space and how it relates to crisis management, you're asking for trouble. Get out there, learn from the many resources available and join us in the digital age!
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! 

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Thank you, and read on.


          - Ed.
By Erik Bernstein
There's never any shortage of crisis management news to cover, and an influx of guest posts have kept us publishing on a daily basis. In this section, we share 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!

Vigilante Tweeting is a term coined by Brad Phillips for when Twitter users "publish details of their loudmouth neighbors' 'private conversations'" to their feeds. Check his guest post out for some examples that will have you thinking twice before taking that business call in line at Starbucks.

EA may have created a SimCity, but it sparked a very Real Crisis. Launch issues that prevented players from logging in, a refusal to refund and a lack of communication combined to make one big mess of a crisis.

Preparing to face crises isn't easy, but it's the number one way to set yourself up for success. Do the Legwork & Boost Your Crisis Management ability today!

Rogers Media became the focus of intense national attention in Canada after reports of a customer's son racking up a $22,000 bill in just 12 hours caught the media's attention. One quick move later, and Rogers had successfully resolved the situation - Crisis Averted.

The BBB & Reputation Responsibility examines the downfall of the Los Angeles chapter of the Better Business Bureau, as well as what YOU can do to avoid being at the mercy of "pay for ratings" services.

Guest author Jason Snyder urges hospitals, Don't be a Weiner! Investing in crisis communications and reputation management planning has never been more important for the crisis-prone health industry. Read on to find out why.

News website network Daily Voice pulled a nasty trick on its staff when its chairman promised good news and big changes, only to lay off a big chunk of them the very next week, catching a load of negative publicity in the process. Bottom line, don't do anything that will leave your employees singing, "Liar Liar..."

In Attorneys and PR Together in Crisis Communications, guest author Don Martin outlines the dangers that arise when legal and PR don't work together, as well as the benefits to be reaped when they cooperate.

Foot-in-Mouth Disease is catching, and public figures the world over are making statements that have their crisis management teams banging their heads against the wall. Here, we look at a normally skilled speaker, New York's Mayor Bloomberg, as he makes a classic communication mistake.

Google's repeated privacy violations, even after being fined in court, are evidence of a lack of concern for a valuable asset - reputation. In The Tortoise and the Hare: A Warning for Google we remind the big G just how important reputation really is to getting ahead, and to staying there.

Harvard administrators created An Ivy League Crisis when they launched an unannounced search of resident deans' emails as part of a leak investigation.

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

Social Media Training


Want to get your feet wet with social media but don't know where to start? Maybe you have accounts, but aren't sure what to post, or how to reply?


Being active on social media is a must these days, but you have to do it right. Erik Bernstein, Bernstein Crisis Management's Social Media Manager, now offers social media training sessions via Skype for groups or individuals.  


For questions or pricing info, please email erik@bernsteincrisismanagement.com 


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.

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