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

Learning from Corporate Screwups    

Volume XIV, Number 14

July 31, 2013    

Just a Thought    

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.


                                  -- Hubert Humphrey            


From the Editor  


Summer is winding down, and in just over a month, kids around the country will be returning to school in droves. Of course, with the return of the school year comes the return of the many risks that surround just about any campus, and administrators would do well to get a jump on crisis preparedness now. Sure, you have some time until class physically starts, but once you're back in the swing of day-to-day activity, there's a high chance these vital chores will be pushed to the back burner and forgotten, at least until that "OH %$*#!!" moment.

The number one thing you can do to get on top of things BEFORE a crisis hits is to make sure your plan is up to date, workable, and that all employees have been trained in how to implement it when the time comes. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

- Have changes rendered our crisis management plan obsolete?

- Does our plan make use of technology like text messaging and email for emergency communications?

- What can we learn from recent crises at educational institutions? Which are we most at risk of facing?

- Are we on the same page as local law enforcement and safety officials when it comes to crisis response?

If the answers to those questions are looking bad, you're in dire need of some crisis preparedness work. Take advantage of the time you have left to put in the work required to protect yourself, your staff, and the kids whose futures you're working to forge.
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.
Attn: Gmail web mail users
Gmail has rolled out a new inbox for its web-based email users that divides content into various tabs. You've (hopefully!) found our newsletter under your GMail "Promotions" tab, but if you would like to it to go to your "Primary" inbox next time, just drag and drop the email there, or click the star next to it and you're all set.
"The 10 Steps of Crisis Communications" - updated!
If you Google "10 Steps of Crisis Communications" you get more than 13,000 hits. I know. Blows me away, too. But guess what? The version everyone's read before is now obsolete.

I first wrote this piece in, I believe, 1992, when heading up Ruder Finn's then-new Crisis Communications Group. It has been periodically updated as the world of communication evolved and I benefited from more experience under my belt -- hey, maybe I can claim that's why my girth is wider now!?

I've just published my first major rewrite since 2005. I hope you enjoy the new, improved "10 Steps of Crisis Communications" and welcome your feedback!

By Erik Bernstein
We always try to cover a mix of topics, but it seems over the past couple of weeks we've seen a veritable plethora of crisis and PR mistakes from major corporations. That's why we've called this week's issue, "Learning from Corporate Screwups." 

Here's a rundown of recent posts, from the Bernstein Crisis Management blog and our Management Library Crisis Management blog:

The first installment in a new blog series, Crisis Management Quotables...on Reputation Repair, draws the connection between a quote from an English bishop who lived in the 1500's to the world of crisis management in 2013.

How-To: Turning off Twitter Tracking explains exactly what steps are involved in stopping Twitter from tracking your online behavior, as well as why all organizations should make certain to make it just as easy for their users to do the same.

Fact-Check Failure in Asiana Reporting Incident looks at one of the most embarrassing journalistic incidents we've ever seen. You've probably caught it on YouTube video already, but what exactly led to reporters reading a list of clearly-fabricated pilot names that included, "Sum Ting Wong" and "Ho Lee Fuk?"

You would think an airline that's in the midst of managing the fallout from a major crash wouldn't have time to spend on pointless lawsuits, but it's true, Asiana Dug its Reputation Hole Deeper By Suing KTVU over its on-air error.

Remember the horsemeat crisis? Seems like ages ago, right? Well, the UK's Food Standards Agency still hasn't gotten to the bottom of it, and now a parliamentary committee has officially declared there is to be No Carrot for FSA after Horsemeat Crisis Management Failures.

Google's Crisis Management for Scary Android Security Flaw was on point, but phone and tablet manufacturer's sluggish rollout of the fix left nearly 900 million mobile devices open to attack.

Would it surprise you if we said you were carrying the ideal tool for Disaster Crisis Management in Your Pocket? That's right, the ever-present smartphone is the ideal platform for apps to help you cope with whatever comes your way. Check out this list of a few of the best freebies out there.

Jailed Texas Teen, a Social Media Crisis Management Lesson gives an eye-opening look at the dangers that come with unchecked speech on social media. Think saying the wrong thing can't bring harsh repercussions to you, your organization, or even your children? You'll think again after reading Justin Carter's story.

Twitter v. Traditional Media: Who Breaks Stories First? The answer may surprise you. How about an even better question though...why are there so many rumors being reported as fact on both platforms?

In yet another social media folly from the house of the golden arches, McDonald's Callous Crisis Management Mistake was that it didn't stop to consider just how bad its employee budget planner, which starts out suggesting workers snag a second job, would look to the average observer.

It's just not safe to only monitor your social media channels during business hours. Qantas airlines found this out first hand when a pornographic image that went unnoticed for hours on its Facebook page was discovered by an eight-year-old child. Hopefully, organizations around the world are Learning from Qantas' Social Media Crisis Management Mistake.

Erik Bernstein is a freelance writer, editor of Crisis Manager, Social Media Manager for Bernstein Crisis Management, and self-pronounced one-man-band at Bernstein Social Media.
Apropos of Nothing

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 in person or via Skype for groups and individuals.  


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


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 presentation was to a graduate-level Healthcare Marketing course at Cal State Long Beach.    


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 for us to 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


Business Announcements
(aka blatant self-promotion) 




Interested in reprinting BCM articles or blog posts? 


Would you like to share a post with your audience, or perhaps reprint one of BCM's articles or how-to's for colleagues to use? We're more than happy to give permission; simply submit a request to jonathan@bernsteincrisismanagement.com.


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. 






Looking for a Turn-Key Social Media Solution?


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 and can do the same for you, while creating a set of valuable social presences that can be turned over to your full control at any time



More info:erik@bernsteincrisismanagement.com.


Guest Authors

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.


About Us

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.


Legal Disclaimer (aka the small print)

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
Attn: Gmail users
"10 Steps of Crisis Communications"
Apropos of Nothing
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