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

AT&T's Horrendous 9/11 Social Media Mistake    

Volume XIV, Number 17

September 12, 2013    

Just a Thought    


"The best way to avoid having egg on your face is not to lay eggs in the first place."


                                  -- Michelle Jordan           


From the Editor  


Speaking of egg on the face, how about the imbeciles at AT&T who decided they'd use 9/11 as a promotional tool? If you somehow missed the massive buzz on this one, here's a screen grab we managed to get before the post was pulled:

This is not a hoax or some type of elaborate troll. This is a real advertisement posted by AT&T to Twitter yesterday - an advertisement that, we should note, invariably must pass through quite a few hands in an organization that size before seeing the light of day.

Did NOBODY have the stones to stand up in one of the several meetings that were undoubtedly held during the process of production and say, "Hey guys, maybe this isn't such a great idea?"

To make the situation even worse, after deleting the image, AT&T posted one of the most egregious non-apology apologies we've ever seen:

Oh, you apologize to anyone who felt that way? Well, as far as I can tell from Facebook and Twitter, not to mention the hundreds of mainstream media articles that have popped up, EVERYBODY felt that way!

Don't even bother feeding us the garbage line about the image being meant to pay respect either. Your stakeholders are no fools, and they can see as well as anyone that taking advantage of a tragedy to sell a few more smartphones was the goal here.

Honestly, I debated even publishing a blog post on the Bernstein Crisis pages today for fear that "business as usual" is not what many people, especially those who lost friends or loved ones in the attacks, want to see on such an anniversary.
Bottom line -- the fact that AT&T execs either didn't make this connection, or, more likely, felt the connection between dollar bills and their pockets was a lot more important, is a sign of a downright scary corporate culture.

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.
Interested in repurposing BCM articles
or blog posts?


Would you like to share a post with your audience, reprint one of BCM's how-to's for office use, or take students through a set of case studies?  


We're happy to give permission for material to be repurposed in just about any way you'd like. Simply submit a request to jonathan@bernsteincrisismanagement.com.

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.
By Erik Bernstein

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

Did Maria Sharapova's Sweet PR Stunt get you to notice her Sugarpova brand? We examine how a tennis great's team served up a hefty dose of publicity for her new line of candies.

Jonathan Bernstein and social media expert Chris Syme took part in a Live College Crisis Management Chat for Higher Ed Live this week. Missed it? Don't worry, the full episode is available for download!

When paying customers notice that your "lion" is actually a dog, saying your reputation is at risk is an understatement. Breaking a key tenet of crisis communications with your explanation? Even worse! Check out Foot (Paw?) in Mouth Crisis Management from Chinese Zoo.

If every organization followed these 3 Steps to Social Media Reputation Management, suggested by Bernstein Crisis Management contractor and president of Jordan LLC., Michelle Jordan, well, we would have a lot less to blog about!

It's become quite common for anyone who received unsatisfactory service to take their opinion online, but that right may be facing challenges in a court of law. Hotel Guest Sued over Tripadvisor Review offers our take on a current case that reputation management and hotel industry professionals alike are sure to follow closely.

Simply put, The Role of Social Media Customer Service in Crisis Management is to head off problems before they explode. Answering a question quickly or reassuring a customer that their complaints are being heard is one of the least expensive, and most effective, ways to prevent small issues from developing into major crises.

Business as usual in one region can create a dangerous backlash in another. Culture Clash Means Crisis Management for Dunkin' Donuts shows how an ad from the organization's independent Thai operation has drawn negative attention for Dunkin' Donuts USA.

In Businesses Inviting Crises By Not Using Social Media for Crisis Management, we break down recent poll data that shows the majority of businesses are STILL not using social media for crisis management.

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) 


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

 Erik 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
BCM Articles/Blogs for Reprint
Attn: Gmail users
Apropos of Nothing
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