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"

2014 Jonathan Bernstein

Crossing Bridgegate     

Volume XV, Number 1

January 16, 2014    

Just a Thought    


"A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was."


- Joseph Hall        


From the Editor  


If Chris Christie wants his higher political aspirations to have any chance of remaining feasible, he should make this issue's "Just a Thought" his personal mantra.
While Christie's crisis management thus far has been hit and miss, his decisive action in firing those (allegedly) responsible, and a press conference with some very solid soundbites, like the one below, have helped to keep his head above water:

"Mistakes were clearly made. And as a result, we let down the people we are entrusted to serve. I know our citizens deserve better. Much better. I'm the governor, and I am ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch -- both good and bad"


If the New Jersey governor is being honest, he'll have to be careful to keep that infamous temper from bringing him anywhere near creating another Bridgegate-esque situation, or doing anything that even LOOKS like it might be the same type of manipulative move. As Hall said, the world - and especially critics, political opponents, and certainly the media - will be watching for any opportunity to pounce on a similar slip.


Of course, should the staffers whose heads rolled following the Bridgegate revelations turn out to have dirt on Christie, it's going to be hard to keep them quiet for long, especially once the subpoenas start rolling out from the newly-formed New Jersey Assembly investigative committee that's going to be digging into the matter.



Thank you, and read on.


          - Erik
2013 Weiner Awards Winners!


We've just announced the winners of the 2013 Weiner Awards! Here's a preview:



3rd PLACE -  A tie between Greg Gopman, head of AngelHack in San Francisco, and  Taylor Palmisano, who was finance director for Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI).


Gopman evinced a well-upturned nose when he bashed every indigent resident of San Francisco and the city itself on his Facebook page, wailing, "The difference is in other cosmopolitan cities, the lower part of society keep to themselves."  Unfortunately, he couldn't fire himself.


"He doesn't understand the basic responsibility of a CEO.  Others will look to your behavior as an example, good or bad," said Merrie Spaeth of Spaeth Communications.


Palmisano's broad-spectrum racist comments were enshrined by Twitter, resulting in her dismissal.


CK Syme's honcho Chris Syme warned, "People show their true colors thinking that they're only communicating with their friends, forgetting that some snarky friends might share it elsewhere."


Head over to the Weiner Awards Facebook page to see the rest of the winners, and let us know if you agree with our judges' decisions! While you're there, don't forget to start thinking of candidates for 2014. We already have a couple of nominations that could very well make the cut!


Any individual who, or organization that has created serious trouble for themselves via social media is a candidate for the Weiner Awards. To make a nomination, you can visit the Weiner Awards Facebook page, or send an email to erik@bernsteincrisismanagement.com.


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.

By Erik Bernstein

We're updating our blogs on the Bernstein Crisis Management page and at the Free Management Library more than ever with posts covering topics from reputation management, to social media, to crisis management case studies and more. Come on over, and leave a comment if we strike a chord!


Crisis Management Musts: The Doubting Thomas explains why being surrounding by yes-men is a no-no, and how having someone who's constantly asking, "What could go wrong here?" is a major asset to any endeavor.


Nokia's Quick Social Media Crisis Management for F-Bomb Tweet was a good example of how to defuse a potentially caustic situation. These days it's not only possible, but likely, that you'll have some sort of social media slipup. Don't let it become a bigger problem than it needs to be.


When it comes to crisis management, HOW you say things matter as much, or even more than, the words that actually come out of your mouth. That's the lesson conveyed in Crisis Management Quotables...on How You Say It.


McDonalds can't seem to get their web content right, and the resulting uproars continue to land the company in hot water with the public and media. To help out, we offered up some Crisis Management Advice for McDonalds after ANOTHER Web Content Fail.


When you're responsible for an awful lot of people losing money, or even their homes, sending out an holiday card highlighting your opulent lifestyle is just plain stupid - exactly the reason why we called the JPMorgan CEO's Holiday Card a Crisis Management Mistake.


Ever think about the fact that social media isn't just being used by your friends and colleagues? Crisis Management Warning: Burglars Use Social Media Too looks at an infographic detailing how criminals are using social media, and the information YOU put out there, to select their victims.


Setting clear rules, and creating procedures to handle things that fall in any grey area, is important to all organizations. Need proof? Just read Unclear Policies Lead to Crisis for Cemetery and Grieving Family.


Even after breaking guitars and losing someone's kid, United STILL Didn't Learn its Crisis Management Lesson! Now, it looks like they're endangering pets, and refusing to take responsibility, even when caught red-handed on cell phone footage, and taking a beating on social media in the process.


Thought the days of ballot stuffing were done decades ago? As you'll see once you dive into SeaWorld Makes a Whale of a Crisis Management Mistake, apparently nobody gave the marine park the memo!


We have Proof that Social Media Crises Force Change, something most of the public seems to know but many C-suiters are reluctant to acknowledge. 


Erik Bernstein is a freelance writer, editor of Crisis Manager, Social Media Manager for Bernstein Crisis Management, and consultant/trainer 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 great graduate-level class in Crisis Management at the New York Institute of Technology! 


The lectures are fun for 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) 



Are your employees putting your company at risk?


Most people don't recognize a well-crafted online phishing scam when they see one, and that's exactly what cybercriminals count on.


With more than 500 million phishing emails being sent every day, and the increasing use of uncontrolled environments for accessing and sharing sensitive data, the need for proactive training has never been greater.


You can help your organization fight back by changing the way security training is done. Here's our process:


  • Assess: Even before training begins, a simulated attack is launched on your employees. This not only helps you to assess current vulnerabilities, it also helps motivate employees to learn because they immediately realize how susceptible they are to an attack.  

  • Train: Our tactile approach to learning is proven to reduce employee vulnerability. Each 10-minute interactive and game-based module presents realistic examples and practice to engage your employees, improve their cyber security knowledge, reinforce learning, and measurably change their behavior.  

  • Measure: Data collected during training enables you to measure and report on the progress of your employees' learning. You'll know which employees are strong, and which are weaker in their cyber security knowledge - not just whether they completed the online training.


Don't let your employees fall for phishing scams hook, line, and sinker. Teach them how to recognize and avoid today's most advanced attacks before it's too late.


Learn more! Our always-available, cloud-based training content is available in 7 languages. For pricing and demonstration information, contact erik@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

 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
2013 Weiner Awards Winners!
BCM Articles/Blogs for Reprint
Apropos of Nothing
Quick Links


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