Just a Thought
"You get hit the hardest when trying to run or hide from a problem. Like the defense on a football field, putting all focus on evading only one defender is asking to be blindsided."
From the Editor
Much like the Sochi Games, the events surrounding the World Cup have left a pallor over the event for many. While soccer (or football, fútbol, kurat al-qadam, 足球...well, you get the point) is beloved around the world, the fact that crises plague FIFA, its main regulating body, is creating reputation issues that are difficult to ignore.
The years leading up to the 2014 Cup were not pleasant for the Brazilian people. Their government spent billions on the event while millions of citizens lack access to even basic services, workers were killed, allegedly as a result of rushed construction, and activists claim a quarter of a million people faced eviction threats during Cup construction and even preparation. Riots have occurred, with police dishing out rubber bullets and tear gas to protesters, and even with the rushing and excessive spending, reports show critical infrastructure for travel and safety is not complete.
As bad as that is, the situation surrounding the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar has potential to turn cause long-term and possibly irrevocable harm to FIFA's reputation. The world was absolutely stunned when the country, in which 120 degree temperatures are not uncommon, won a bid to host an outdoor sporting event in June and July. Even more odd, Qatar has little soccer history, and has never even sent a team to a World Cup. Shocker of shockers, reporters quickly began to ferret out signs of impropriety (aka bribery) in the bidding process.
Furthering the problems with Qatar, which are, again, similar to the Sochi Games is that humans rights issues are pervasive throughout the country. Already there are widespread reports of worker abuse, to the tune of some 1,200 dead as a result. In addition, homosexuality is illegal, and punishable by whipping and deportation. To give you some idea of just how out of touch FIFA is, in 2010 FIFA President Sepp Blatter infamously stated that homosexuals "should refrain from sexual activity" when they head to Qatar. If you'll recall, this is the same man who called criticism of the Qatar World Cup "racist" in a strange and desperate grab for support.
The bottom line is, whether you're talking running a sports association or a chain of retail stores, consideration of who you associate with, and what your actions support, is critical not only to success, but also to survival. You can ignore it for a while, but, as FIFA is discovering now, you can't bury your head in the sand forever.
Thank you, and read on.
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Here's a look at some of the most popular posts from the past weeks:
Antivirus Maker's Crisis Management for Data Breach is a chance to showcase something rarely seen in crisis communications from tech companies - compassion. Thanks to solid messaging, users of Avast's hacked forums were made to feel like they mattered, saving the computer security company's reputation from serious damage.
A big question on everyone's minds right now is, What are the EU Google Ruling's Implications for Crisis Management? Take a look at thoughts from ourselves, as well as a couple of other knowledgeable sources.
Allowing anyone to post stories that appear on a page branded as belonging to a major news outlet is asking for trouble. False CNN iReport on "Deadly" Asteroid Causes Panic demonstrates the potential issues behind CNN's amateur reporting hub, and how they can be prevented.
Crisis Management Quotables...on Why Hiding Doesn't Cut It takes a lesson from legendary coach Bear Bryant on why coming out into the open, although painful, is often more helpful to crisis management than ducking for cover.
Late Night Crisis Management Solves Stinky Milk Mystery tells the tale of a Louisiana dairy that had to put in some serious hours to uncover the root of a problem that left customers returning product in droves.
Should it be legal for employers to punish or even fire employees in reaction to what they post on social media? Crisis Management - Punishing Employees for Social Media looks at sentiment on the issue here in the states, and tells employers how to best cover their behinds when venturing into this uncharted territory.
Hacker taking over iPhones, iPads, and Macs via the "Find My ____" app left Apple Doing Crisis Management for New Ransomware Threat, a type of attack we expect to see more and more often as criminals realize just how lucrative it can be.
Is sending something that acts very much like a bomb to reporters as part of promotion for a new videogame going too far? Reputation Management - Ubisoft's "Failed" Watch Dogs Stunt reports on the case of an irresponsible stunt that left office workers terrified and law enforcement understandably upset, but may have actually turned out to be a PR win for the company responsible regardless.
Following the retiring of two ethnic dolls from its product line, a popular dollmaker was bombarded with negative feedback. American Girl's Defensive Crisis Management explains why we think the organization was caught by surprise, and how you can avoid running into similar issues.
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|
ATTENTION ANYONE FORMALLY ASSOCIATED WITH COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN THE WESTERN U.S.
I enjoyed my recent participation in the University of Oregon's "Guest Executive" program so much that I would love to do more of the same at other schools that aren't TOO far a trip from my Los Angeles-area base. UO had me guest lecture/teach at four PR-related classes and make an "open to the public" speech over a two-day period. They covered all travel costs and a modest honorarium. If you can do the same, contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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 Karen Freberg's social media class at the University of Louisville, shout out to any readers from the #Freberg14 crew!
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
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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.
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: email@example.com
Erik Bernstein is editor of Crisis Manager and is also Social Media Manager for Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc.
Write to Erik at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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