Just a Thought
"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stay there, lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again... but also, she will never sit down on a cold one any more.
- Mark Twain
|From the Editor|
The social mediaverse is on fire with talk of the Facebook study that purposely manipulated the emotions of 700,000 users, and for good reason. Without allowing users to opt-out, or giving any notification of the experiment, the social media giant purposely allowed a greater number of either positive or negative stories to appear in unwitting subject's news feed, then monitored their status updates to determine whether it influenced their emotional state.
The result? It worked. Users who saw more positive stories used more positive terms in their status updates, and those who saw more negative stories tended to express a darker outlook.
While the science is undeniably interesting, the bigger question being asked is whether Facebook has the right to treat its users like lab rats, and whether it's ethical to purposely put hundreds of thousands of them in a foul mood.
The study was technically covered under Facebook's Data Use Policy, but already critics are raising a uproar over the sheer gall of allowing one small clause in a Terms of Service agreement to stand as "informed consent" from users to participate in a psychological experiment.
Even seen purely from a business standpoint this is a poor decision, doing no favors to the network's reputation as uncaring and invasive. Rather than paying lip service while pulling stunts like this from behind closed doors, Facebook needs to decide whether it actually gives a rodent's posterior about user's demands for privacy, because right now all I'm seeing is two steps forward, three steps back, over, and over, and over again.
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this section we take look at some of the most popular posts from the past weeks:
A guest post originally shared in Jerry Brown's Monday Morning Media Minute, Good Advice, Badly Delivered
, examines how an old memo hurt General Motors' current crisis management, and explains how the carmaker could have sent the same message while avoiding the negative results.
It's extremely common for crisis situations to be the type that require the assistance of attorneys as well. While finding the right match can be difficult, properly Pairing Legal and PR for Crisis Management
will result in powerful combo that can rise to meet any challenge.
Rap Genius - When Your Co-Founder Creates a Crisis is a case study on the situation surrounding Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam's controversial comments on the manifesto of a murderer, and the difficult decision his fellow founders had to make as a result.
|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. Over a two-day period, UO had me guest lecture/teach at four PR-related classes and make an "open to the public" speech. They covered all travel costs and a modest honorarium. If you can do the same, contact me, 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 Social Media Managers Crisis Trained?
A solid social media manager has quickly become a must-have for organizations of any size, and can make an immense difference by driving in customers and building your positive reputation online.
The problem is, the vast majority are simply not equipped to even identify building crises, much less take the steps necessary to cope with and mitigate the damage that can result.
That's where we come in.
Bernstein Crisis Management is now offering crisis management training for social media managers, both independent and in-house, as well as social media firms.
Traditional 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.
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 hard copy, $10 for PDF.
Head to the Crisis Manager Bookstore for more information and/or to purchase.
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 will put you in control of any situation.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Erik Bernstein is editor of Crisis Manager and Social Media Manager/Lead Social Media Trainer for Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc.
Write to Erik at: email@example.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.