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

'Net Ethics Burnout 

Volume XV, Number 14

July 31, 2014    

Just a Thought  

"There's no such thing as an opportunity that doesn't entail risk, risk that can be minimized through proper operational, legal and public relations planning."

- Jonathan Bernstein
From the Editor

This week we discussed OKCupid's blog post featuring the provocative tagline, "We Experiment on Humans Beings!". While there were a fair number of folks who commented that they would be canceling their premium memberships, as well as a host of psychologists and researchers chiding the dating site for experimenting with people's emotions without their knowledge, the outrage never really got to the level I expected it to.

The number of people who were saying the equivalent of, "so what?" was surprising, and it got me thinking. We are being absolutely bombarded by privacy threats, misuse or manipulation of our data, and other quasi-ethical (at best) practices on the 'net. The revelation that Facebook had manipulated its own users in order to induce positive or negative emotions certainly stirred people up, but was there a real reaction? Do you know anyone who deleted their account, or now refuses to use the service, as a result?

Now OKCupid not only announces they've done similar experimentation, but presents it in an incredibly brash manner, and receives even less of a negative response. All things considered, this could turn out to have been a dangerous, yet profitable, PR stunt from the dating site. After all, OKCupid is already reporting that more than one million people have logged in since the blog post went live Monday.

Manipulating people and experimenting on them without specific consent is still not ethical, but it may fast be entering the category of "no big deal", something that leaves me feeling a bit queasy.



- Erik

Interested in reprinting BCM articles or blog posts?
We're happy to give permission for material to be reprinted in hard copy or online!

If you find something you would like to reprint, simply submit a request to jonathan@bernsteincrisismanagement.com.



Our blogs on the Bernstein Crisis Management page and at the Free Management Library are full of posts covering topics from reputation management, to social media, to crisis management case studies and more. 
In this section we take look at some of the most popular posts from the past weeks: 

Cloud storage for data makes both personal and professional life a bit more convenient, but did you know there are serious Crisis Management Dangers in "The Cloud"?

Saline Shortage Puts Hospitals in Crisis Management Mode is a case study proving why all organizations need to be prepared for major supply chain disruptions.

The financial industry has taken a massive amount of reputation damage in recent years, and for good reason. Now, smart orgs are figuring out how to gain back trust, a struggle that's detailed in Reputation Management Lessons from Wall Street.

Wisdom from the 17th century helps us to share a valuable lesson on telling the truth in Crisis Management Quotables...on The Damage One Lie Can Do.

A guest post from Vuma Reputation's Janine Hill, Crises are Also Great Opportunities, explains how enduring tough times can leave you stronger in the end.

Red Cross Puts Humor to Work for Reputation Management is the perfect example of how to react when someone pokes fun at you. Rather than getting angry, they played along, and grabbed some free PR in the process.

Behaving badly on social media these days could very well mean career suicide. Keeping Your Personal Online Reputation Intact is not just important, it's an absolute necessity.

Facing a verbal lashing in a Senate hearing about bogus diet products, Dr. Oz learns Bad Endorsements are a Quick Road to Crisis Management.

Good customer service has been proven to prevent many crises before they ever get started, and today's customers are flocking to social media. That's why you can't afford to not be using Social Media Customer Service as Crisis Management Tool.

Caught in another bridge-related tangle just as his reputation began to recover from the first incident, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is facing what we're calling "Bridgegate Part Deux".

Apropos of Nothing

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, please contact me, jonathan@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 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



Business Announcements 

(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.

For an overview of our services, estimates, or more information, contact erik@bernsteincrisismanagement.com


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.

For questions or pricing info, please email 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 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

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 Social Media Manager/Lead Social Media Trainer 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
Apropos of Nothing
Quick Links


BCM Blog

Management Library Crisis Management Blog

Connect with Bernstein Crisis Management

Like us on Facebook View our profile on LinkedIn Find us on Google+

Follow Jonathan

Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn Find us on Google+

Follow Erik

Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn Find us on Google+