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Ono the Ostrich CRISIS MANAGER
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"

2015 Jonathan Bernstein

Back to School - What Will You Learn This Year?

Volume XVI, Number 14

August 18, 2015

Just a Thought
"The difference between giving a reason and making an excuse is often one of timing."

- Jonathan Bernstein

From the Editor
All across the country kids are heading back to school with hordes of adults espousing the importance of an openness to learning new things and adapting one's way of thinking, characteristics the vast majority of our society agrees are not only positives but also essential to success. Why, then, does the willingness to learn stop for so many the moment they're not cramming into a classroom for six hours a day?

We're big fans of exploring a great number of subjects, but of course what we're talking here is crisis management. Whether it's studying the latest trends in stakeholder relations, catching up on how to use the latest technologies to advance communications, brushing up on your media skills, or any of the many small improvements that will help enhance your capabilities, you can always learn and grow.

Unfortunately, it's not at all uncommon for people to try to acquire the necessary skills to handle a crisis in the midst of a financially damaging situation, something that's all but impossible given the focus needed to simply keep your head above water. Believe me, while you may be busy now, it's nothing compared to facing a full-fledged crisis while trying to keep your organization running smoothly.

Isaac Asimov famously said, ""The day you stop learning is the day you begin decaying." This is as true for businesses as it is individuals, and it's a thought that inspires me every day to spend a few minutes learning how to do it better.

- 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


Our blogs on the Bernstein Crisis Management page and at the Free Management Library are updated all week long with case studies and advice on crisis and reputation management.
Here, we share a look at some of the most popular posts from recent weeks:

A quote from famed humorist Ben Jonson led us to the thoughts in Crisis Management Quotables...on Confidence and Complacency.

New findings from security researchers resulted in a high-end Brinks Safe Cracked - actually Hacked - Wide Open, and a surprisingly slow response from the company means many are still at risk.

IAAF Leaps into Crisis Prevention with Fiery Release is an excellent example of an aggressive response to sensationalized allegations from the media.

Checkers Drops the Bun with Weak Crisis Response is a great example of why you need to be ready to deliver an incredible response to predictable crises.

Leadership has a serious affect on your organization as a whole. For some hard data on the phenomenon, check out A CEO's Impact on Reputation.

The Best and Worst of Customer Service looks at how treating customers right can be a boon to your org, and how treating them poorly will wind you up on some ugly lists around the web.

Food safety is big business, and it's also critical to the reputation of a great number of companies around the world. Crisis Management Advice - Keeping Your Food Safe takes lessons from top experts in the field and shares them with you.

Do you have a topic you'd like to see featured in our blogs? Send an email to and there's a good chance you'll be seeing it right here in the next issue!

Apropos of Nothing

Make Some Easy Money

Bernstein Crisis Management pays VERY generous referral commissions, a nice chunk of the first year's business from any referred client.

Avoid The Apology
UCLA Medical Center having to explain to as many as 4.5 million patients why they didn't bother to encrypt personal information;

The NFL's Washington Redskins claiming more people read about their 2014 training camp than exist on Earth today;

Clueless advertising folks at Anheuser-Busch eliciting widespread anger with a Bud Lite commercial featuring the tagline "The perfect beer for removing 'no' from your vocabulary for the night";or,

Starbucks kicking off - and then aborting - its ill-considered "Race Together" campaign;

So many of the damaging crises we see making headlines and creating costs every day could have been prevented if someone first asked, "What the (expletive deleted) could go wrong with this idea?" That's the premise behind Bernstein Crisis Management's

To learn more, email

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.
For our latest presentation we had the pleasure of speaking with Fred Muir's crisis communications class at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
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)
Exciting New Services from Bernstein Crisis Management

We are are proud to introduce two new services that will allow us to better meet the needs of our clients!

First, from entering new markets to defending billion-dollar established industries, BCM's public affairs practice, led by twenty year veteran Greg Brooks, will help you win the battle for the hearts and minds of audiences from City Council to the halls of Congress.

Our second addition is based on the belief that an important piece in managing a crisis includes attending to the emotional reactions that influence the outcome. Presented and facilitated by Steven Degelsmith, Ph.D., our focused human factors in crisis management service will equip you with the tools you need to handle even the most volatile of situations.

Thank you to Greg and Steven for bringing your incredible talents to our team, and we can't wait to get down to business!

Preparing Candidates for C-Suite Interviews

In 2014, a client familiar with Jonathan Bernstein's media training techniques suggested that the same methods would help her husband, a candidate for a C-Suite position at several companies, be better focused and prepared for his interviews. She was right and, as he moved through the interview process, the candidate received a number of one-hour training sessions by Jonathan, via webcam. That candidate is now the CFO of a $23 billion company and is available as a confidential reference.

Jonathan Bernstein is available to provide the same training to others, write
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

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 now offers social media training sessions in person or via Skype for groups and individuals.

For questions or pricing info, please email
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!
Book Cover

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


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:

Erik Bernstein is vice president of Bernstein Crisis Management. Erik started with BCM in 2009 as a writer and subsequently became social media manager for the consultancy itself as well as for a number of BCM clients before moving to the VP position.

Write to Erik at:

Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. is located at 700 S. Myrtle Ave., #404, Monrovia, CA 91016. Telephone: (626) 825-3838.

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
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Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. | 700 S. Myrtle Ave, #404 | Monrovia | CA | 91016