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"


ISSN:1528-3836
2015 Jonathan Bernstein

Volkspocalypse


Volume XVI, Number 17

October 1, 2015

Just a Thought
"Sometimes crisis management professionals need to be Karma's champion."

- Jonathan Bernstein

From the Editor

Dear Volkswagen,

We all loved your print ads and commercials. Your marketing captivated drivers and your cars performed. You built a massive foundation of goodwill through 50+ years of entertaining and satisfying us as consumers, only to squander it with a decision we still have only the slightest understanding of.

A Japanese proverb famously states, "The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour." Could there be a quote more applicable?

In a recent blog post I stated my belief that you were ready to face the problem you created. Now, I'm not so sure. CEO Martin Winterkorn was removed and other unnamed staff members have been suspended, a new CEO has come in, but here's what bothers me - the official party line coming from the VW camp is that the entire scandal is the result of the actions by a "small group" of engineers and technicians involved in engine development.

Are your stakeholders expected to believe that a small group of individuals was able to massively and illegally tamper with core systems in your vehicles for seven years and NOBODY ELSE knew? No red flags were raised anywhere in the process? No back-channel memos came to light? Nobody let one iota of the deception slip? Do you realize how insulting that is?

If you want to fix this crisis, along with your plummeting stock price, it's time to come clean. Tell us who screwed up and how it went unchecked. Tell us how you're cleaning up the mess. Tell us how you'll make sure none of your systems are tampered with ever again.

Tell us, Volkswagen. Your hour is running out fast.
- EB

For more on Volkswagen's situation, don't miss BCM president Jonathan Bernstein's recent interviews for CTV and Marketwatch.

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.


Blogs!

The Bernstein Crisis Management blog, along with our blog at the Free Management Library are frequently updated and filled with case studies, advice, and the latest news on techniques, threats, and more.
Here, we share a look at some of the most popular posts from recent weeks:

Knowing how to best deliver messaging to stakeholders is a critical PR skills, and considering the popularity of social media today you really must be up to date on Social Media Demographics.

Accusations of worker exploitation, wage fixing, and a weak crisis response at the corporate level led us to pen 7-Eleven Taking a Dive Down Under.

We covered a microphone mishap for Britain's Prime Minister in Reminder for David Cameron: Always Assume the Mic is On.

Watch More Politicians Run Afoul of the Hot Mic in this post covering the backlash surrounding Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton cracking an untimely and distasteful joke.

The View's Nurse Bashing Backfires is a case study on how failing to live up to expectations creates negative results,

Do you have a topic you'd like to see featured in our blogs? Send an email to erik@bernsteincrisismanagement.com 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. If you have someone you think we can help, direct them to jonathan@bernsteincrisismanagement.com and let us know you sent them our way.

Avoid The Apology
AT&T drawing the ire of the theater community after tweeting an image encouraging playgoers to watch football on their phones mid-show;

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

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 AvoidTheApology.com.

To learn more, 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.
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)
We're Giving Away Keeping the Wolves at Bay

Keeping the Wolves at Bay, the widely used media-training manual published by Jonathan Bernstein, is now being given away in its PDF format. Formerly $10, there will be no charge for the publication as long as demand exists.

To visit the download page, click here.

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.

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 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

MgrsGuideCover
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 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 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: erik@bernsteincrisismanagement.com.

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
Blogs!
Apropos of Nothing
Quick Links
Contact

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