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

Chipotle's E. coli Crisis Management

Volume XVI, Number 20

November 24, 2015

Just a Thought
"As a general rule, a reputation is built on manner as much as on achievement."

- Joseph Conrad

We'd Love Your Opinion!

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From the Editor

Much lauded fast-casual establishment Chipotle hit a stumbling block early this month when E.coli cases connected to locations in Oregon and Washington caused 43 restaurants to be closed and the CDC to step in. The chain chose to stay mostly silent - always a risky move - while it worked rapidly to reopen.
While Chipotle was able to reopen all 43 locations surprisingly quickly (under 8 days total), shares of the company took a significant hit as a result of stakeholders being left in the dark.
It appears Chipotle learned its lesson quickly, because when the CDC announced that more individuals had fallen ill in California, Oregon, Minnesota and New York, we saw an entirely new set of tactics. An official information hub was established which shared relevant information you might wish to see before chomping down on your next burrito, and an official statement which wraps with the confidence-inspiring line, "In response to this incident, Chipotle has taken aggressive steps to make sure its restaurants are as safe as possible. There have been no reported new cases in Washington or Oregon since Chipotle put its remediation plan into effect."
While the situation isn't scaring customers away in droves thanks to the massive reservoir of brand loyalty Chipotle has garnered, investors are still a different story. But, as perhaps even further evidence of the direct connection between reputation and share price, the company's stock did take a sharp upturn the day the information hub was brought online.
Barring further bad news we expect the brand to fully recover, and if Chipotle leadership is as smart as they seem to be you can bet they're already looking at lessons learned to do better the next time around.
- EB

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.


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:

Volkswagen - Death By 1000 Cuts is an examination of VW's thinking on crisis management and why it's resulted in a lot more damage than was necessary.

Spiking someone's drink is no laughing matter. Bloomingdale's Courts Controversy with Inappropriate Ad tells the story of what happens when you utterly fail to remove offensive material from your own publications.

Diving deeper into VW's ongoing PR efforts, Volkswagen "Working to Make Things Right" poses the question, "Are you buying it?"

We've bashed the auto industry quite a bit recently, so it was refreshing to see someone doing things well. Tesla Goes Above and Beyond in the Name of Safety looks at a very different take on vehicle recalls and why it will pay off in the long run.

A young model with a strong brand takes a stand against a fashion magazine and wins, leaving us with takeaways from all sides, in Zendaya, Modeliste, and a Lesson in Reputation Management.

Not every issue is a crisis, but that doesn't mean you can't work to secure your reputation when you know people have been upset. The perfect example? A Dash of Reputation Management for Penzeys Spices.

We're back in the auto world again with Takata Facing Record Fine from NHTSA, a look at a quite opposite response from Tesla's handling that resulted in predictably negative consequences.

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!

Business Announcements
(aka blatant self-promotion)
Are There Any Holes in Your Crisis Planning?

Your organization may well have crisis prevention and response-related plans in place - but are you sure they're going to cover all the bases? Bernstein Crisis Management's Crisis Document Audit is a low-cost, flat-rate service which will quickly provide you with a comprehensive analysis of your existing plans and recommendations for improvement.

Contact jonathan@bernsteincrisismanagement.com for more information.

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.
Social Media Crisis Training

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

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
We'd Love Your Opinion
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