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"

© 2016 Jonathan Bernstein

The Fake News Phenomenon

Volume XVII, Number 11

November 30, 2016

Just a Thought
"False history gets made all day, any day, the truth of the new is never on the news."

- Adrienne Rich

From the Editor
Fake news. You've probably seen the term in three headlines today. But, what exactly is it and why are those two words suddenly on everyone's mind?

Fake news is exactly what it sounds like - falsified, inflated, or utterly untrue articles published as if they were legitimate news. Most of the stories are created to attract clicks (and thereby up ad revenue), very much in the spirit of old-school tabloid covers. However, we've been observing a more purposeful use of fake news for some time, one that emerged into public conciousness during our most interesting election.

Fake news was employed heavily to influence opinion during the election, with cornerstones of the modern internet like Google and Facebook being inundated with false stories. Once pointed out, this fact drew a lot of attention. What many don't realize is that fake news has been creating problems on a smaller scale since ages ago.

The sad fact is that even many stories published by mainstream media today are what we would consider fake news. Sensationalized headlines, unethical reporting, and use of utterly untrustworthy sources run rampant. Then you have the blogosphere and social media, where any upset individual has the power to place negative stories that say literally whatever they want in front of your stakeholders. When Facebook or Google cracks down on what's included in their news feeds, that helps reduce fake news coverage. But, the bottom line is that if someone puts the effort into creating and sharing "news" of their own they can get it in front of your stakeholders. We do it for legit news all the time, on behalf of clients in crisis, even when they're on the wrong end of traditional and social media reporting.

In the end what's important to most is what it means to them and their business. And, fortunately, that's not too complex. In short, the rise in awareness and use of fake news makes it more important than ever to be monitoring for key terms and media coverage related to your organization, and to be positioned to put out your own version of things from platforms you own and control 100%. You can't rely on others to tell your story, but the same tools that allow fake news - social media, blogs, and self-published websites - to proliferate can be used to stomp it out.

- EB

Attention any readers in Israel!
Jonathan Bernstein, our company president, will be visiting Israel from May 1-11, 2017, and always loves the chance to meet "Crisis Manager" readers and other PR colleagues when overseas.

If you'd like to connect with him during the trip, write to jonathan@bernsteincrisismanagement.com.

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:

We look at the dangers of deceiving your stakeholders in Crisis Management Review: HP Sneaks in Update Blocking 3rd Party Ink.
Crisis Management Quotables...on Expectations and Reputation explores the inescapable connection between what stakeholders expect of you, your actions, and reputation.

We spent time Analyzing Another J&J Baby Powder Case, including how J&J's communications for this situation could impact thousands of cases down the road.

What Do New Sandusky Investigation Fines Mean for Penn State? Hint: Refreshing the reputation problems in stakeholders' minds hurts more than the money.

Hack attacks continue to create big paydays for perpetrators, meaning they aren't going away. In this post we shared some tips on how to Save Your Network from Being Zombified in an Attack.

[Preview] How to Survive an Active Shooter. This excerpt from a new book by Jacquelyn Lynn addresses an uncomfortable, but must-know, topic - the best way to survive an attacker on a rampage.

Watching what people are saying about you online is a must. This infographic full of Tips for Monitoring Online Reputation will get even the most novice computer user underway.

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)
What if you could quickly find out how your stakeholders perceive you during a breaking crisis?

Bernstein Crisis Management now uses online surveys and other tools to get immediate stakeholder perception feedback, during a breaking crisis, with the option of continuing to monitor perception post-crisis.

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 and other crisis publications!

Several new items have been added to our FREE crisis management library, including Keeping the Wolves at Bay, the widely used media-training manual published by Jonathan Bernstein.

To visit the download page, click here.
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, and editor of this newsletter. Working in crisis management since 2009, Erik has watched the internet and social media change the field. Today, he brings that experience to bear assisting clients to protect and grow their reputations using tactics based on real-world knowledge and experience.

Write to Erik at:

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
Attn Readers in Israel
Featured Blogs
Quick Links

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