© 2001 Jonathan Bernstein
FROM THE EDITOR
I have already been receiving both media and client calls related to the horror in NYC and Washington, D.C., asking "what can an organization do" in response to such situations?
I commend to all my readers material which has just been posted by "Crisis Manager" contributor Mark Towhey, of Toronto-based Towhey Communications, at www.towhey.com. It's worth reading, now.
And, if any of your organizations believe that you need immediate crisis communications consulting as a result of these tragic events, I will make myself available for telephone consults at no charge through the end of this week. Call me at (626) 825-3838.
Finally, a very personal note and a perspective on today's events as a public relations issue. My first career, for five years, was in military intelligence covert operations. Even that long ago (1972-77), we in the intelligence community received daily printouts from the CIA and others regarding terrorist activities worldwide. Most of which, at that time, were unknown to the average American. It was clear then, as it is clear now, that some "preventative crisis management" needs to take place between the United States, terrorist groups, and any country that supports terrorists in any way. They need to receive a message that cannot be mistaken. That cannot be "spun." They need to be told, using a communications style they understand, that by hurting us, they hurt themselves more. If they believed that, now, they would not act against us, so clearly we are failing to communicate. Hopefully, the Bush administration and congressional leaders have learned from their mistakes and communicate, very effectively, very soon. Rhetoric, alone, will not stop terrorists or reassure the American public.
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Jonathan Bernstein is president & CEO of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., a national public relations agency specializing in crisis response, issues management and litigation consulting. Prior to entering the PR world, Bernstein was an investigative reporter, preceded by five years in U.S. Army Military Intelligence. Click Here for information on the firm's services or call (626) 825-3838.
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