Bernstein Crisis Management. Crisis response, prevention, planning, and training.

Crisis Manager Internet Newsletter about Crisis Management

© 2004 Jonathan Bernstein
Circulation: 3,800+
Estimated Readership: 13,000+


"We did some research with our customers, and because of the fact that we were silent in regards to the film, they took it that our silence basically meant guilt," said Guy Russo, McDonald's chief executive in Australia, regarding reaction to the documentary film Super Size Me."


Editor's Note: It's contest time again, with all winners receiving their choice of any product sold at OR an hour of free consulting by yours truly, a $250 (such a deal) giveaway. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to submit three examples -- and no more than three -- for each of the three categories below. I have started the ball rolling with three examples of my own for each category. When you submit, you are granting me co-copyright (you can use it too) and permission to reprint ad infinitum. Prizes will be granted for the "best collection" per category (i.e., all from one source) as well as for the best single entry for each category. PLUS, a special prize for the funniest entry. Thus, a total of seven prizes. Winners will be announced in the August 1 issue. Deadline For entries: July 15.

Trying To Survive A Crisis Without Advance Planning Is Like...

  • Driving cross country without a map because you think you have a good sense of direction.
  • Telling your investors you have a plan for sustained and profitable growth -- oh, and by the way, our plan is called Winging It.
  • Sending engraved invitations which read "you are cordially invited to sue us" to attorneys representing various stakeholders.

Trying To Be A Crisis-related Spokesperson Without Media Training Is Like...

  • Thinking that you, with a 15 handicap, can shoot lower scores than a touring golf pro.
  • Asking your child to navigate through busy city streets without warning him/her about the hazards.
  • Being thrown into a heavy Baghdad firefight with no more than basic combat training.

Thinking That Crisis Management Is Only About Communication Is Like...

  • Assuming that all of your legal needs can be handled by an attorney specializing in family law.
  • Thinking that captaining a battleship is only about navigation.
  • Believing that the President can control everything that happens inside the Washington, D. C. Beltway.

And there's a great one from friend and former colleague Phil Cogan, who said, "Trying to plan during a crisis is like trying to install air bags while your car is heading for a wall at high speed." Write on!


Truncated Newsletter Today, No Newsletter July 15

Sorry, folks, your editor is about to leave on vacation and while you are VERY VERY important to him, silly stuff like end of month billing and prepping for 11 days away takes priority. I'll make it up to you in the other 50 issues per year (he said, waving bye-bye with a grin).

Keeping The Wolves At Bay And Other Crisis Management Materials

Keeping the Wolves at Bay: A Media Training Manual and other crisis management training materials produced by Jonathan Bernstein are available for sale at There is a 100% money-back guarantee (including shipping costs!) if you are not satisfied with any product you purchase.

Second Opinion And Spot Consulting

While I love to have clients with a wide range of needs, I'm quite willing and happy to provide spot consulting on an hourly basis. It's not uncommon for organizations to want just a second opinion about a breaking issue, or a quick review of their existing crisis preparedness plans. I keep such consulting very simple from a business perspective -- hourly fees for engagements under 10 hours are paid by credit card. Call (626) 825-3838 or write to


Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. has formal or informal co-promotional and mutually beneficial business associations with a number of the services we mention periodically in this newsletter. No, we can't go into details because that's confidential, proprietary, etc. But our relationship is NOT "arm's distance" and you should know that, since we regularly write about these services as we use them for crisis and issues management or other purposes. That said, you should also know that Bernstein Crisis Management sought the relationships because its staff is convinced that these services are the best of their kind for Bernstein Crisis Management's needs and those of its clients. If you have any questions about these relationships, please contact Jonathan Bernstein, (626) 825-3838.


Jonathan Bernstein is 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

Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. is located at 1013 Orange Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016. Telephone: (626) 825-3838.


When I find a site that I think will be useful to my readers or site visitors, I put it on our Links page. If you have a site that would be of specific use to crisis managers and want to discuss a link exchange or other cooperative effort, please write to me,


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.


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Articles in "Crisis Manager" were, unless otherwise noted, written and copyrighted by Jonathan Bernstein. Permission to reprint will often be granted for no charge. Write to