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Crisis Manager Internet Newsletter about Crisis Management

© 2004 Jonathan Bernstein
Circulation: 4,000+
Estimated Readership: 14,000+


"90 percent of the crises to which I've responded over the past two decades have been, in hindsight, completely preventable. Foresight, for those who engage in crisis preparedness, has proven to be far more cost-effective than hindsight."

      Jonathan Bernstein


Editor's Note: Spokespersons, keep this article pasted to your desk and in your wallet!

Don't Jump Into That Pool Without Testing The Depth Of The Water!
By Judy Hoffman

The phone rings. It's a reporter on the line.

"Hi! It's Jim Burton from The Daily Chronicle. I was wondering if you would answer a few questions for me?"

Your first response may be an expression of disgust unprintable in this high-class e-zine. Or it could be an immediate stomach-cramping feeling of dread.

But then you remember your media training or articles you've read that emphasize how counter-productive it is to stonewall the press. You're reminded that the reporter will usually write the story anyway and you'll simply lose your opportunity to shape it or at least provide your side.

So you gulp hard and say, "OK, shoot. What can I help you with?"

Right? Not really.

Before you agree to an interview, it is reasonable and prudent to ask a few questions of your own. For example:

1. Ascertain exactly to whom you are speaking: If it is a local reporter with whom you are familiar, fine. If it is a news outlet you know but you don't recognize the reporter, tell him you are in the middle of something urgent, take his number, call back on the media outlet's general number and ask for that reporter by name. If it is a publication or station you've never heard of, try first to get some more information about it through the web or by asking around. You may choose not to talk to an underground "rag" or the "editor" of his own website magazine.

2. What is the story he is working on? Before you jump right into answering questions, if he doesn't volunteer what he is looking into, ask about it. Phrase it positively, not defensively. "Of course I'll try to help you, but can you give me an idea what this is about so I can be of more assistance?"

3. What are some of the issues he will want to cover? The reporter may even appreciate this question if you tell him you want to determine who on the staff would be the most helpful person for him to interview. (Note: this assumes that you have had your various subject matter experts who might be called on in this way media trained!)

4. Determine who else the reporter has spoken with or plans to speak with: That will give you an important clue as to the slant of the story so you can prepare more effectively.

5. Find out his deadline: A reporter will usually appreciate that you are concerned about this. It is an indication that you intend to cooperate and you are sensitive to his needs. It will give you some time to check things out and possibly get more valuable information.

A word of caution: DO NOT ask a reporter if you can see the questions ahead of time! No reporter worth his salt will agree to this. They will resent your asking AND refuse to do it. It makes you look defensive -- like you need time to "spin" your answer instead of being able to spontaneously answer the questions honestly. Not a good way to start off.

There is no guarantee that a reporter will answer #3 and #4. But, if phrased non-combatively, he just might and it will be immensely helpful as you prepare for the interview. It doesn't hurt to try. You may well regret it if you don't make the effort.

Judy Hoffman is the author of "Keeping Cool on the Hot Seat" and editor of the free "Quick Tips for Keeping Cool" newsletter. You can find out more about both publications at

Editor's Note: The following was originally a slide presentation Ross Irvine made to the CropLife Canada Annual Meeting in September 2004. It is, by far, the longest article I have ever reprinted in "Crisis Manager," because email newsletter readers prefer shorter pieces. However, so many of my clients have had to deal with activists -- and Ross makes so many good points that transcend the interests of the industry he happened to be addressing, that I felt it was worth reprinting in its entirety.

How To Succeed Like An Activist
By Ross Irvine

Public relations is war. It's about winners and losers. Winners gain public, media, and regulatory acceptance and support for their products, services, and organizations. Losers see their products, services, and organizations sacrificed on the altar of public opinion, pilloried by the media, and trampled by excessive regulation. This is not the definition of PR I learned went I entered the field some thirty years ago. It's not the definition I adhered to when I worked as Executive Assistance to Lorne Hepworth when he was Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture. But it was while living and working in Saskatchewan in the '70s and '80s that I became interested in activists.

Back then, PR was a touchy-feely art. Most PR folks approach it the same way today. Dialogue and discussion were the watchwords of the profession. It was thought that if people with different perspectives and beliefs would just sit down and talk with each other, mutual understanding, appreciation and respect would grow. Through dialogue, compromises could be reached. Everyone could -- and would -- be winners. "Win-win" was the mantra of the day. Businesses -- lead by their CEOs and PR consultants -- sought win-win scenarios with all opponents. That approach has failed. The anti-business, anti-technology sentiment in society has never been greater. Today, we have a carryover from the win-win approach. It's called consensus. Activists talk about a scientific consensus on global warming; they say there's consensus on the evils and dangers of pesticides; and, they proclaim a consensus on the environmental threats that will overtake the world in the wake of biotechnology. Research into any of these topics shows that opinion is split, at best. As with the win-win model, businesses have jumped on the consensus bandwagon. But what is consensus? Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher offers these words:

"Ah, consensus... the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner 'I stand for consensus'?"

These words are significant for your industry, both the crop protection and biotechnology sides. Pesticides have done much to feed the world; DDT has saved millions of lives; and, biotechnology has many proven and potential benefits for mankind.

Biotechnology is a great cause. It's not the sole answer to the environmental, health and food challenges facing the world. But it is a vital part of the answer. The potential of biotechnology will not be achieved by seeking consensus with those who oppose it.

The idea of consensus was refined by activists. They developed it to make it possible for a wide range of activist groups to work together, or at least not attack each. Over the years, activists have gained a major advantage by getting business to accept the consensus approach. Having others buy into their ideas and mindset is standard operating procedure for activists.

In the next half hour or so, we'll go further inside the activist mind. You'll see how activists are organized, what their up to, what you can learn from them and how you should take them on. Some of the information will be practical; some will be theoretical. When possible, I'll refer to the actual words and actions of activists. In the end, I hope you'll have a greater appreciation of what you confront in anti-biotech activism. Armed with the right approach and mindset you can confront activists and win.

We'll look at four areas today:

1. Public Media Center

Public Media Center is an organization that provides PR and communications services to activist groups. You'll see -- in their own words -- how activists develop communications tactics and strategies

2. They mean what? Words used by activists

Words such as sustainability, biodiversity and precautionary principle are used extensively by activists. Many businesses support these concepts. But, what do activists mean when they use them? You may be shocked.

3. Conflict theory - Netwars and netwarriors

Traditionally, industry has turned to risk communications theory as the basis for developing communications programs. Risk communications has failed. Activists are more active and more successful than they've ever been, despite the application of risk communications theory. Conflict theory provides a solid framework to understand activists and their success.

4. Activists as Netwarriors

Here we'll apply netwar conflict theory to the work of activists.

5. How you can fight activists

In closing, we'll look at a model your industry can use and adapt to take on activists.

Public Media Center

Public Media Center distributes a document titled 'Fight to win! PMC's 10-point guide to social change.' The first thing to note are the first three words: fight to win. The activists are engaged in a battle. They are in a war. They aim to win! It's not win-win for them. It's just win. Notice the exclamation point. These people are serious.

Also, their goal is not simply to defeat a technology or get a piece of legislation passed. Their goal is social change. This is a broad, all-encompassing goal that business has yet to grasp. How do activists plan to achieve this goal from a PR/communications perspective? Let's look briefly at four of the ten points made by the Public Media Center. We'll look at the other six in this afternoon's workshop.

1. Communicate values

Effective advocacy communication is predicated upon the strong, clear assertion of basic values, moral authority and leadership.

It's important to note that communicating values is number one, in this activist guide. Values are what separates activist communications from traditional corporate communications. The author of the ten-point guides notes: "Americans need to hear there are certain things that are good or bad for the country. Absent that kind of moral certainty, people aren't going to pay attention to the details."

Industry -- the biotechnology industry -- doesn't talk about good and bad. It talks about the details of scientific research. It hauls out white-coated researchers to reiterate the safety of the technology. It fails to talk about the moral and ethical necessity of pursuing and implementing technology. It fails to shout the irresponsibility and immorality of bringing technological progress to a halt. It fails to project a vision of the world and a future that embraces technology.

To succeed against activists, you must talk about values and vision. You must assume a position of moral leadership.

2. Make enemies, not friends

Identify the opposition and attack their motives. Point your finger at them and name names.

This is aggressive. This is not the corporate PR way. In commenting on this strategy, the author of the 10 points said: "CEOs are confined to a statesman-like role. This limits their ability to fire back. Don't be afraid to attack." He also said this point deals with accountability, democracy and the democratic process.

Activists demand accountability and transparency from businesses, governments, universities and other organizations. They demand that corporate financial records be disclosed; that researchers disclose the sources of research funding; that pro-business interest groups disclose their membership and funding; that politicians disclose the details of every meeting or conversation they've had with business leaders; and the list goes on.

This demand for transparency that comes from a variety of non-governmental organizations, commonly called NGOs, opens an interesting and valuable opportunity for business. If NGOs demand transparency from business, shouldn't NGOs be transparent, too? Yet, NGOs are largely unknown entities. Little is known about their membership, funding, governance methods, qualifications, etc. It's fair for business to demand transparency from NGOs. It's also fair to call NGOs to task if they fail to be transparent and accountable. And, it's fair to do it publicly and with fanfare.

3. Empower your audience

American mass culture is fundamentally alienating and disempowering. Most Americans don't feel they can make a difference or that they count, and they feel unqualified or unprepared to make important decisions about complex social questions. The key is to educate, empower, and motivate your target audiences.

Business leaders, particularly corporate PR executives, often claim that they want to empower others - most often employees -- to be spokesmen and representatives for their businesses. That's understandable because employees are a specialized target audience with specialized knowledge and experiences. But when push comes to shove, corporate communicators often admit they fear a bunch of employees going off willy-nilly talking about the company. They fear that "the corporate message" will be distorted. They fear people will not be reading from the same page. They fear that the corporate message will be misinterpreted. To allay these fears, corporate communicators often severely limit the ability and capacity of employee to speak.

Activists take the opposite approach. They encourage, educate and train every activist to be a spokesman. Every activist is truly empowered to be a spokesman anywhere, at anytime in any forum. Every activist has a tremendous amount of information at his or her disposal.

Here's a disk from the Gene Action Network, a global network that opposes biotech. It contains nearly 700 megs of information, including text, PDF files, excel spreadsheets, and videos. It includes hundreds of pages on the science of biotechnology, detailed information on how to work with the media. It contains details of numerous biotech field trials, information on how to rip biotech plants from the ground, and the successful anti-biotech campaign that ran in California's Mendocino County earlier this year. It contains links to countless groups and other resources around the world. It's a wonderful resource for anti-biotech activists. It's also a wonderful resource for those of you who want insight into the activist mind. The cost? I paid $10 US.

Those of you who attend this afternoon's workshop will get a free copy. That's one thing about activists, they like to share information - including strategies and tactics - freely and openly. Corporate PR folks, particularly outside consultants, like to hold that type of information close to their chests and charge a lot of money for it.

4. Be diverse.

In the same way that biological diversity is essential to planetary survival, strategic diversity is critical to successful social movements. Multiple, independent advocacy campaigns on a single issue should be encouraged, while centralized, monocultural efforts should be avoided.

This is where activists - particularly anti-biotech activists - shine. They've taken a single issue - biotechnology - and turned it into a rallying point for many social causes. Biotech has become a lightening rod for virtually any issue you can name: the environment, globalization, world trade, women's rights, property rights, intellectual property, religion, democracy, indigenous rights, factory farming, social justice, poverty, capitalism, academic freedom, the scientific method -- to name a few.

This presents an enormous challenge for your industry. If you fight solely on the basis of the science and technology of biotechnology, you cannot answer the range of opponents you face.

Those are four of the Public Media Center's 10 points for social change. We'll look at the rest of them this afternoon.

They Mean What?

Now that we've seen how activists take a fundamentally different approach to communications, let's take a look at some of the words and concepts used by them. We'll see that activist usage and interpretation may be very different from what you thought.

The words we'll be looking at are:

  • sustainability
  • biodiversity
  • precautionary principle


Brundtland Commission's Our Common Future, 1987:

Sustainable development: "development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Canada's National Task Force on Environment and Economy, 1987:

Sustainable economic development: "development which ensures that the utilization of resources and the environment does not damage their prospects for their use by future generations."

These definitions -- and there are others - talk about using resources now without having an impact on the future. That's an impossibility. How can we use something today without having some impact on how it's used tomorrow? We can't cut down a tree or farm an acre of land today without having an impact on how they're used in the future. The only way NOT to have an impact on the future is to do nothing today. We shouldn't log; we shouldn't farm; we shouldn't fish; we shouldn't develop new medicines, antibiotics or crop protection products.

Sustainability is an extremist position many businesses and organizations support. If you don't think sustainability is extreme, look at this comment on sustainability. It's from Rachel's, an activist newsletter.

"For the most part, the U.S. environmental movement isn't working toward sustainability because it has never developed a complete view of what sustainability entails: sustainability requires more than salvaging ecosystems. It requires major efforts to assure economic fairness (in many countries, especially the U.S., this means confronting racism head-on) and to assure the survival of cultural diversity. Anything less is merely environmental hand-waving."

This is a dramatically different view of sustainability. It brings in a wide range of social issues. It's radical and extreme.


The State of Canada's environment says:

"Biological diversity, or biodiversity, encompasses genetic diversity within species, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity."

United Nations, Global Biodiversity Assessment:

"the total variability of life on Earth"

These are nice, almost quaint definitions. They talk about the mix of life on Earth. They seem innocent, pleasant and worthy of pursuit. But, look at these comments from "Eco-Warriors" by Rik Scarce:

"the point of radical environmentalists' protests and actions is the preservation of biological diversity. A term from the science of ecology, the biological diversity of a place is, in a nutshell, its resemblance to what it looked like before people interfered with it."

"Biological diversity, a characteristic of places not yet ruined by human intrusion"

This definition turns back the evolutionary clock millions of years and eliminates humans from the face of the Earth. That's extreme!

Precautionary Principle

This is one of my favorites. One person has found something like 23 definitions for precautionary principle. Precautionary principle sounds good. It seems to mean be careful; an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure; a stitch in time saves nines; or, look before you leap. But the precautionary principle is a slippery concept.

1992 Rio Declaration:

"Where there are threats of serious harm or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation."

A common one is the Wingspread Statement developed by activists and others 1998:

"When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically."

There are subtle but important shifts between these definitions. For example, the first one talks about serious harm or irreversible damage and environmental degradation. In the second one, it's not serious harm it's just harm. Also the definition has been expanded to include the environment and human health.

The first one talks about cost-effectiveness. In the second one the idea of cost-effectiveness has been dropped. Cost is longer a consideration for precautionary action. Most significantly, the second definition explicitly states that establishing a cause and effect relationship between a harm and its cause is not needed. Sound science has been tossed out the window. The worst junk science can been used to implement costly, ineffective, and unnecessary "precautionary" action.

There's a sinister side to the precautionary principle. Look at this:

"It (the precautionary principle) is a broad ethical principle. It can guide us all - workers and environmentalists - in a righteous fight against corporate greed."

The precautionary principle is a profoundly anti-business concept. Yet, it has found its way into numerous laws around the world. The precautionary principle is not about protecting the environment and human health.

It's about bringing business to its knees. It's about trampling the biotech industry. It's about destroying businesses and the capitalist system. It's about dismantling the social, economic and political structures that have created health standards, educational opportunities, personal wealth and environmental progress that are the envy of less fortunate people around the world. I draw these words to your attention to highlight the importance of understanding what activists mean. The implications are enormous.

Netwars And Netwarriors

Traditionally, corporate PR personnel have said something like:

"We're getting, or are expecting some flak from this or that group. Here are the PR and communications strategies and tactics to avoid, minimize or mitigate the expected impacts."
In essence the PR person is saying:
"We're in a conflict and here's how we solve it."

There's a problem with this approach. The solutions are offered before understanding the nature of conflict.

What is conflict? How is it organized? Who's involved? When does conflict occur? Are there different the levels of conflict? Who are the leaders? Where is the conflict leading?

There many questions to be answered about conflict before solutions can be offered. To understand conflict it's useful to look at some of the work coming out of RAND, the think tank that consults to the American military. In the early and mid 1990s, RAND published a series of books and papers on the evolving and changing nature of conflict.

It noted that information technology was changing the nature of conflict. Technologies such as the Internet made it increasingly easy for people with an axe to grind or a vision to pursue to share vast amounts of information quickly, cheaply and immediately on a global scale.

To explain conflict in the information age, RAND researchers coined the words netwars and netwarriors. RAND stated that netwar would be the primary form of social conflict in the information age. Your industry is engaged in a social conflict, not a technological conflict.

RAND stated:

"Whoever masters the network form first will gain major advantage."

I suggest to you that because they've mastered the network concept, activists have scored many major victories against your industry.

In describing the development of netwars RAND wrote:

"Many actors across the spectrum of conflict -- from terrorists, guerrillas, and criminals who pose security threats to social activists who do not -- are developing netwar designs and capabilities."

Netwars provides a model for understanding the type and structure of conflict in which activists are engaged. To illustrate the concept, RAND prepared this deceptively simple diagram.

There are several things to observe. First, there is no hierarchy. There is no command-and-control center. In traditional and historical conflicts there was a leader or a command center. There was a hierarchy. Kill the leader; destroy the command center; the system fell into disarray; and, you won. With a netwar, there is no single element on which you can set your crosshairs, fire and win. This presents significant challenges to businesses that find themselves in a netwar.

Second, all nodes or players are connected to each other. A rich, dense exchange of information is the foundation of the connections and binds the network together. A constant flow of information is the lifeblood of a netwar. Information not only informs netwarriors, it inspires and motivates them.

Third, you can remove any node or player from the network and the rest of the network remains intact.

Fourth, new actors can be added to the network easily. Because the network is built upon information sharing, information technologies, such as the Internet, make expansion of the network simple.

Fifth, the lack of hierarchy combined with the underling information sharing creates a range of strategic and tactical options. Because no one is in charge, each actor maintains its autonomy and is free to act when and where is please. On the other hand, many or all the players in the network may decide to work together to pursue a common goal, such as the defeat of the biotech industry. They can maintain a sustained, pulsating attack over a long period of time. RAND calls this common action "swarming."

These five points, and a few others, are at the heart of netwars. Being aware of them is vital to understanding what your industry has and will continue to confront.

RAND notes:

"The information revolution favours and strengthens networks, while it erodes hierarchies."

"Hierarchies have a difficult time fighting networks."

And, most importantly:

"It takes networks to fight networks."

So, how does netwar theory apply to anti-biotech activism? If we apply the theory we come up with an illustration that looks like this.

But this picture is greatly over-simplified. Imagine biotechnology as a target ball at the center.

Around it are circulating all these other actors or players, representing special interests groups and issues. These actors s are in constant motion. Sometimes some of the actors disappear; sometimes new ones appear. They're constantly communicating with each other. And, their single objective is to destroy the ball in the center.

You can take virtually any industry or new technology and put it in the center. So what you have in a larger context is a model of the growing anti-business movement that's gaining momentum around the world.

But back to the biotech industry. You have countless opponents attacking you from countless perspectives. Biotechnology is a rallying point. It's an issue with which a wide range of activists can connect.

All these activists are bound together by shared values and visions. They believe biotech is bad - probably evil - and must eliminated. And, it's their moral obligation to oppose the technology at every turn.

So what else is happening here? There's a multiplicity of diverse voices to speak out. This is a bonanza for journalists. There's always a new, different or fresh perspective for journalists to cover. These players are active at all political and social levels from a church women's group and the smallest local council, up through regional, provincial, state, national, and international levels. You've seen activists succeed at the international level with the Kyoto and Cartegena protocols. You've seen them succeed in Hudson, Quebec, and the rapid spread of anti-pesticide bylaws across Canada.

A major strength of this network is the extensive or dense information exchange. How dense is the communications? Let me give you an example. In the three months leading up to the 1999 WTO conference in Seattle I was on one anti-biotech mailing list. In those three months or some 90 days, I received an average of 30 emails a day. Ninety days times 30 emails, that's 2,700 emails from one anti-biotech list. That's dense communications.

Receiving that amount of information had an interesting impact on me. It was empowering. The activists on the list were sharing information, strategies and tactics with me. I was being drawn in their mindset. I felt like they wanted me to take action and they were giving me the tools to do it. I was almost ready to join.

In preparing for this presentation, I drove by a church with one of those message boards on the front lawn. It read: "Commitment is never a matter of moderation." Perhaps there are similarities between religious zeal and activist communications,

A closing observation on this graphic. Because of the great number of players, the extensive communications, and the shared values, the network has enormous longevity. Activists are in this for the long term. They look decades and generations into the future. If a recently passed law or regulation doesn't completely meet their objectives, they'll continue the fight. But, conceiving conflict over generations is foreign to corporate PR staff and consultants. Yet, it must be done to succeed.

There are a couple important caveats on the idea of netwars and netwarriors. First, a netwar doesn't depend on the Internet. The Internet is a powerful tool because of its capacity to share information quickly and in large volumes but it's not essential for netwar. Also, having a website and running a blog does not make you a netwarrior. Second, activity on the Internet must produce results in the real world. In other words, the sharing of information, strategies and tactics in cyberspace must produce regulatory and policy initiatives, letters to the editor, demonstrations, news coverage, shifts in public opinion or some other concrete result.

Against of all this, how can you fight and succeed like an activist?

Here are the top three actions you can take:

1. Communicate values

Take the moral high ground. Assume a position of moral leadership. In the case of biotechnology, talk about addressing the problems of world hunger and malnutrition by adapting crops to some of the world's harshest farming conditions. Talk about making foods safer by eliminating allergens. Talk about improving the environment by reducing chemical usage. Talk about improving human health on a world scale by making foods healthier.Talk about biotechnology's contribution to food security.

Tell the world that genetically modified foods are the next green revolution bringing boundless benefits to countless millions of people around the world. Tell politicians that when they support biotechnology they are demonstrating much needed moral and political leadership. Conversely, you may want to point out the immorality of those who oppose biotechnology. There are several examples in Africa.

2. Become netwarriors

While it's nice to network at conferences like this, networking here is limited. You must network beyond the crop protection and biotechnology industries. You must bring other industries into the fray. You have the knowledge and experiences to persuade others that your battle is also their battle.

Boards of trade, chambers of commerce, other trade association, and even professional PR associations have yet to make the connection between the activism you face and ever growing and militant anti-business sentiment. If you don't make this connection based on your own war stories, not only will you suffer, the entire corporate sector will suffer. In addition, you must bring in others to address related issues.

But there's a big question. What will bind this network together? Shared values! Shared values will bind and motivate the network. Activists are bound together by the belief - the value - that corporations are evil. They believe corporations are the root cause of most social ills. As a result, corporations and corporatism are the major and unifying activist targets.

What would be the unifying target for an anti-activist network? Non-governmental organizations - NGOs. NGOs - civil society groups - are the vanguard of the anti-corporate movement. Many businesses and trade associations can agree that they've faced the wrath of NGOs and that NGOs need to be brought to heel. They can agree that NGOs must be held to the same standards of transparency and accountability that NGOs demand from others. So there you have the shared, root belief of an anti-activism network -- NGOs must be transparent and accountable. Anyone, any company, any association that holds this belief can become part of the network and become a netwarrior.

3. Empower others

Through the sharing of information the network must empower others - individuals and groups - to take action. Sometimes the action may be autonomous; other times it may be coordinated. The goal is to give netwarriors the information, ability, motivation and confidence to take action. And, to constantly reinforce the fact that they are part of a worthy, just, and important campaign.

As the crop protection and biotechnology industries, you aren't interested in the detailed messages of other netwarriors or the tactics they may take. Your only concern is that the netwarriors support the goal of making NGOs transparent and accountable. If someone in the network wants to crash a Sierra Club meeting or picket and demonstrate outside the annual meeting of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, that's their business not yours. Empowering others outside the immediate circle of employees, or some other closely held group, is a novel idea for most business organizations. Yet, it's vital for successful networks. When you bundle all this together this is the resulting network.

NGOs -- civil society -- are the targets. Transparency and accountability are unifying values. Other values that will come into play are capitalism, profits, freedom, choice, creativity, responsibility, democracy, and others that allow both individuals and businesses to flourish. Some of the industries and trade association that should become part the network are shown in green. Some of the related values that may be supported by organizations and individuals outside the business world are shown in blue.

To repeat, to battle activists you must:

1. Communicate values

2. Become netwarriors

3. Empower others.

If your take nothing else away from this presentation, I ask you to remember these six words from RAND, you heard them earlier:

"It takes networks to fight networks."

Ross S. Irvine is president of ePublic Relations Ltd and Public Relations Management Ltd., He is a prolific writer and speaker addressing the interest of those who are interested in how their lives are being influenced by communications, legislation, technology, and changes in society. Contact him, and get on his mailing list, by writing to

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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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