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Manager's Guide to Crisis Management (Briefcase Books Series)

by Jonathan Bernstein

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This book covers all aspects of crisis management within a corporation--from defining crisis management and policies to preventing and responding to crises. It helps managers to fully grasp the situation and navigate their team through the crisis smoothly and with minimal ramifications.
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In my opinion, this book is misnamed. Its proper main audience does not consist of managers but those in public relations; likewise, its main topic is not crisis management but communicating in a crisis. It admonishes the readers to plan for emergency situations, but it does very little to coach readers exactly how to do so.

To be fair, it suggests that each company perform a “vulnerability analysis” to detect weaknesses that might be exploited at some future time. However, the probing stops there. Instead, it spends large amounts of text covering how to communicate effectively about the crisis. That experience-based wisdom is helpful. Nonetheless, it would be nice to supplement that communications theory with some actual operations-oriented management.

In addition, the author Bernstein seems to have an anti-media bias. In one chapter, he shows why: He himself was a former investigative journalist. His bias stems from the fact that he seemed not to be an ethically scrupulous journalist, too. Therefore, instead of trusting the integrity of the leading journalists in the land, he views them through the prism of his own experience. Converts often make the least accurate observers, and such seems to be the case here.

Bernstein does provide sound advice on how to manage public relations in a crisis. He talks about how to communicate with attorneys, investigators, and other outside forces. Nonetheless, I would have liked to read how to deal with the internals of a company from a leadership perspective. That would have given the book broader appeal and have allowed it to live up to its name. Perhaps other works in this field (like Steven Fink’s Crisis Management) might do a better job of hitting this nail on the head. ( )
  scottjpearson | Mar 17, 2020 |
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This book covers all aspects of crisis management within a corporation--from defining crisis management and policies to preventing and responding to crises. It helps managers to fully grasp the situation and navigate their team through the crisis smoothly and with minimal ramifications.

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