Tips for handling crises, from spammers to terrorist attacks

No one wants to deal with an atrocity—nor the media madhouse—like that of the Boston Marathon bombing. Or to fend off foreign spammers. But are you preparing for the worst?

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A crisis can be as terrifying and public as a bomb blast in the center of Boston, or as invisible as an attack by enraged foreign spammers that destroys a tech company.

Whatever crisis may hit your organization, you can prepare by learning from the crucible other organizations have passed through.

In a three-part set of Ragan Training videos, “Crisis communications: From the Boston Marathon bombing to foreign spammer attacks,” three veterans present case studies and offer tips for your organization.

Here are some organizations that have been tested by fire:


Minutes after the Boston bombing on April 15, Beth Israel Deaconess Media Relations Director Jerry Berger’s phone started ringing. He was in New York City, waiting to head home to Boston by train. He hadn’t heard of the bombing when the first reporter asked, “So how many victims did you get?”

As paramedics and medical staff at rushed to treat both victims and suspects, Berger and his shorthanded team were left to respond to a worldwide demand for time and interviews. Two of his three-member staff were out of town, and the third was trapped in the suburbs when Boston authorities closed down a bridge into the city.

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