8 Typical Crisis Communication Mistakes – How to Avoid Them!

During a crisis, every company's goal is to manage the crisis effectively while preserving its reputation. Unfortunately, communication mistakes can lead to internal organizational uncertainty and further problems. The consequences can range from decreased commitment and trust to various internal tensions and even employee departures. But what are these communication mistakes? Let's explore the 8 most typical ones!


The longer a company remains silent or postpones necessary actions when a crisis erupts, the more time there is for speculation. Concerns increase, stakeholders speculate, and panic intensifies. This should not be allowed to happen, and as a fundamental step in crisis communication, the situation must be addressed as soon as possible (but not rushed, rather thoughtfully).

How to avoid it? Prepare a clear protocol to facilitate immediate and effective responses. Decisive, calm, and prompt actions are necessary, which can be achieved through targeted planning.


Any corporate crisis communication information, whether internal or external, is valuable only if it is credible. It should come from competent divisions of the organization (decision-makers, leaders, communication teams) and include necessary information, actions, and precise details. Otherwise, it only opens the door to speculation, and if previous communication mistakes need to be rectified during a critical situation, failure is almost guaranteed. It is particularly important to proceed cautiously before the very first disclosure and focus on providing authentic and accurate information in every detail.

How to avoid it? Just like in corporate life at every level, honest and open communication is crucial, especially during a crisis. Since emotional reactions can intensify in crisis situations, strive for accuracy and transparency even more.


A crisis can cause widespread concern. It is essential to demonstrate understanding and empathy towards employees, partners, customers, investors, etc., and act accordingly. A company managing a crisis that lacks empathy towards those affected can quickly lose trust. It can weaken long-standing business and workplace relationships if stakeholders' concerns are left unattended during a crisis.

How to avoid it? Empathy and understanding must be demonstrated. During a crisis, all possible assistance should be offered to stakeholders, and their needs should be monitored. The goal is to create a trusting atmosphere where stakeholders can express their concerns and count on support.


Without clarifying and taking responsibility, we cannot draw many conclusions from any critical situation. Therefore, responsibility and acknowledgment are essential from a crisis management perspective as well. The failure to admit mistakes and apologize during a crisis can reveal a lot about corporate culture and prestige. It is a serious omission to omit crisis communication from addressing basic inconsistencies.

How to avoid it? Identify the causes and responsibilities of the crisis through active steps and investigation and communicate openly about them. Besides rectifying the damage caused, this is an essential step in crisis management – reflecting a responsible leadership attitude.


Internal communication platforms, various PR solutions, press releases, the corporate Facebook page, etc., all work ideally for different audiences with different styles and tailored content. If these are misused in crisis communication, the information may not reach those who need it, or chaos may arise in the channels. Unfortunately, using the wrong communication channel can deepen the crisis, so it's essential not only to clarify the message but also to specify through which channel it will be delivered.

How to avoid it? Efficient outreach is the primary consideration, so it's worth listing which stakeholders can be reached most easily through which channel. Internal communication platforms can be segmented to facilitate the dissemination of more detailed information to everyone who needs it. Provide space and opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions through these channels.


Reputation management often risks decades of achievements of an organization if messages that are incompatible with the company's values and principles are communicated during a crisis. Continuity is essential, and it is incredibly difficult to return to normal after crisis communication that involves fundamental inconsistencies.

How to avoid it? Corporate values should always be communicated consistently. In crisis communication, we often have to communicate disadvantageous situations and unpopular decisions, but this cannot lead to a "different voice." Besides trust, reputation, and credibility, it is crucial to communicate consistently with our values during a crisis.


When a crisis occurs, the crisis team must immediately step up, prepared and flexible, to initiate successful crisis management and communication. Without such a team, the possibility of mistakes increases to a level that makes it challenging to keep up. Everyone must know their role, make decisions calmly, and work with the crisis team according to the established protocol.

Without it, incredible chaos can ensue. The crisis team should not start figuring out what to do when the problem arises. Without a carefully prepared protocol, no serious organization can face a crisis unprepared. Regardless of the challenges facing the company, there needs to be a rapid response, prepared professional team that can take immediate action.

How to avoid it? As a zero step in successful crisis management, it is essential to assemble a suitable team that can immediately "put itself into service" in case of a crisis. Crisis communication training can also support the team's work.


The causes of the crisis and crisis management and communication are the same: if the team does not analyze where and what went wrong, there is no guarantee that similar situations will not arise later. Drawing lessons and evaluating can help avoid similar situations and provide better answers and introduce better practices. If a crisis team does not identify the weaknesses of crisis communication as well as its strengths, the company may find itself in difficult situations repeatedly.

How to avoid it? Detailed evaluation should never be omitted after crisis management. Let's face the mistakes and learn from them. Identify the points where something went wrong and recognize the mistake. No matter how successful crisis management is, there is always room for improvement – and perhaps our own experiences are the most valuable for reviewing or revising a crisis protocol.

Crisis communication can be a significant challenge for an organization, as situations can escalate quickly. Emotional reactions and information gaps can lead to panic and speculation, so it's essential to plan well in advance. By avoiding the typical mistakes mentioned above and implementing a well-thought-out communication protocol, we can confidently navigate through turbulent times.

For further ideas and tips on crisis communication, you can find downloadable resources in our publication.