The 3 biggest mistakes organizations make on day one of a crisis

When the heat is on, you can easily get burned—so avoid these common pitfalls.

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Every day, communication professionals go to work with a rough idea of how the day will unfold.

You’ll attend a staff meeting, develop a pitch plan for a new product, check in with your direct reports, meet with consultants on the website redesign—plus a conference call or four woven throughout. You know, the usual.

But on any given day, a crisis could blow your schedule to smithereens.

You’re suddenly under the gun, forced to draft messages, field reporter calls and juggle a dozen other urgent tasks in an adrenaline-fueled frenzy. It’s an opportunity to shine—your organization needs effective communications today more than ever—but it’s also a serious challenge. Make a mistake, and everyone will notice—because everyone is watching.

Day one of this crisis will go much more smoothly if you’ve prepared for it. (That’s really the biggest mistake organizations make when it comes to crisis communications: thinking they won’t need a plan.) Setting that aside, let’s focus on three common mistakes organizations make in the early hours of a crisis:

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