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Crisis Communications
Mistakes do not always have
to turn into crises

Mistakes happen. Sometimes they turn into crises. This cannot always be avoided, but it can be contained in any case.



Christine Lambrecht is still in office. And Fynn Kliemann is not yet broke. Because they did everything right?

She glorified 5000 helmets for Ukraine as a "strong sign of solidarity" and thus started a whole series of communication mishaps. He advertised masks from Bangladesh as "fairly produced in Europe" and has since been scaring away its partners by the dozen. So far, so critical. But what followed was far worse. 

Both tried to flee to the front. They defiantly declared for weeks that they had basically done everything right. No self-criticism, no understanding, no apologies. Their own behavior as a crisis accelerator: textbook examples. 

Is she up to the task? Can he still be trusted? Exactly...

Mistakes happen. But crises usually only become crises when no or the wrong consequences are drawn. 

"I have misjudged the situation and apologize for that." - With this sentence, Ms. Lambrecht could not have eliminated the "5000 helmets", but she could have laid the foundation for new trust. She didn't, and is facing calls for her resignation.

"I did not monitor production carefully enough. That was a mistake that I regret very much." This statement from Kliemann came, mutatis mutandis, weeks after the initial accusations. By then, many partners had jumped ship, and a lot of trust had been lost that now has to be painstakingly rebuilt. Whether his business model can still be saved is completely open, not to mention his reputation.  

In the spring of 2021, Angela Merkel demonstrated how good communication can help with crisis management. The five-day "Easter truce" to contain the Corona pandemic decided in the middle of the night by a federal-state roundtable under her leadership proved to be legally untenable and practically unworkable the very next day. Less than 48 hours after the decision, Merkel publicly called it a mistake for which she herself was responsible and asked citizens to forgive her. After that, the issue was largely settled in the public eye. 

Did something go wrong for you, too? Are you afraid that a human error could turn into a crisis? Not every crisis can be prevented. But every one can be contained - with the willingness to admit mistakes and repair the damage. Appropriate and sincere communication is crucial here. Talk to us - we will find a solution. 

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