More than three-quarters (78 percent) of PR crises are caused by a communications or marketing error rather than external disruptions or attacks, according to new research from media monitoring platform Visibrain, which was launched in conjunction with the company’s Best Practice Guide for Media Monitoring.

Visibrain’s research was conducted in partnership with Nicolas Vanderbiest, a crisis communications specialist at the University of Leuven. His analysis examined more than 100 of the biggest PR disasters from the last year and concluded that the vast majority could have been avoided with better internal planning.

The most common reasons for PR crises involved poor product design, flawed communications strategies and ill-thought-out advertising campaigns, Vanderbiest says.

The research also suggests that brands are now 13 percent more likely to suffer a marketing or PR crisis than they were just three years ago.

According to Nicolas Huguenin, CEO of Visibrain, “While it’s worrying to see so many businesses struggling to manage their communications approach, the fact that PR crises are being caused internally is not necessarily the worst news for big name brands. If such disasters were typically being caused by external factors, marketers would have far fewer opportunities to pre-emptively manage and address them. Instead, brands simply need to take greater care in considering all possible outcomes to their communications approach.”