Abstract We consider the regime of strong light-matter coupling in an organic microcavity, where large Rabi splitting can be achieved. As has been shown, the excitation spectrum of such a structure, besides coherent polaritonic states, contains a number of strongly spatially localized incoherent excited states. These states form the majority of the excited states of the microcavity and are supposed to play the decisive role in the relaxation dynamics of the excitations in the microcavity. We consider the non-radiative transition from an incoherent excited state into one of the coherent states of the lower polaritonic branch accompanied by emission of a high-energy intramolecular phonon. It is shown that this process may determine the lifetime of incoherent excited states in the microcavity. This observation may be important in the discussion of pump–probe experiments with short pulses. This process may also play an important role for the population of the lowest energy states in organic microcavities, and hence in the problem of condensation of cavity polaritons.