Knowing Your Audience and Communication
The article Over 30 workers trapped after Chilean copper mine collapse by Weik, 2010 gave a poor accounting of the issue at hand. The flow of the article was poor, and the communication itself offered the copper miner families and employees of the company little information and no clear next steps.
During times of emergency, clear and concise communications are critical. Companies should have communication plans in place to act swiftly and effectively in emergency situations. Crisis plans should be developed, ready for use when necessary. It is during these ...view middle of the document...
In many cases, the communications cannot be combined.
Most importantly, family members of the miners would want to know the specific names of the 33 trapped workers. Although concerned for all the trapped miners, their immediate concern naturally would be for their loved ones.
The balance of the information that needs to be conveyed would pertain to both the families of the miners and the company’s employees as well. Both audiences would want to know critical information, such as what time the mine collapsed. This would put into perspective how many hours have passed since the men first became trapped.
Next readers would want to know what food and provisions the trapped miners already have with them. They both need to understand the typical survival equipment issued to the miners, e.g. air tanks, drills and picks. These points are critical when establishing a rescue plan as well as contemplating the likelihood of miners’ survival.
Further elaboration of the rescue efforts is necessary. The communication needs to include if trained teams have been deployed in to assist in the rescue mission. The number of team members and their backgrounds as well as the specific equipment needed to drill through to the men is essential. For the sake of the family members, it should also describe if the teams have been successful in rescuing previous mine collapse victims. This would give the families a glimmer of hope through the horrific ordeal.
Advice regarding whether the rescuers are able to communicate with the miners is another point not touched upon. Family members and company employees alike would need to know if rescuers can speak to the miners to understand their conditions, the health of the trapped miners, the size of the area of containment, the amount of provisions and their sanitary habits.
The article should have been more descriptive about the second cave-in. It should have told of subsequent damage and the impact to the rescue efforts other than suspension of the efforts for “several hours”.
Because the article threw in that the mine was closed in March 2007 following a fatal accident, it should have elaborated on what caused the accident itself and what efforts were put in place to mitigate any future accidents.
Employees and families must also be considering the monetary aspect of the situation. Family members should be told whether or not their loved ones will continue to be paid during the ordeal. Company employees should also be told if they will receive compensation during the time they are cannot perform their normal roles.
The article should conclude with specific next steps. It should provide emergency contact #s for both the families of the miners and company personnel to call to gain further information and ask any specific questions they may have. It should so advise...