April 15, 2013
Communication is inevitable in today’s society. Knowing the audience is an important piece of knowledge to have when communicating. Through the case of the Chilean copper mine collapse, one will be able to identify the audience, their roles, needs, and the appropriate channels of communication and actions taken to ensure that the delivery of the message is appropriate.
Knowing the Audience
Before one communicates to the public, especially the family and friends of people involved in events of catastrophic proportions their needs and feelings are heavily put into consideration. The release of the information should be audience targeted; the strategy is to identify the audience, their roles, needs, and the delivery method of the message (Tennyson & Ray, 2005).
The main audience captured is the miners’ families and coworkers. Considering the right tone and how the wording of the information communicated is extremely important (Tennyson & Ray, 2005). The family members’ emotional state will be high. Coworkers would be trembling and shook-up knowing it could have been them trapped in the mine.
Family members, in the event of tragedy will want answers. The specific types of answers the families are looking for include: when the event took place, the number of people trapped in the mine, any voice communications with the miners trapped, and a rescue plan. They will also need to be kept in the loop on any progress toward the rescue. During the families’ time of need one needs to focus on delivering the message to the family the way one wants to hear it, the truth. One needs to be sensitive to family members of the trapped miners because one may no longer have a family member. An example of providing the families with what they want to hear would be, in the San José mine, a small copper operation in northern Chile, suffered a cave-in on August 5. The incident left 33 workers trapped at a depth of around 300 meters with limited food, water, and oxygen (Weik, 2010).
Coworkers in the event of tragedy are also going to want answers as well. One would have to address the employees a bit differently because the employees are aware of the dangers while working in the mines. The specific types of answers the employees are looking for include: details on the rescue attempt and concerns for the safety of the mines that they are working in whether or not they may collapse. The employees’ concern for their colleagues is important but the concern for their own safety is more important.
Before releasing the information, it is important to determine how to deliver the same information between two different audiences. Before delivery one will want to be aware of the different types of communication channels that exist (Cheesebro, O'Connor, & Rios, 2010). In this instance it would be safer to use the news media via television to get the word “out” to the families. Considering the situation for the sake of the company, if the family members