June 2, 2014
KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE PAPER AND COMMUNICATION RELEASE
San Jose Mine is a small copper operation located in northern Chile that experienced a disaster in 2010 that involved the safety of 33 miners and the reputation of its company. (Weik, 2010) During this critical time, San Jose Mine had to understand the situation at hand and relay communications to both, employees and family members of the trapped miners. To do this effectively they had to keep a couple of things in mind. They need to come together as a company and own the situation.
Family and Employee Communication Strategy
The San Jose Mine must decide how they will deliver the message to the public. The public will include concerned family members, employees and the general census. Each group of people will need to hear and understand different aspects of the publication. When the family members hear the message they will need reassurance that the company is doing everything in the power to save the trapped miners. Important areas to consider would be the facts – what is the current survey of the miners. What is their current condition? What is the plan for rescue? Who can they contact for updates on the situation? The other key area would be adding value – showing support, empathy and confidence that the situation will be handled properly and successfully. In addition to the families, employees of the San Jose Mine need to be briefed on the collapse. When informing the employees about this incident, the message should contain, information on a need to know basis. They don’t need all the facts that one would provide to the family members, but enough information to understand the company’s plan to rescue the miners, timeline and the position the company is taking as it related to the relations to the general public.
The actions that need to be taken before any communication is delivered are the general overview of the incident, the company’s plan to rescue the miners, timeline and the method of delivery to ensure all appropriate relations are aware of the “game-plan”. After the message has been delivered, to ensure that the message was received as intended, open a support line to answer any questions that family members or employees can access. By providing this line of communication can alleviate any frustrations from the public. Also, having a channel for updates as this incident gets resolved and miners are rescued. The form of communication that should be used for the family members of the miners should be face-to-face communication. This will allow the company to engage in conversation, providing facts, news, answers to questions and provide support for them in the coming days. This will be effective to maintain and build the reputation and relationship with this audience.
After the initial news has been delivered, it is important for them to provide the family a