When an unforeseen tragedy comes into a small community, the devastation can cause havoc. The members of the Chilean society found themselves with more questions than answers when word spread there had been a collapse in a local mine. The families of the trapped mine workers and employees affected were in need of guidance. When communicating the messages to Chilean people, awareness of the audience played an important role in ensuring all measures were being taken to save the miners lives. Trapped Miners in San Jose Mine During the summer of 2010, the San Jose, Chile copper mine collapsed trapping 33 miners inside.
The employees of the mine, owned by Minera San Esteban Primera, were informed that the miners were trapped at a depth of approximately 300 meters with little to no food, water and oxygen. In the days that followed the initial collapse, a second collapse occurred leaving both rescuers and spectators wondering if the miners were even alive. (Weik, 2010). Considering the Audience It is important to remember the current state of shock, travesty and unawareness of the receivers within the Chilean community following the mines collapse.
The families of the victims as well as the employees of the mine are in desperate need of answers and reassurance that rescuers are doing everything in their power to save the trapped miners. The messages relayed to these individuals need to be calm and collective while providing them with the information and details that are attainable at the current time. Government and mine officials also need to prepare to communicate to the employees and public future actions to be taken to prevent reoccurrence of this disaster. Families Potential Needs
At the time of this catastrophe, the families of the trapped miners are in need of the most important thing in their lives at that moment, their trapped loved one. The families will need to be provided with a basic understanding of the factors involved with the collapse and what potential outcomes may occur. They will be in need of reassurance and comfort that all actions are being taken to confirm that a positive result will conclude this horrible misfortune. Lastly, it is important to provide the families with a plan in which rescuers are following and explain how the family member’s roles in saving the trapped miners are clarified.
Employees Potential Needs Much like the families potential needs, the employees of the Chilean mine also need reassurance and guidance. It is likely that although the employees are concerned about how this collapse is going to affect them in the future, in the present moment they are concerned about the survival of their coworkers. A clear message will need to be presented to the employees indicating what role they can take in providing the rescuers with details they may need to help assist in the retrieval of the trapped miners.
They also may be in need of counseling and other types of treatment as a result of experiencing such horrible events. Necessary Actions Prior to the messages being given, it is vital that the communicator has been provided with as many details as possible. This is important to know information that is both provided and withheld from the public for their safety. The message needs to be reviewed by both the mine company as well as any government officials involved in the incident.
After a message has been communicated to the families and employees involved in the mine collapse, the most important actions to be taken is verification and understanding of the message. The communicator can provide these individuals with resources to assist them during this time such as crisis counselors. It will also be beneficial to make available written communication points that the families and employees can reference back to with questions and concerns. Lastly, a plan for continued communication is vital is supporting these individuals.
It is important for a communicator to be aware of their audience, especially following a tragedy such as the Chilean mine collapse, when giving the message to the families and employees involved. The proper approach to relaying this message will provide the necessary support to instill the much needed sense of safety and security. Understanding the position of the receiver and their potential needs will assist in communicating the message intended. References Weik, J. (2010). Over 30 workers trapped after Chilean copper mine collapse. Metal Bulletin Daily, (224), 65.