On August 5, 2010 thirty-three workers were trapped approximately 300 meters underground with limited food, water, and oxygen due to a Coppermine that collapsed in Chile. It was not known at first if there were any survivors. This story gathered audiences all over the world as media interest came to life when a rescue worker’s drill emerged at the surface with a note attached to it: “The 33 of us are OK in the refuge” (Volk, 2011). Approximately two months after the collapse sealed the mine, a rescue hole was finally completed for the miners. To everyone’s amazement all thirty-three miners were rescued (Yang, 2010). When this tragedy took place, the company had to take care in how the media relied on their findings. The immediate families of the workers need to be notified first, and then the other employees, and then a media publication should be done professionally with truthful and accurate information.
No one is prepared for this type of situation. Communication must be handled carefully and thoughtfully especially to the families of the miners and the miners themselves. When a company is communicating with the families, the potential needs will require details about the accident that took place with their relatives while at work (Tennyson & Ray, 2008). They will need to know the exact time and place the incident took place, who is trapped in the mine, and what rescue measures are being taken. They will need to be regularly updated as to the developments of the rescue process. Above all, they will need to be assured that all possible procedures are being taken to ensure that their loved ones are recovered safe and sound.
Communication with the employees is going to require concise information and should be done formally. They will need a quick update of the accident that should include what the company is doing to rescue their coworkers. They are going to need to be reassured that any other mines are not at risk of collapsing when they resume working (Bajak, 2010). Identifying your audience is one action that is needed before any communication is done (Tennyson & Ray, 2005). Once you have identified your audience than you can build your communication plan around it. After you give your message, you should make sure your audience has an opportunity to ask questions and know who or where to go if they still need more information.
To the families through the media. A crisis has occurred at the San Jose Mine. The mine has suffered a cave in on August 5th, leaving 33 workers trapped approximately 300 meters below the surface. Rescue operations have started and will continue under the supervision of the Chilean government. Several drills began to bore holes toward locations where rescuers thought the miners might be found but at this time have not established where they are precisely (Fiscor, 2010). Families are encouraged to be patient as these rescue operations are expected to take some time. Updates will be given as new developments arise. Once the workers are located, plans are underway to make sure they receive food, water, and medicine while they wait to be rescued. All families are encouraged to take heart as we are taking all necessary precautions to makes sure all the miners are rescued safely. All families will be allowed to see their loved ones as soon as they receive medical treatment.
Please contact the number below for more information. This line will be open 24 hours a day. To the employees at an employee meeting. You may already be aware of the crisis facing our company. The San Jose mine collapsed and trapped 33 employees approximately 300 meters below the surface. The rescue operations are underway to rescue all workers safely. I want to assure you that we are doing everything possible to find and make sure that food, water, and medicine are available to the workers and that we will be working day and night until they are safe from harm.
I want to inform you all that we are having all mines thoroughly checked to ensure they are safe before you resume work. We will be updating you on all the developments of the rescue operation and ask that you, please stay calm and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your managers. Different audiences will need to be communicated in the best possible manner. What is right for one audience may not be correct for another audience.
Volk, S. S. (2011). Refusing to hear: Press coverage of the Chilean miners. NACLA Report on the Americas, 44(4), 54-56, 44. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/893765826?accountid=458 Yang, J. (2010, Oct 10). Hope surfaces in Chile. Toronto Star Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/757109034?accountid=458 Tennyson, P. A., & Ray, K. (2005). Reaching today’s utility audiences: Why there is no such thing as the general public. American Water Works Association. Journal, 97(1), 49-51. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/221571012?accountid=458 Bajak, F. (2010, Oct 14). As Chile celebrates mine’s future in question. Spartanburg Herald – Journal, pp. n/a. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/758202447?accountid=45049 Fiscor, S. (2010). Rescuers work to free Chilean miners. Engineering and Mining Journal, 211(8), 24-24, 26. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/763615366?accountid=458
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