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Knowing Your Audience Paper and Communication Release

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Tragedy can happen anywhere, any time, and almost always unexpectedly. On one fateful day, tragedy struck a small copper mine located in San Jose, Chile. On August 5, 2010, there were 33 workers trapped 300 meters underground, for two months. After relentless search and rescue efforts, on October 13, 2010 all 33 workers were found alive and reunited with their loved ones. (Chile Mining Accident, 2011)

In any situation like this, when disaster strikes, it is the company’s responsibility to contact and inform the employees and family members of the persons affected. There is no easy way to deliver this kind of news, and people often want immediate answers that may not be available. The company has to be prepared for any type of reactions, so communications must be made in the most careful manner possible.

The miners family members will need to be considered when deciding how to deliver the news. They will have questions and concerns and will want them answered and addressed promptly. They will need compassion, empathy, and maybe even a whipping post. The deliverer needs to be prepared for them to lash out, place blame, cry, scream, or unload an arsenal of questions. These people are afraid that they will or already have lost their loved one, and that is not easy to accept.

Employees have a tendency to bond with their coworkers. Many employees turn into lifelong friends, so when the company is notifying the remaining employees of the tragic events, they should display the same poise and compassion that they would offer the family. The company should also offer some sort of grief counseling services to both the families and employees, it will help them feel like they matter.

In order to ensure that their message is received as intended, they need to prepare in advance what they will say and offer to the employees and family to help get them through the difficult time. The company needs to have the exact details of the events, where it took place, the names of all of the individuals that have been trapped, what efforts are being made to recover the workers, and an action plan to implement to notify the families when there are updates at the scene. After all of this information has been prepared, they need to start working on the delivery of the message. The best course of action to notify mass amounts of people is through television or radio, this will allow the message to reach a wide variety of people. The company should offer a hotline for family members to call and inquire for more details and to make them feel like they are getting more personalized treatment in the situation. The company should call a mandatory staff meeting and deliver the news face to face with their employees. DRAFT COMMINUCATIONS

Televised announcement to the families: We regret that there has been a devastating incident within our San Jose mines. A large rock failure has taken place and we know that an excess of thirty of our workers have been trapped within the mines. We are making every effort to ensure comfort of the distressed workers while rescue operations take place.

We urge the families to remain as calm as possible while the recovery efforts take place, as they may take an extended amount of time. We will have a 24 hotline available and a Facebook public profile to update the families of any developments that may take place on the site.

We assure you that we will provide you with the highest level of detail that we have. We understand the fear, anger, and frustration you must all be feeling and we want to help, so we will also be setting up grief counseling to help ease the stress of the situation. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices with questions and concerns that you may have.

Face-to-face meeting with employees: As you may have heard, there has been a tragic incident in the San Jose mine. We realize that your coworkers, partners, and friends are the people that are trapped beneath the rubble. We want to ensure you that every effort is being made to make them comfortable and bring them to the surface alive and well.

We will be providing grief counseling services for anyone who feels the need to express their feelings and a safe environment. We understand that the
stress this situation is causing and want to let you all know that we are here to provide any support that you may need, please do not hesitate to contact your immediate supervisor with any concerns and they will be able to assist you as needed.

Weik, J. (2010). Over 30 workers trapped after Chilean copper mine collapse. Metal Bulletin Daily, (224), 65. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Chile Mining Accident. (2011, October 12). – The New York Times. Retrieved August 2,2014, fromhttp://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/c/chile_mining_accident_20/index.html

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