Knowing Your Audience
Running head: KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE Knowing Your Audience Name BCOM/275 Teacher Knowing Your Audience On August 5, 2010, a small copper mine located in Chile suffered a cave-in which left 33 workers trapped underground. With workers being trapped 300 meters below ground with limited food, water, and oxygen, nobody knew for sure how long they would survive. After four days of being trapped, there was still no idea if any of the miners were even alive.
Never before have so many workers survived being trapped underground for so long (Yang, 2010).
Fortunately, in this case, tears turned to amazement as all 33 miners were located and rescued without any lives lost. Nobody really ever expects to encounter a situation like this until it happens. What does the employer tell the families of those who are trapped in the mine? What does the employer tell its employees? These are questions that many people do not prepare themselves for. These types of communications must be handled delicately and with the audience in mind. What are some considerations to remember given the different roles and people in the audience?
This paper will discuss some of the potential needs of the families of the miners in receiving a message about this incident. It will also discuss the potential needs of the company’s employees when receiving a message about this incident. Finally, this paper will talk about what actions a person must take before and after the message is delivered to ensure that it was received as intended. As mentioned earlier, there are some considerations a person has to remember when communicating with the families of the victims and employees in this matter because of the different roles and people in the audience.
If the audience is not taken into consideration when conveying a message, the communication could be lost, misunderstood, or incomplete. This could leave the audience misinformed and angry. When communicating with the families, there should be a sense of empathy and sympathy directed toward them. Communication to the families should be prompt so that they do not have to hear about what happened to their loved ones on the news. The families of the victims would probably like to know how this could have happened and what is being done to get them out.
The families don’t know as much about mining as the employees do so they would probably like an explanation of what went wrong. These types of situations are tough because the company wants to keep the families informed, but sometimes the sender knows as much about the incident as the families do. Communicating to the employees about the incident would be a little different. People that work in the mining field know about the dangers of cave-ins already. So there would be no need to go into detail about the incident. The communication should reiterate the importance of safety on-the-job.
The communication should also let the employees know that everything possible is being done to rescue the trapped workers. Keeping in mind that the employees could have friends who are trapped, the communication should also mention to employees that if they are not in the “right state of mind” to work, they should take time off for their own safety. Before a message of any kind is delivered to the audience it should be proofread and double-checked for grammatical errors and misspelled words. The sender should also find out if there are going to be any language barriers when communicating with the audience.
If the method of communication is a phone call, it is a good idea to have a prewritten script to read off of to ensure that the communication is clear and concise. At the end of the message, the sender should ask the audience if they have any questions regarding the message or the situation. This will make sure that the message was delivered clearly and accurately. Depending on the circumstances, a follow-up communication may be made necessary to keep the families and employees up-to-date on the situation. Conclusion All communications must be designed with the audience in mind.
The communication will vary, depending on the circumstances and needs of the audience. If the needs of the audience are not considered before conveying a message, there is a good chance the communication could be incomplete, inaccurate, or unsuitable for the audience. In a situation like what occurred in the Chilean mine collapse, extra care needs to be taken when reaching out to the families of the victims. References Weik, J. (2010). Over 30 workers trapped after chilean mine collapse. Manuscript submitted for publication, Library, University of Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona. Retrieved from http://web. ebscohost. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. om/ehost/detail? sid=84e3b3de-0140- Yang, J. (2010). From collapse to rescue: inside the chile mine. The Star, Retrieved from http://www. thestar. com/news/world/chile/article/873382 Communication 1 (Phone call to families of trapped miners) This is Mike Miller, operations supervisor at San Jose mine. One of our mines suffered a cave-in today leaving 33 of our employees, including your husband, trapped underground for the time being. We have no information as to their physical condition or how long it will be before we can reach them. We have everyone possible working on the situation and we are hoping to have them out very soon.
I just want to let you know that my prayers are with your family. If you have any questions at all don’t hesitate to call. As soon as we hear anything you will be the first to know. Communication 2 (Memo to employees) To: San Jose Mine Employees One of our mines suffered a cave-in today leaving 33 of our employees trapped underground. We are currently working on the situation and are doing everything we can to reach them. This situation should remind us how careful we need to be when we are working in the mines. As soon as we have any information on the situation we will let you know. Human Resources