Knowing Your Audience

On August 5, 2010, a copper mine located in Chile had a cave-in leaving 33 workers trapped. The workers were trapped 300 meters below ground with limited food, water, and oxygen; no one knew how long they would survive.  After being trapped for four days no one knew, if any of the miners were alive.  Having no chances of survival the employers needed to come up with a proper method of relaying the information to both coworkers and relatives of the trapped employees, while reducing chances of risky reactions.

      Most importantly, the employer should let the information concerning the trapping of the employees reach their relatives as fast as possible. This may reduce chances of the family members getting information from other sources which may be corrupt therefore, putting the situation under control. Furthermore, it will eradicate the chances of being misunderstood or the family members feeling being put out. The employer will be portrayed as open and honest, which can make the relatives put their trust on them. Quick response by the employer will help the members know that the employer is concerned about their relatives. The communication should be done one on one, probably by telephone before conducting face to face interview.

      For the employers to relay the news to the family members safely it will be wise for them to understand them. The process should include explaining to the close family members that unexpected accident has occurred which have affected their relatives. There should be a sense of empathy and sympathy when communicating with the families of the victims.  Involving sympathy in relaying the news to the families will offer consolation to the loved ones.

      While informing the family members about the incidence, the employer should be well equipped with right figures and information.  This will make the members know that the employer cares and is concerned with the victims. Good knowledge of the situation will also assist the employer to answer questions that would be troubling the members of the family. This indicates that the employer should offer an environment where the relatives to the affected will ask questions that will assist them in comprehending the situation better. The employer should also let the members know what has been done to assist the victims and also they should give optimistic information. This will make the family members to have hope of the situation and will help them avoid anxiety that can be unhealthy for them.

      The information may be detrimental to the close relatives of the victims, therefore it will be necessary for the employers to incorporate counseling services. This should be done before and after the members are informed of the situation. Counseling the members before relaying the information will help them to be prepared of receiving bad news and therefore, reducing the effects that would be realized. Likewise, post counseling section will help the company to deal with the family members’ different reactions to the information.

      Communicating to the employees about the incident is a little different, because employees are aware of the working condition. In order for the employer to relay the information about the trapping of their colleagues, they should be able to take advantage of such knowledge to indicate that the risk that are involved and therefore, their colleague employees have become victims. In accordance to Konar, selection of the best channel to relay the message is important, hence in this case it will be better if the employer could inform the employees face to face, to show them the seriousness of the matter.

      In every communication, the audience has several needs which the speaker is supposed to meet. The employees will need to be informed what transpired for the tragedy to occur and who have become victims to the same. Similarly, it will be necessary for the employer to bring to the attention of the other colleagues the steps that are being taken to combat such occurrences in the future and what they are doing to assist the affected employees.

      In order to show that the employer is concerned with well-being of the trapped workers, it is important to inform the colleagues the far the company has gone towards rescuing the victims. The employer can give the employees options of going home for their safety or staying behind to assist the trapped colleagues. This will strengthen the employer-employee relationship and may also reduce chances of any party being blamed for the occurrence of the accident.

      The employer should also provide counseling services to the employee who needs it.  The news about their friends being in a life threatening situation may not auger well with them and could even produce disastrous effects in them. Therefore, the employer will be required to seek services of a counselor who will assist the employees to handle the news.

      When communicating with audience, it is important to keep their needs and expectations in mind. Relative s and fellow employees of the trapped workers may have different needs and therefore, the company should use different methods to reach them. The information to be given to the family members should be done in such a way that it will cause minimum negative effects. The company should help the audience to embrace the information positively through the use of counselor. 

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