January 21, 2013
Wayne Brock, DM
Chilean Copper Mine Collapse Communication
On August 5, 2010 the San Jose mine in Chile reported an accident which trapped 33 miners underground. The San Jose mine is a small copper mine in northern Chile. Owned by Minera San Esteban Primera, the mine collapse thrust the situation into a global news event when the 33 miners were discovered alive and well (Weik, 2010). Questions have been raised about the safety record of Minera San Esteban Primera. The Chilean miner organization Federation of Chilean Mining Workers (FMC) along with the Confederation of Copper Workers (CPC) cited a history of fatal accidents reported from Minera San Esteban Primera (Weik, 2010). The attention of the world turned to Chile when rescuers confirmed that the 33 workers were still alive 300 meters below ground. Media outlets from around the world descended on this small town in northern Chile with the goal of reporting the impact the accident had on the miners, their families, their co-workers, and the mining company itself. Communications
Communicating with the world and the families of the trapped miners needs to be designed with the specific audience in mind. Minera, the sender, bore full responsibility for the information being distributed to the world’s media and the families of the miners. The information contained within the communication to all parties should be tailored for the specific audience being addressed. In drafting the communication, pragmatics plays a vital role. Identifying the proper language to be used when communicating to media outlets from around the world can make the difference between information that is coherent and well received, as well as information that is deemed inappropriate for the receivers (Moore & Parker, 2009). Creating an effective communication strategy includes three components. 1. It must be able to address the needs of the...