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Knowing Your Audience Paper and Communication Release

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Knowing Your Audience Paper and Communication Release

In August 2010, the world focused on a small gold and copper mine in northern Chile, when it was discovered that 33 trapped miners was still alive after the mining shaft collapsed and prevented their escape. Almost every newspaper, television, and radio news companies all over the world, reported on the conditions of the trapped miners daily until their rescue in October 2010.

Because of the magnitude of this disaster, there was the attention of a worldwide audience. Not to mention those connected to the disaster, the family and close friends of the trapped miners. The audience base was large. Family members, rescue teams, mine employees who escaped this tragedy. Many people living thousands of miles away from the epic center hoping for a glimpse of the trapped miners and their rescue. There are specific needs to be considered when communicating to the various audiences.

The first consideration is the form of media used to communicate the message. Traditionally radio, television, and newspaper have been the main source of media. With technology, the Internet has surpassed the traditional media in obtaining news information. Out of 3030 adults surveyed, "the internet was selected as the most reliable source of news by nearly 40 percent of adults, compared to 17 percent who opted for television and 16 percent who selected newspaper and 13 percent for listened to the radio" (, 2009).

The second consideration is knowing the demographics of the audience. It is vital when drafting the message that the author is aware of the people who will be reading or listening to the communication. It will dictate the level of details as well as what items should be disclosed or not disclosed in the message. For example a communication to the family members of the trapped miners may have a greater level of information while a press release will have fewer details and is written more as a summary.

The third consideration is the level of frequency of the communications. Understanding the audience will dictate how often the messaging will be sent. Using the example of the Chilean mine disaster, the family members of the trapped miners should have periodic updates compared to the news media. The onsite rescue teams will need hourly if not more updates on the status because there is a safety factor involved in the rescue operation. Then there is the trapped miners themselves. Scheduled cadences with the trapped miners would help with morale and staying connected with the outside world and their families.

When communicating with the families of the trapped miners, there are specific needs of the families that the messaging will need to address. The need for clear and detailed communication will help the families think they are connected to the situation. The family members want to be



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