Knowing Your Audience
The audience is a central element of the communication process since it receives the message to communicate. A communication process cannot be deemed successful if the audience does not receive, understand and appreciate the message. Consequently, there are some considerations that must be observed when addressing any audience. First and foremost, it is vital to consider the relationship of the audience to those affected in the tragedy. There must be a difference in the way in which close family members are informed of the tragedy and in the way other members of the public are informed. The second factor to keep in mind is the age of the audience. Very young members of the audience require that the tragic news is given to them gently and in a language they understand. The communication to members of the audience should be done with utmost sensitivity and care to avoid shocking them. Finally, the communication must consider the beliefs of the audience. In times of tragedy, people need a source of hope or something in which to believe. The communication must reaffirm the truths that most of the people in that audience hold and use their belief system to comfort them.
The families of the miners will have several potential needs in this incident. The first need of the family would be to be provided with complete and comprehensible information on what happened. The family has a right to be informed about how the incident occurred, as well as any other information that they may want to know. The second need that the family would have is to be informed of the safety and rescue plan for their loved ones. They will want to be told the risk in which their trapped miners are, as well as the chances of safely rescuing them. Additionally, the families will need to have someone from the company who will be available round the clock to update them of the rescue mission progress and any developments that occur.
Tension is an element that has been intricately woven at the heart of the Birling family. The Birling’s are a family of two generations; the older assertive and callous generation and the younger ambitious generation with not yet fully sculpted minds. The lack of understanding and empathy for the younger generation (Eric and Shelia) feeds the tension at heart:- ‘Because you’re not the kind of ...
The company’s employees would also have a number of needs during this incident. The first need that the employees would have is to find out if their colleagues are safe, and what steps are being taken to rescue them. The employees will want to be informed of what the company is doing since they also face a similar risk in the future and they want to be sure of their safety. Secondly, the employees will want to know the status of the company during the crisis. They will need to be informed if those working in different mines should continue their normal operations, or if they should stop reporting to work. In that case, employees will want to know if they should wait for the crisis to end then resume their jobs, or if they should start looking for other jobs.
So as to ensure that the communication is received as intended, there are several things I would do. Before delivering the message, I would ensure I gathered all relevant facts on the incident. I would write the important points on a note pad, so as not to forget or give inaccurate information. Moreover, I would talk to the people involved in the actual rescue efforts so that I neither give the audience false hope, nor discourage them about the odds that their loved ones face. After delivering the message, I would give the audience an opportunity to ask questions. This would ensure that every member of the audience is well aware of the situation, and any issues that could have been misunderstood are clarified.
The most appropriate communication for the families of the trapped miners would be face to face communication. Since the families are gathered around the scene of the accident, they will expect to be addressed by someone from the company. Secondly, a written notice would not be effective since there is no designated noticeboard outdoors and many people would miss it. Thirdly, some of the family members may be illiterate, and thus they may not understand a written notice. Finally, face to face communication has a personal touch to it and shows that the company cares about the welfare of the trapped miners and their families. On the other hand, the most appropriate communication to address the other employees would be an internal memo. Employees will be reporting in at different times, and they will probably head to the noticeboard to look out for communication from the company. Additionally, the memo is good for record and reference purposes since it will communicate crucial information such as whether or not the rest of the employees should continue working at the other mines.
Should Email Take the Place of Face to Face Communication Early research established information richness theory to explain employees' choices of media. Richard Daft and Robert Lengel argued that "communication transactions that can overcome different frames of reference or clarify ambiguous issues to change issues in a timely manner" are rich, and those "that require a long time to enable ...