Audience Paper and Communication Release
November 25, 2011
In business communication, there are often sensitive issues that need to be addressed. With this in mind, certain considerations need to be made in order to ensure the credibility of the communication source and the privacy and respect of those whom are affected. In short, pragmatics, or making sure that the communication is appropriate for the circumstances and the relationships, needs to be taken into account (Cheesebro, O??™Connor, & Rios, Chapter Language, 2010).
One action that needs to be taken before communication is delivered is to make sure that all sources have been verified. Any incorrect information can be grounds for lawsuits and whoever reported that misrepresentation is held liable for that communication.
Another action that should be taken before any communication is delivered is to communicate with all involved audiences. This is important because miscommunications can very easily occur if it??™s not done. For example, in the Chilean mine collapse, if the reporters had not made sure that the victims??™ families were aware of the incident and had complete details, they could have had issues with privacy and sensitivity. One of the ways in order to be sensitive to the needs of the families is to not disclose any more information than is absolutely necessary for the communication. Any additional information could make the families feel as though their loss is not significant and is only a tool to be exploited. In choosing the language for the communication, this is an area to pay special attention to: ???a more common concern rests with how much of the language you use lacks clarity and purposefulness??? (Cheesebro, O??™Connor, & Rios, 2010, Chapter Language). Language should always be chosen carefully and specifically, especially in dealing with such sensitive issues.
While keeping the needs of the families at the forefront, another audience to consider is the other company employees. This is an audience that is deeply affected by the mine collapse and is going to be in a vulnerable state. After all, these were their co-workers and friends who are trapped in the mine. Furthermore, these are the people who are still employed by the company who is responsible for this incident. They still have to make the decision to go into work again the next day with the knowledge that something similar could happen again. That said, when creating communication, one of their biggest considerations would be reassurance that they will be safe, that all precautions are being met, and that everything possible is being done in terms of investigation. This will allow them to continue having faith in the company while putting their life on the line, and will also give them a feeling of justice for their co-workers??™ circumstances.
While writing any communication, it is important to continue to use appropriate connotations and contextual meanings when choosing wording. With an emotionally-charged issue, people are more likely to take meanings to heart and perseverate over wording than they might with a straight-forward topic (Cheesebro, O??™Connor, & Rios, Chapter Language, 2010).
After communication occurs, follow-up should always be done. All of the sources that were previously checked should continue to be monitored. This has multiple purposes: any misconceptions can be cleared up quickly, new information can be given and positive relationships can be sustained. This will also help to ensure the integrity and uphold the values of the communication source. Depending on the specific circumstances and whether or not it may be appropriate, a post-survey is also a good way to gauge the flow of information and feelings of the intended audiences. The results of this data can help to shape further communications and clear up any existing misconceptions.
Overall, when communicating in business, and particularly when it comes to sensitive issues, communicators need to be considerate of their audiences. It can be easy to misconstrue meanings if this is not done in a skillful way. Being consistently aware of language and wording is the best way to get meaning across in a clear and purposeful way (Cheesebro, O??™Connor, & Rios, Chapter Language, 2010).
Cheesebro, T., O??™Connor, L., & Rios, F. (2010). Communicating in the Workplace. Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
Welk, J. (2010, August). Over 30 workers trapped after Chilean mine collapse. Metal Bulletin Daily. Retrieved from EBSCOhost on 11/25/11. doi.