Sago Mine: A Hard Lesson in Crisis Communications

The dead miners, their families and their community are the major victims of the Sago Mine Disaster, and deserve our full compassion. But the company is also suffering, and will continue to suffer, from the genesis of the accident, and from its handling of information as the tragedy unfolded. Responsibility and liability will be asessed bureaucratically and in court, and many facts are yet to be known. But it is not too soon to learn some lessons from its behavior during the rescue attempt. Classic crisis communications.  That was my assessment of the International Coal Group's (ICG) handling of the tragic Sago Mine explosion that trapped 13 miners, up until the very final stages of the gripping story. They were cautious, careful not to speculate, concerned, informative and available—all the things a company should be in a crisis situation.  ICG in particular was in a bad spot.  They had recently acquired a mine with what the news media called a questionable...(Read Full Article)

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