Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Tragic Miscommunication: It's going to take a while to sort through what happened in West Virginia, where families were initially told that the 12 miners trapped a mile beneath the ground since Monday morning had survived--only to be informed three hours later that all but one had perished.

This Sploid article reads almost like an Onion parody of sensationalistic reporting, but it may be a harbinger for the kind of questions PR people at the International Coal Group will have to face about the "miscommunication" that raised the hopes of the now grieving families.

Other stories suggest that ICG never told relatives that the miners were alive: that the company misunderstood the communication from rescue workers and that someone overhead cellphone calls and began to spread the good news prematurely.

However this shakes out, it clearly speaks to the importance of keeping tight controls over information during an ongoing crisis.

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