The 33 miners trapped underground for two months at the San Jose, Chile, mine were all rescued yesterday to much fanfare. And as with nearly every news or public interest story, there is a PR angle. It was reported yesterday that the head of rescue ops for Chile’s workplace insurance company lent his hand to the situation by sending his media training guidebook down the slot into the hands of trapped miners who will surely be bombarded by journalists in the next 48 hours. (Disclosure: PR News publishes a Media Training Guidebook and I frankly didn’t think about offering it up — or down — to the miners). It is a smart idea to provide the newly famous miners with some media training. Their lives are about to change. The media will most likely go easy on this crew, for, after all, this is turning out to be a heart-warming lifestyle story that gives us hope and even gets us thinking how we would be able to survive and thrive with our colleagues if we were stuck thousands of feet below the ground in a space 12×12 and for days in the dark. There will be many lessons to be gleaned from this crisis, stories about teamwork, morale, workload management, courage, health and wellness and patience. And with their media training, there should be some outstanding sound bites too.
– Diane Schwartz