I attended a great PRSA conference in Salt Lake and I thought I would share a “golden nugget” that stuck out to me. We learned about how Kennecott dealt with a massive landslide at its Bingham Canyon Mine, and how quick reaction and transparent communication can make a world of difference. Due to highly sensitive equipment tracking minute movements in the earth, Kennecott was aware of the upcoming landslide well before it hit. It evacuated employees, alerted the media beforehand, and had all channels of communication ready. This preparation made it so no one was injured or killed, and Kennecott controlled the message.

How many companies have we seen that start to detect minute movements that can lead to a “landslide” of trouble and yet they ignore it until the disaster hits bringing a crisis-comm mess one would only wish upon their enemies? Many times you hear that lower level employees observed a problem and told their superiors only to be ignored. It would be the same as if Kennecott had the equipment to monitor but never did anything with it.