#studycase – KGHM

Designing a brand communication is the core of whole branding process and it never ends. There are situations which can’t be predicted and the brand has to react on them. This could be a clever move made by our market opponent or unpredictable social or environmental incidents.

On 30th of November 2016 in Rudna (Polkowice, Poland) – the one of the largest copper mines in the world 8 people died following an quake. Polish and world media attention was aim in KGHM reaction to this incident. The brand, with the help of its spokesman and general managers was following a check-list of the process called „crisis management”. Some of the media channels starts to call this incident „the biggest tragedy on the 55-year-old history of Rudna copper mine”.

“KGHM” was in touch with the press during the whole rescue action. Contacts with media were frequent. Even when the spokesmen got a phone call on TV live interview she did not pick up and finished her statement. That was a professional behavior. Her ton of voice was calm and blue and the information she was giving to the press was concise. It’s important to show to the public the company is doing its best to save the trapped workers.

General manager on behalf of “KGHM” went to the family homes of unlucky miners to inform about the tragedy. That’s another good reaction to this hopeless situation. By showing not only a human face but also engagement the company proved how valuable are relations with miners and their families. 

During the rescue action in different parts of Rudna miners were sill working on acquisition of copper. They were even more scared then usually and the brand has not done anything about it. Those people has to act during their work like nothing has happened. I know this is a business and the company is results-driven, but one of the company value is also teamwork. This kind of relation is fundamental for all the actions taken under the ground due to acquisition copper. Those people should be the most important, not a business goal since without them business success is unobtainable. The company should not only take care for the safety of its workers but also for their mental conditions. It is crucial to relax their minds and let them work in normal atmosphere. To achieve at least some of it, the company could take actions like a video message to all employees with the personal words from CEO of “KGHM” and personal letter sent to their family homes. There also could be a day off for all the people working in this area and with those miners. 

Crisis management team should always be two steps forward and ready to take an action as brave and human as the KGHM rescue team were taking to save their friends underneath the ground.

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