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Monday, October 1, 2012

Keys of corporate communications in Andean Communities in Peru

Cosmovisión Andina by Alberto Miranda

One of the most complicated things to apply is a communications program in a different cultural environment, where there are other sort of values and beliefs, and the impact of our strategies could be less effective.

In the case of Andean cultures living in the Peruvian Highlands, we have to study carefully their most important values according to the way they understand the world in which rivers, hills, the sun, the moon and the rest of natural elements has a special place in their cosmovision.

Extractive industries and Andean communities

It is not an easy relation. Extractive industry such as mining sector comes up with occidental procedures and ways of working that are distant to the Andean working style and the way they “feel” the nature.

Andean people understand the world as a whole; this means that elements are closely related so if we produce a change in one of those elements, the whole environment can be altered as well.

Another important characteristic of this world, is that those elements are not only related but living. Elements, like the earth itself, are living entities able to feel and ready to react as a puma living in the mountains.

People who live in communities are part of the same family, but they are part of the nature too; I mean, part of the rivers, vegetation, mountains, etc.

Since nature elements are living, they have their own feelings and necessities; they dance, dream, suffer, and have human experiences.

Keys of communication
  • Extractive companies must understand that they are making changes in a living world, so they need a “social permission” to work, which means being a member fully integrated of the Andean society.
  • Communications must be face to face. Communities has their own social  structure and leadership. So the communications should maintain the same level, in which the most important managers can participate of the social meetings.
  • Managers “must” participate in traditional celebrations and community parties. People living in Andean communities would love see the CEO of a mining company drinking some beer along to the leaders of the community.
  • Collaboration and participation are important part of Andean structure. Extractive companies must understand they cannot be seen as powerful multinationals operating in this place, but as another member of this world, ready to collaborate with people.
  • As good communication strategy must to take account that Andean audiences are orally developed, since that have to choose the correct media to transmit messages, and this, have to get the main characteristics of the Andean culture.

This is the only way to get an effective communication between people and nature, in which open communications is essential, as well as corporate coherence.

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