24 October 2011

Admitting Failure: A Comms Game Changer

J at Tales From the Hood writes:
[T]he NGO and aid world will have no choice but to find new ways of reaching out to their donor bases. The overly simplistic, happy-happy, headline-style marketing that pervades the aid world right now barely works. Once it is common practice for us to admit failure, simplistic marketing messages will stop working altogether.
This is absolutely the best argument for supporting the admission of failure by NGOs. Even if failures are fluffed-up with success stories, nuance and complexity becomes a part of common discourse. In the short term this may confuse and disappoint some donors/supporters. However, in the long term it will have an impact on accountability and dramatically the way that people understand international aid and development. That is a good thing.