One of the hardest things when I developed the curriculum for “International Development Communications” at Georgetown this last semester was that there was no one place where my students and I could be guided in answering our key question:
How can a new generation of communications professionals embrace nuance without turning the public off? (After all, nonprofits are competing against cat videos!)
Over the course of the semester, students brought communications “products” to class (e.g. articles, annual reports) to apply and hone a set of criteria that merged the elements of sound communications and the fundamental concepts of international development - to separate the wheat from the chaff.
They found that the days of international development communications, where the key responsibilities were writing press releases and annual reports for donors that portray “voiceless” and “powerless” people, is over.
Please do share your vision for the future of #IntlDevComms in the comments section!
We will continue to share and promote this publication throughout the wider international development community. If your team or organization would like to engage further by hosting a discussion, staff training, etc, please be in touch at jenlentfer (at) gmail (dot) com.
Check out this series of seven blog posts from my International Development Communications students at Georgetown University’s Public Relations and Corporate Communications Masters Program.
- The double-edge sword of mass communications: Is stereotyping inevitable?
- Knowing when (and why) to stop and listen
- America’s budding professionals: Well-traveled and ready to save the world
- Are you a humanitarian? Why?
- 6 ways to keep your nonprofit spark lit
- The OAS in the time of reform: Stories’ role in institutional change
- 5 pulse-checks before clicking ‘publish’ on #globaldev communications