WASHINGTON, DC: The International Monetary Fund is being advised by a PR firm and is looking to beef up its internal communications team, leading observers to believe a PR makeover may be in the works.
WASHINGTON, DC: The International Monetary Fund is being advised by
a PR firm and is looking to beef up its internal communications team,
leading observers to believe a PR makeover may be in the works.
Working in conjunction with Edelman, the organization is planning to
overhaul its thorny relationship with the media. The initiative is
reported to have been driven by pressure from the US and Britain, both
big stakeholders in the organization.
Word of the new era of openness comes only weeks after the United
Nations reversed longtime policy by welcoming the media with open arms,
going so far as to suggest that most conversations should be on the
record (PRWeek, Aug. 16).
External affairs director Thomas Dawson will be leading the IMF’s PR
push. He added one deputy last week (Graham Hacche, a career IMF
economist) and is actively looking for another.
While Edelman declined to discuss its relationship with the IMF, Dawson
said the firm has suggested a course of action that involves paying
closer attention to media relations.
’We’re going to be holding regular press briefings every few weeks,’ he
said. ’The feedback for us so far has been extremely positive.’ He
hinted that the attempt to improve communications with external publics
may include more public appearances by IMF chiefs.
The IMF is likely to shed light on its decision-making processes, which
have historically been off-limits to journalists. The process through
which new currencies are approved for troubled economies, for example,
has never been fully explained. The group came under fire last year for
its handling of the Asian financial crisis.