IMF faces tough task to revamp its image

WASHINGTON, DC: The International Monetary Fund, never the coziest of public institutions, is hoping to revamp its image under new managing director Horst Kohler. However, IMF critics and backers alike feel that this will be more easily said than done.

WASHINGTON, DC: The International Monetary Fund, never the coziest of public institutions, is hoping to revamp its image under new managing director Horst Kohler. However, IMF critics and backers alike feel that this will be more easily said than done.

WASHINGTON, DC: The International Monetary Fund, never the coziest

of public institutions, is hoping to revamp its image under new managing

director Horst Kohler. However, IMF critics and backers alike feel that

this will be more easily said than done.



Underscoring the PR problems that are bedeviling the international

lending institution, protesters are intending to stage a ’Seattle East’

against the group during its April 11-17 meeting in Washington. Like the

World Trade Organization, whose meeting in Seattle last year was marred

by violent protests, the IMF finds itself suffering from an inability to

use PR to develop a greater public understanding and acceptance of its

mission.



Vogl Communications founder Frank Vogl believes the IMF’s powerful,

mysterious image is beginning to work against it.



’The IMF will claim to be a more open institution, contending that they

provide a great deal of information on their Web site,’ he

explained.



’That’s true, but they’ve changed only to the extent of providing a lot

of technical information.’



Questions surrounding the IMF’s more controversial transactions often

cause its top officials to back off from public statements, fearing that

they will become enmeshed in political bickering. ’What the IMF has to

understand is that in today’s world, a major international organization

has to explain itself to the public,’ Vogl explained.



In the past, IMF’s external affairs minions had economics or finance

backgrounds, but the department is now staffed with full-fledged

communications pros. However, the institution’s hierarchical

organization often prevents it from attracting the top PR minds.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in