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
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
’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.