Tag: communications

Davos is here again, so it’s time for Oxfam’s new report – here’s what it says

First of two posts to mark the start of Davos. Tomorrow Max Lawson digs into the links between inequality and public services. How do you follow a series of Killer Facts that have really got people’s attention? Every year the world’s political and economic leaders gather in Davos, and in recent years, Oxfam has done […]

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Why we finally need to face up to information fatigue in 2019 (and 3 ways to do it)

Guest post by Caroline Cassidy, a freelance communications specialist and associate for ODI and On Think Tanks 2018 was an intense year. On a personal level, I moved countries and became freelance, so that probably has a lot to do with it. But I don’t think it was simply that. Recently, every year seems to […]

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When to write in DevSpeak; when to use Plain Language? More handy tips.

Andrew Johnston of Words for Change felt moved to respond to Friday’s post on the use of plain language in development comms. He argues that writers have to be able to write for multiple audiences simultaneously, which reminds me of Disney films’ amazing ability to combine a simple narrative to entertain the kids with enough […]

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Just to be clear: why Devspeak needs to adopt Plain Language

Following the recent FP2P discussion on devspeak, Kate Murphy of Translators Without Borders got in touch and said she needed to vent. Be my guest. If the aid sector is to communicate more effectively, we must do more than tame the rampant devspeak that Duncan highlighted in his recent blog. Instead we should focus on […]

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How can Activists get better at harnessing Narratives for social change?

Working in a global organization like Oxfam means spending a lot of time on conference calls, with colleagues scattered across the globe. They can be frustrating – dodgy connections, people fading in and out, speaking too fast, or forgetting to put their phones on mute (especially if they are nipping in to the restroom – […]

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11 Tips for Better Blogging

I’ve run several blogging workshops in recent weeks, with seasoned campaigners at Global Witness, Oxfam Novib’s youth wing, and academic bloggers at the Institute for Social Studies in The Hague. All three sessions followed a similar format, developed for a Unicef session I ran last year – a half hour intro from me, and then […]

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Aidspeak: some of your best/worst responses to my call for examples

I’m on holiday for the first week of 2018, trying to see the Northern Lights in Norway. In the meantime, here are the most-read posts from 2017, in reverse order starting with number 5. Here’s the original if you want to read the comments Well you took a few hours to get started in response […]

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Aidspeak: some of your best/worst responses to my call for examples

Well you took a few hours to get started in response to Tuesday’s post, but then the floodgates opened and an avalanche of bullshit crashed over me via blog comments and tweets (and yes, mixed metaphors were discussed). Cheers guys. Within the aid business, a few patterns appear: Management obfuscation which sheds almost no light […]

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Are top academic and aid institutions getting away with bad writing?

Guest post from the ODI’s Caroline Cassidy I almost choked on my porridge last week when I read about the World Bank’s chief economist Paul Romer being sidelined for wanting his team to communicate more clearly. I re-read the article to check I wasn’t missing something, but there it was: Romer had pushed his staff […]

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How can a top development thinktank improve its communications?

Well it feels like the world just ended, but thought I’d post this anyway. Life goes on and all that. The title to this post was my exam question for a recent discussion with the comms team at ODI. My initial reaction was ‘you’re top of the heap already, relax’, but then I got to […]

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The Joy of Blogs (and Tweets): Why Academics should take Social Media seriously

This is an edited version of a piece I wrote for the LSE International Development Blog Before I started teaching at LSE in January, I had the impression that the academics and researchers around the school were totally social media savvy – prolific tweeters like Charlie Beckett and top blogs like LSE Impact are high […]

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So you’ve written the research report: what else do you need to do to ensure people actually read it?

Remember the old days when you wrote a report, published it (perhaps with some kind of executive summary), did a couple of seminars and then declared victory and moved on? Social media have changed that game almost beyond recognition: to maximize impact, any new report more closely resembles a set of Russian dolls, with multiple […]

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