The remarkable transformations of communications in the not-for-profit sector can be traced back to two global developments: the 2008 financial crisis and the emergence of digital technologies. A personal reflection on the transformation of a profession.
I wasn’t sure if it was the heat, the dust or the failing air conditioning of our steaming Kandahar office in Afghanistan that impeded meaningful exchanges, but even after 30 minutes of trying to get our otherwise very competent office director to outline the strategic priorities for the next few months, I was none the wiser. It was 2009 and the bloody armed conflict in the southern Afghan city had long become the biggest news story in the world. As the incoming head of communications, I was eager to articulate a strategy positioning the International Committee of the Red Cross as a neutral, independent and strictly humanitarian actor (and therefore not worthy of being attacked by trigger happy gunmen).