COMMUNICATING DEVELOPMENT: EXAMINING THE TENSIONS BETWEEN EFFECTIVENESS AND ETHICS IN THE MARKETING STRATEGIES OF CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT NGOS
Over the last two decades, development scholars and communication practitioners have become increasingly aware of the relevance of communications in marketing development issues, as well as the influence these approaches hold over public awareness and engagement. By turning to for- profit marketing principles, non-profits seek not only to increase revenue and influence public action, but to leverage their brands and influence. In looking to the nature and diversity of NGO marketing strategies, as well as the debates that frame current marketing and development literature, this thesis examines if and how NGO communications can influence the public’s engagement with international development issues in ways that are both ethical and effective. This thesis argues that the principles of effective communications often conflict with the principles of ethical communication; however, there is very little recognition or acknowledgement of these tensions among practitioners, something which must change moving forward.