Monday, January 26, 2009

Campaigns Class Assignment

Over the weekend, I was responsible for compiling the class responses (for my Campaigns class) to a very difficult question – what is a better word for “poverty”?

One of our clients' main goals is to come up with a better word for “poverty,” because they think it has the negative connotation of people who essentially should be blamed for their own bad situation in life.   The reality is that many of these people come from generations of poverty, and it’s really one big cycle that’s very hard to climb out of. 
*Click here for more details about our campaign.

My first reaction to this assignment was that no matter what word we come up with to replace poverty, it’s going to mean the same thing. Almost any synonym you can come up with has a negative stigma attached to it (I have a list of 53 from every online thesaurus possible).  I (and the majority of my classmates, according to everyone’s assignments) thought it would be a better approach to educate people about the true meaning of poverty.   As many students pointed out, it’s more effective (especially with kids in our generation) to be up-front about poverty rather than dance around the term and try to google euphemisms for it.

However, when we brought this up in class our professor told us we needed to respect what our clients want, which is a synonym for poverty with a better connotation. Our class is facing a difficult situation – where do you draw the line between what you personally think is best and what your client wants? Even though more than half of our class proposed an educational campaign to inform people about poverty, do we throw those ideas away because they go against our client’s wishes? Can we pitch these ideas to our clients, or would that offend them since they’re more familiar with the cause and clearly know what is best? Check back, I’ll keep updating on how our campaign is going.

1 comment:

  1. This situation is not uncommon, at least in agency life. All you can do is make recommendations, then do what the client asks.