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Clarity now avoids trouble later

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

NZ’s Red Cross is being asked why it has given out only $4m of $21m donated by the public for devastating February floods. 

Secretary General Sarah Stuart-Black says the organisation is taking time to give money where there are gaps and unmet needs.

That is fair enough, but it is not what donors thought they heard Red Cross say at the time.

Secretary General Stuart-Black told NewstalkZB’s Kerre Woodham that “one of the benefits with this fund is that we’re able to look at some of those immediate needs, but…

People are more likely to hear what they want or expect to hear. The public heard the first half of her sentence but not the second half.

To counter the heavy expectation of immediate payouts, she needed to REVERSE the order of explanation. Her answer should have been “This fund will be used over the rest of this year to help families recover, although some will be available to meet gaps in urgent needs right now.”

You can fund our deeper analysis of this communication mismatch on LinkedIN

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