Event Title

Forgotten Promises, Stunning Disparities: The Humanitarian Failures and Media Successes of the 2010 Haitian Earthquake

Date

April 2022

Location

Schewel 232

Description

In order for humanitarian and developmental aid to be both effective and ethical, nonprofit advertising must be highly impactful and match the quality of aid being distributed. There has been a discrepancy between nonprofit advertising and services being provided. For example, the 2010 Haitian Earthquake was one of the greatest tragedies of the 21st century, but the following fundraising efforts were an incredible example of the power of effective humanitarian storytelling and marketing. According to NPR, The Red Cross alone raised utilized marketing opportunities such as the Super Bowl and the influence of celebrities and Michelle Obama to raise around $500 million dollars, about half of what Haiti’s national budget was at the time, pledging to spend the money on emergency relief aid and “rebuilding neighborhoods and rebuilding lives.” This was an incredible success for nonprofit marketing, but the actual aid distributed did not match the success and promises of the advertising. The Red Cross’s marketing was unethical because it misled both donors and Haitians and supported a system not well equipped for long-term developmental aid. This kind of mistake should never happen again.

Presentation Type

Flash Talk

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Forgotten Promises, Stunning Disparities: The Humanitarian Failures and Media Successes of the 2010 Haitian Earthquake

Schewel 232

In order for humanitarian and developmental aid to be both effective and ethical, nonprofit advertising must be highly impactful and match the quality of aid being distributed. There has been a discrepancy between nonprofit advertising and services being provided. For example, the 2010 Haitian Earthquake was one of the greatest tragedies of the 21st century, but the following fundraising efforts were an incredible example of the power of effective humanitarian storytelling and marketing. According to NPR, The Red Cross alone raised utilized marketing opportunities such as the Super Bowl and the influence of celebrities and Michelle Obama to raise around $500 million dollars, about half of what Haiti’s national budget was at the time, pledging to spend the money on emergency relief aid and “rebuilding neighborhoods and rebuilding lives.” This was an incredible success for nonprofit marketing, but the actual aid distributed did not match the success and promises of the advertising. The Red Cross’s marketing was unethical because it misled both donors and Haitians and supported a system not well equipped for long-term developmental aid. This kind of mistake should never happen again.