One of the first lessons I learned while working in philanthropy is that the sector, and the institutions that are part of it, don't have problems; admitting so would pierce the veneer of perfection. We have "challenges" to overcome, not stuff that needs fixing.
The problem [or challenge] with looking at our problems as challenges rather than problems is how we shape what we do to get rid of them. Challenges seem daunting and perhaps even a little bit ambiguous, and coming up with strategies to address them can seem bigger than possible; if I'm facing the challenge of my house leaking rainwater it's certainly an option to try and change weather patterns; or I could fix the leaks, one at a time.
Perhaps it's all semantics, but it seems breaking things down into problems helps us build straighter lines to solving them. Today's communications landscape is complex, and we need to simplify the way we shape our communications strategies if we want to see tangible outcomes.
So we have the challenge that our perspective on a particular issue isn't being heard or is being drowned out by the other side. Our problem may be that the most influential journalists or academics don't know we exist. Let's come up with a way to fix that. That might not sound like strategic, or high impact, communications, but it's a straighter line than coming up with a grand strategy and an ambiguous metric purporting to show how far we've pushed our view into the public consciousness.
Let's take our challenges and chop them into bite-sized problems we can fix. It may make it easier to demonstrate success, and just make our lives a little easier as well.