Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Communitas]]> vol. 26 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>A framework for integrating social media brand communication in non-profit organisations</b>]]> As competition creates infinite choices, companies look for ways to connect emotionally with customers, become irreplaceable, and create enduring relationships. The continuous search for ways to establish emotional connections and create strong corporate brands could be achieved by the ability to integrate various online and offline communication tools. Given the wide range of communication tools available to connect with stakeholders, organisations must consider ways to combine these in the best possible ways since traditional media will not become obsolete. This article is based on the findings of a quantitative study that identified three broad foundational elements and unique features of a framework to achieve the integration of social media brand communication. The elements and features were empirically tested and verified. Results supported the correlation and a strong positive linear association between the elements confirmed the internal reliability between the sets of features, and indicated strong statistical justification of the combination of the features in the respective elements. By adopting an interdisciplinary focus on the corporate brand, social media, and Integrated Communication (IC), the article proposes a framework whereby the integration of social media brand communication could be attained; thus, promoting a strong corporate brand. The framework incorporates distinct strategic and tactical points at which the coordination of social media brand communication may occur. <![CDATA[<b>A proposed media channel framework for integrated brand communication planning</b>]]> Integrated brand communication depends on the development of a fully integrated media channel plan and ultimately, the implementation of a seamless consumer media contact journey in order for brand communication to be effective. The development of an omni-media channel strategy is guided by a media planning framework. A review of literature revealed a continued emphasis of traditional mass media channels and at best, references to new media channel perspectives. The study of literature was unable to uncover an integrated media channel framework in the public domain. In addition, media agency planning frameworks tend to be held confidential. An exploration of the perspectives and frameworks of media planning to achieve integrated brand communication was undertaken by conducting in-depth interviews with eight senior media channel planners from global leading media agencies identified through the Forrester Institute Report. The qualitative study delivered key strategic principles to develop an integrated media channel plan and a seamless consumer media contact experience, based on which an integrative media channel planning framework is put forward for industry and academe to consider, assess and test through application and further research. <![CDATA[<b>The development of a brand perception instrument for South African youth</b>]]> South African youth are a diverse, multicultural heterogeneous cohort differentiated racially, spatially, digitally and socio-economically. This study aimed to develop a quantitative instrument to measure the brand perceptions of 18 to 24-year-old South African consumers communicated on Facebook. Young adults base their perceptions of brands on their touchpoints and other consumer experiences. Therefore, brands need to have a reliable means of measuring the brand perceptions of young adult consumers to avoid negative earned media and reputational damage. Ten factors that explained 62.812% of total variance were extracted after exploratory factor analysis. These factors are brand fan behaviour, shared brand-related content, value brand influencers, corporate social responsiveness, user-generated content, brand-related content, familial influencers, premium brand influencers, communication expectations and recommending behaviour. Key findings indicate that measuring brand fan behaviour or interactions with brand advocates is critical to building positive perceptions and relationships with 18 to 24-year-old consumers on Facebook. Second, the shared brand-related content factor highlights the critical role brand experiences and customer opinion play on Facebook when shaping the perceptions about brands for young adults via positive and negative earned media. <![CDATA[<b>Tricky two-some: the interplay between radio personalities' personal online identities and online personal brands</b>]]> Radio stations encourage their presenters to utilise social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to create awareness of the station's brand, promote their shows, interact with listeners, and build their professional brands. The question is: how does this affect their engagement with social media when they are not on air? This study explored the interplay of radio personalities' personal online identity and online personal brand. A qualitative strategy was chosen to help navigate the investigatory efforts to explore the ways in which radio presenters exist online. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten radio presenters at a South African commercial radio station. A number of challenges were identified that radio presenters encounter when they attempt to manage their online personas. A lack of training in social media communication and a lack of knowledge about the basic principles of personal branding are some of the challenges. Recommendations are made to radio presenters as well as their employers to simplify this complex issue of managing the interplay between personal identity and personal branding in creating a branded identity (as opposed to a brand identity). <![CDATA[<b>The role of participatory development communication in social cohesion: the case of Masibumbane listeners' club</b>]]> This article responds to the primary research question, "What contributions do radio listeners' clubs make to social cohesion in local communities?". It responds to this question by demonstrating the relationship between participatory development communication and social cohesion amongst Khwezi community radio station's active listeners. The article draws on literature in conceptualising social cohesion and data from in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with members of the Masibumbane listeners' club, an informal association encompassing Khwezi's active audience in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Through outlining the characteristics of social cohesion encompassing social capital, inclusion and shared values, the study shows the critical formation of participatory spaces of engagement from radio listenership expanding to reciprocal gains in social capital and inclusion for members. The data further depicts the value of socially cohesive groups in contributing to improved quality of life for community members, although at a small scale. However, it also highlights the challenges with maintaining cohesiveness and reaping more comprehensive societal benefits from micro-community social cohesion. Finally, the article recommends further examination of the value of social cohesion in improving community livelihoods beyond the micro-relational gains shown in the study. <![CDATA[<b>Covid-19 information gaps among disadvantaged communities: the case of the deaf and limited english proficiency communities in Zimbabwe</b>]]> Worldwide public health authorities are taking action to contain Covid-19. While the bulk of research on the pandemic focuses on understanding the spread and seeking a cure for the virus from a virology perspective, research of the same magnitude should also focus on the risks of the pandemic for society, particularly among disadvantaged groups. This study adopted a community-centred approach to information and health rights and utilised the case study approach to investigate the quality and access to Covid-19 information, care and treatment by the Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and the Deaf communities in Zimbabwe. More than 60% of Covid-19 messages communicated in Zimbabwe's mainstream media do not cater for the needs of these disadvantaged groups. Brochures, videos and infographics, for instance, appear in English, yet there is a significant LEP population in Zimbabwe. As regards the Deaf community, videos, conversations and interviews with health specialists, which rarely appear in mainstream public media, include Zimbabwean Sign Language interpretation. In this case, the choice of language and medium used to communicate vital Covid-19 messages in mainstream public media may pose language barriers to effective and equitable health information for these vulnerable groups. What this reality hints at is that public communication that does not discriminate is a necessity to allow all members of the community to fight the spread of Covid-19 and hence, reduce its potential risks. <![CDATA[<b>Facilitating inclusive citizenry engagement in a provincial government</b>]]> The study provides a narrative exploration of the contribution and accentuated value of strategic communication management (SCM) in facilitating and fostering inclusive citizenry engagement through bottom-up constructed governance initiatives and citizenry-oriented sustainability programmes, using the North-West Province of South Africa as the research context. The study ponders on how a provincial sphere of government, as empowered by the national sphere, uses strategic communication to identify and address citizenry needs, interests and expectations from a participatory perspective. The objective was to determine the extent to which SCM enables purposeful and deliberate bottom-up centred public participation opportunities for inclusive citizenry engagement to be realised. Qualitative focus group and semi-structured interviews enabled the study to interrogate and advance how strategic communication can be positioned to attain, promote and encourage ongoing engagement opportunities that are poised as more inclusive and that are premised on the idea of co-governance and citizenry-grounded sustainability programmes. The study found that provincial government communication was simply operational in nature, and more often, performed and facilitated without a strategic purpose nor deliberate intention by hemispheric and less-skilled communicators with little regard for communication management theory. Consequently, little evidence exists on how citizenry interests are identified and addressed to encourage the necessary responsive actions by ordinary citizens. <![CDATA[<b>The Fourth Industrial Revolution, loyalty intentions and the mediating roles of reputation and pre-visit experiences for the Vilakazi Street precinct in Soweto</b>]]> The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies on tourist destinations' reputation and pre-visit experiences and how these can affect loyalty intentions is receiving attention from academics and management practitioners. However, not much attention is given to the impact of these technologies, reputation, and pre-visit experiences on loyalty intentions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the direct effects of 4IR, Vilakazi Street precinct reputation, and customers' pre-visit experience on customers' loyalty intentions (LOYALT). It also investigates the mediating effect of reputation and pre-visit experience on the 4IR-LOYALT relationship. The study followed the quantitative approach, using the primary data collected from tourists (N=235) who visited the Vilakazi Street precinct between October and November 2019. Smart PLS SEM approach was used to analyse the data. The study confirmed positive direct relationships between 4IR, REPUT, and PREVISIT on loyalty intentions. In addition, reputation and customers' pre-visit experiences were also shown to mediate the relationship between the 4IR and loyalty intentions positively. The study provides a framework using constructs embedded in TAM and TPB theories, which extends the applications of these theories. The framework provides an additional tool for further investigations of the way to improve chances of predicting tourists' responses to innovations, and it can also be used to explain the adoption of technology in different industries. The study outcomes will assist in technology strategy decisions and resources deployment. Policy-makers also stand to benefit by gaining a clear understanding of how technology and industry interact. <![CDATA[<b>The cultural diversity preparedness of public relations students for the public relations industry</b>]]> Public relations practitioners (PRPs) operate in a globalised and multicultural environment and have the responsibility to engage with diverse audiences. As such, cultural diversity knowledge has become a crucial component of success in the public relations (PR) industry. PRPs should typically understand various cultures and the implications of cultural differences on industry practice. However, what is not clear is the extent to which tertiary institutions equip PR students with cultural diversity knowledge to meet industry needs and help practitioners thrive in the workplace. This article explores to what extent PR students are equipped with cultural diversity knowledge. The research examined the structure of the PR programme at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) to assess the level of cultural diversity. This was achieved through face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions with students and lecturers as well as a review of the curriculum. The findings reveal that PR students at the CPUT have significant theoretical knowledge of PR systems and cultural diversity. However, they lack the practical know-how to apply this in the professional environment. <![CDATA[<b>The role of work-integrated learning in preparing journalism students for the workplace</b>]]> Over a broad spectrum, South African employers complain about the workplace readiness of newly graduated tertiary students. It is against this background that this article explores the role of work-integrated learning (WIL) in preparing tertiary journalism students for a work environment. Over the years, internship programmes in academic journalism training have proved to be the most efficient way to prepare students for the workplace. At the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa, a six month work-integrated learning module, in which the media and communication industry were directly involved, proved crucial for the success of the journalism training programmes and was widely accepted and welcomed by employers and industry mentors. This article investigates the importance of preparation for WIL in the field of journalism. It further examines how undergraduate journalism students perceive the WIL programme and how they work towards rendering themselves employable in the media industry. The findings indicate that a combination of theory and practical training is important in journalism education to produce graduates who are work ready. <![CDATA[<b>From alienation to place-making: overcoming creation anxiety in journalism students through blended learning</b>]]> In this article, journalism students' interaction with layout and page design software (specifically Adobe InDesign) is explored. It is an explorative inquiry into a practical research problem encountered by the author at a university of technology in South Africa. Initial observations revealed that students encountered significant challenges in performing basic layout tasks using layout software. To address this issue, a qualitative research approach was used to investigate how page layout could be taught to facilitate better comprehension of subject material. The theoretical basis of the study rests on two main postulations. Firstly, when students are confronted with new computer technologies, they find themselves in a liminal space characterised by uncertainty. Secondly, it is in this space that their uncertainty to perform basic newspaper layout techniques is manifested as creation anxiety. A questionnaire was distributed to students that informed the action research phase. Blended learning was implemented through two primary interventions namely e-learning content and video tutorials. The impact of these interventions was measured through the assessment of student work and interviews. It was found that blended learning improved students' understanding and practical application of subject material and facilitated in mediating their creation anxiety. <![CDATA[<b>Legitimisation of banking transparency in the institutional field discourse in South Africa</b>]]> This article examines organisational transparency discourse in South African banking from 2008 to 2018. The financial crisis of 2008-2009 upset the global economy and resulted in general mistrust of banks and the global financial system. In addition to poor governance standards, inadequate transparency was identified as a key issue to be addressed in order to prevent future crises. The nature and consequences of banking transparency became a matter of worldwide debate and brought changes in banking regulation. While the extant literature focuses mainly on banking transparency in the context of accounting, this study examines transparency as a dynamic social and organisational phenomenon that is constituted through and reflected in organisational discourse, with both symbolic and practical implications. The study entails the analysis of 76 documents generated by the key actors in the institutional field of banking during the period from 2008 to 2018 in South Africa. The data analysis identifies two main discursive strands: one focused on market conduct transparency, and the other, which addresses the importance of banks' transparency in maintaining stability in the financial system.