Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Communitas]]> vol. 25 num. lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Star stories: using indigenous knowledge for stakeholder engagement</b>]]> Radio astronomy projects require large open spaces with minimal radio frequency interference, light and air pollution. Often, indigenous minorities such as the San in South Africa and the Wajarri Aboriginal peoples in Western Australia live on this land or have cultural rights to the land. Communication and engagement challenges with these stakeholders include language, culture, cultural heritage and stakeholder expectations. This study shows how the Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKA SA) used the narratives and indigenous knowledge of astronomy of the San peoples of South Africa to facilitate some stakeholder engagement. These narratives were originally documented by Bleek and Lloyd (1911). Different versions of these narratives are still being told in the Central Karoo region of South Africa by the descendants of the San people. The key finding was that narratives are an effective method of creating a communication and engagement platform and for fostering collaboration, particularly for astronomy projects where the establishment of common ground among stakeholders could be challenging. The study concluded that it is important for astronomy projects and science communication to invest in indigenous knowledge systems and to preserve and recover cultural heritage as far as possible for the benefit of future research. In this way, beneficial stakeholder collaboration can be facilitated and progress can be made towards the achievement of global sustainability goals. <![CDATA[<b>The use of traditional folk media to convey diabetes mellitus messages at public health care services</b>]]> Diabetes awareness amongst indigenous language groups needs to be presented in a culturally sensitive manner. This study presents the use of traditional folk media to convey diabetes messages to adults attending public health care services in a sub-district in the Free State province of South Africa. A quasi-experimental pre-test post-test design was employed and random sampling of public health care services (n=26) was done in order to sample three services for control/experimental sites respectively. Conveniently selected participants (n=183) underwent pre and 4-week post-testing using questionnaires. Experimental group participants received six key diabetes messages conveyed via storytelling (n=2), poetry (n=2), and song/ dance (n=2). The profile of participants in both groups was similar. Responses to messages from pre-test to 4-week post within the experimental group for storytelling, poetry, song and dance were statistically significant. Comparing the experimental and control group change from pre-test to 4-week post, statistically significant differences were found for one message using storytelling and another using poetry. The authors conclude that traditional folk media can be used to raise diabetes awareness among indigenous language groups. <![CDATA[<b>Communicative decisionmaking in the relationship between corporate donors and NGO recipients</b>]]> As the competition for corporate funds donated to NGOs increases, the need to know corporates' communicative decision-making processes, leading to who they fund and why, as well as how their decisions are communicated to recipients, increases. The main aim of this study was to investigate the communicative decision-making process that takes place in the relationship between corporate donors and non-governmental organisation (NGO) recipients in South Africa. The study used the qualitative strategy of enquiry and identified eight corporate social responsibility managers and eight corporate organisations as participants. Data were analysed by means of both non-automated and automated thematic analysis, for which the software programme Leximancer was used. Concept maps indicated that "reputation", "legal considerations", "relationship" and "stewardship" influence a corporate's decision-making regarding which NGOs to fund. Results also indicate that corporate organisations fund according to a donor strategy, which determines the criteria for funding. The decision-making process is furthermore followed through decision-making structures established specifically for this purpose. Evidence was also found that regular two-way communication with recipients forms an integral part of decision-making processes. <![CDATA[<b>Volunteer-based online information services to invisible users in underserved contexts</b>]]> This article proposes a conceptual model where the consumer of an information service is invisible to the service provider when using an online platform. The volume of information is increasing at an alarming rate and with the trend towards self-management of one's own health it is possible for people to seek information relevant to their needs. Without understanding the situation that causes the information need and how the information user as a cognitive actor makes sense of this need, the process of seeking information and how value is created towards an information goal, the provision of relevant quality information remains complex. An added complexity is the use of online platforms to facilitate the information service where users now interact with technology, information and humans through the platform. An existing online service provider, typical of a volunteer-based organisation in an underserved context, is used as the case. The article presents how the service provider uses the data generated by the system to understand the invisible user. The proposed conceptual model is derived from related literature and is used to present the empirical case. <![CDATA[<b>Improving brand linkage effectiveness: customer ratings</b>]]> In the brand linkage literature, assessing consumers' brand ratings is an important area. Despite this, there has been comparatively little research executed to analyse the pre and post brand linkage experience of customers from an African perspective. The study offers practical guidance for improving brand linkage effectiveness - and the competitive advantage for brand assessment strategy - in an increasingly complex world. Pretest-posttest control group experiment design was employed to examine the impact of host brand on invited brand and vice versa using a card scoring method. The four groups had an effect on brand linkage ratings, and the partner brands were significant to changes in ratings, confirming brand linkage as a viable strategy for partner brands. <![CDATA[<b>Fictional spokes-characters in brand advertisements and communication: a consumer's perspective</b>]]> Fictional spokes-characters in promotion and marketing communication are becoming more popular with brands. This study examined the impact spokes-characters have on the brands they endorse. Celebrities have been used as endorsers since the late nineteenth century and marketers have established that they are one of the most effective methods of advertising. The popularity of celebrity endorsements springs from the numerous benefits that companies experience by employing them. The contribution of this study is in addressing an area in marketing that looks at consumer perceptions of spokes-characters, how these consumer views influence their perceptions of advertisements and brands that use spokes-characters, and ultimately the influence on purchase intention. The study surveyed 260 consumers in the Braamfontein business district of Johannesburg, South Africa. The study found that consumers are in favour of spokes-characters and advertisements that use spokes-characters. Moreover, the researchers concluded that only a spokes-character's attractiveness and expertise influence attitudes toward the advertisement and a spokes-character's trust influences attitudes toward the brand. In addition, the study found that individually, both attitude variables have a positive effect on purchase; however, the relationship between the attitude towards the advertisement and the attitude towards the brand tended to be stronger. <![CDATA[<b>The 'currency' of cultivating a green brand: representation practices for green branding and green washing in print magazine advertising in South Africa</b>]]> Consumer brands are prioritising pro-environmental reputations in response to growing consumer concern. So-called green consumers are being targeted with buzzwords including sustainability, biodegradability, recycling and upcycling. Print advertising in South African media reflects this trend. This study mobilises a discursive taxonomy to examine particular dimensions of such advertising. The study interprets the findings thus extrapolated by suggesting a distinction between two types of green advertising: green branding and green washing in South African print media. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring heterosexual responses to lesbian and gay-themed advertisements in South Africa</b>]]> There has been an increase in lesbian and gay-themed advertisements in mainstream media in South Africa. This suggests that brands are starting to acknowledge LGBTQ consumers as an important consumer market needing representation in advertisements. However, to date little empirical research has examined the response of heterosexual consumers to lesbian and gay-themed advertisements. Therefore, this study examined the impact of tolerance of homosexuality on attitudes towards lesbian and gay-themed advertisements and brands. The findings revealed that participants with a high tolerance towards homosexuality have more positive attitudes towards advertisements and brands. The attitudes towards the advertisements have a significant positive influence on the attitude towards the brand. In addition, the study revealed that heterosexual men exposed to lesbian and gay-themed advertisements tend to have negative attitudes towards advertisements compared to heterosexual women. Managerial implications are discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Gendered myths, risks and the social amplification of male rape: online discourses</b>]]> Male rape remains largely obscure in communication discourses; on rare occasions it suffers juxtaposition against its much-publicised counterpart, female rape. Yet victims of male rape too suffer various physical, sexual, emotional and mental health risks, as well as lack of much-needed support systems. In general, social networking sites (SNSs) have provided a democratic space to facilitate discourses about risky problems, enabling polarised discussions and perspectives towards matters, such as male rape, where few such platforms previously existed. This article explores online discourses about male rape. A netnography approach was used to analyse over 122 tweets. The results indicate that male rape is trivialised through the oversimplification of its definition and the downplaying of victims' experiences. In discourses, prevailing gendered online conversations centred on and amplified female rape, barely acknowledging the trauma and suffering of male rape victims. Of note were some voices calling for more awareness about male rape and calls to stop gendered norms from deterring survivors from sharing experiences. The findings underscore the argument that although conversations highlighting male rape continue to be suppressed in societies, SNSs have the potential to be used as instruments of awareness and support for victims. <![CDATA[<b>A study of young people's use of social media for social capital in Mthatha, Eastern Cape</b>]]> The concept of social capital is gaining popularity in a context where young people are facing increasing social and economic challenges. In the same vein, social media use by this group has become pervasive. This study seeks to understand whether these social technologies now provide new opportunities for the youth in semi-rural areas to access social capital, especially since social capital is a necessity for personal and social development. A mixed-methods research design was used in this study with 331 questionnaires distributed to students in high schools and two tertiary institutions in Mthatha in South Africa's Eastern Cape province. Focus groups were conducted with the same target group. The results show that social media tools are embedded in the everyday lives of young people and that these tools are an important source of social capital. They are not being used only for dating and play, but for other everyday tasks such as learning and helping others, and are a source of personal benefits.The study concludes that social media applications are an important resource for social capital and that it is important to make policy reconsiderations to ensure inclusive youth development. <![CDATA[<b>Predictors of e-marketing adoption by Zimbabwean churches</b>]]> Electronic marketing has transformed marketing practices. However, the acceptance of e-marketing applications and principles in churches has been moderate. This study examined the predictors of e-marketing adoption among Zimbabwean churches. The study was quantitative in nature, and a positivist orientation was adopted. Two hundred and fifty self-administered questionnaires were distributed to clergymen from various churches in Zimbabwe. Structural equation modelling using Smart PLS software was employed during the data analysis phase. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were manipulated in this study. The results indicate that marketing orientation, marketing innovation, church youth marketing, competitive intensity, and dynamic marketing capabilities have a significant influence on e-marketing orientation among Zimbabwean churches. Lastly, e-marketing orientation spurs an increase in religiosity and spirituality of church members. <![CDATA[<b>Fake news, alternative facts, fiction, faction -contesting the 'true' story</b>]]> Relating the phenomenon to the South African context, this article investigates current debates about fake news -especially American (US) insights that covered the rise of Donald Trump. In taking this route, the article provides an exploratory overview of current debates on fake news and the variations that have emerged in South Africa. The article does not aim to provide a detailed content analysis of fake or spoof websites. Rather, the aim is to draw from insights that have emerged from the international debates, and use what is relevant to understand a very specific set of socio-political circumstances. Within this framework, and in the aftermath of misinformation scandals such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the ANC War Room and the Bell-Pottinger smear campaign, the question that is asked is what implications the current debates on fake news have for South Africa. How do we understand these insights in the context of histories of conflict and high inequality? The article concludes that the prominence of fake news could serve to demonstrate mainstream media's service to a particular ideological position at the expense of others in transitional societies with multiple viewpoints.