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Koers

On-line version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.74 n.1-2 Pretoria  2009

 

COMMUNICATION

 

A critique of social marketing in the non-profit development sector

 

'n Kritiese beskouing van die sosiale bemarking in die nie-winsgewende sektor

 

 

L.M. Fourie; J.D. Froneman

School of Communication Studies, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, Potchefstroom, E-mail: Lynnette.Fourie@nwu.ac.zaJD, Froneman@nwu.ac.za

 

 


ABSTRACT

In its struggle to find funding, non-profit organisations world-wide are increasingly using social marketing strategies. This approach potentially influences non governmental organisations (NGOs) and community based organisations (CBOs) in their communication with their "clients", i.e. those persons and communities in need of development. Marketing strategies consequently become instruments in achieving social development, with as main premise that behaviour could be changed by means of persuasive, top-down communication.
Social marketing, with its roots in marketing, has a strong focus on persuasion and favours top-down communication rather than dialogical communication strategies suggested by the participatory development communication approach. It is also questionable whether social marketing can be equated with the principles of a Biblically informed approach to communication. With these questions in mind, this article discusses Biblical views on communication and the participatory development communication approach. A critique of the social marketing approach is then offered.
It is argued here that there is no clear-cut answer as to whether social marketing could be described as participatory. What is clear is that there are many different views on social marketing, as is the case with participatory approaches. It would thus seem more correct to place social marketing on a participation continuum, rather than to define it as being participatory and thus per definition ethical or not. Finally, a number of suggestions are made which could bring it more in line with the participatory communication approach as well as Biblical principles on communication.

Key concepts: Biblical principles of communication; development communication; non-profit sector; participatory approach; social marketing


OPSOMMING

Nie-winsgewende organisasies (NWOs) gebruik toenemend sosiale bemarkingstrategieë in hulle soeke na fondse. Hierdie benadering kan potensieel ook nie-regeringsorganisasies (NROs) se gemeenskapsgebaseerde organisasies (GBOs) se kommunikasie met hulle "kliënte" (persone en gemeenskappe wat ontwikkeling nodig het) beïnvloed. Die gevolg is dat be-markingstrategieë 'n instrument vir sosiale verandering word. Die hoofaanname wat gemaak word, is dat gedrag verander kan word deur middel van oorredende eenrigtingkommunikasie.
Sosiale bemarking, met sy wortels in bemarking, het 'n sterk fokus op oorreding en gee voorkeur aan eenrigtingkom-munikasie, eerder as dialogiese kommunikasiestrategieë soos deur die deelnemende benadering tot ontwikkelingskom-munikasie voorgestaan word. Dit kan ook bevraagteken word of sosiale bemarking voldoen aan die riglyne van Bybels-gefundeerde kommunikasie. Teen die agtergrond van hierdie vrae word Bybelse perspektiewe op kommunikasie en die deelnemende benadering tot ontwikkelingskommunikasie in hierdie artikel bespreek. Daarna word kritiek gelewer op sosiale bemarking as kommunikasiebenadering.
Daar word geargumenteer dat 'n klinkklare antwoord op die vraag of sosiale bemarking as deelnemend beskryf kan word, nie gegee kan word nie. Wat egter duidelik is, is dat daar 'n verskeidenheid standpunte is oor wat sosiale bemarking presies is, soos ook in die geval van die deelnemende benadering. Dit blyk dus meer korrek te wees om sosiale bemarking op 'n kontinuum van deelname te plaas, eerder as om dit te probeer definieer as deelnemend (en eties) al dan nie. In die laaste instansie word voorstelle gemaak wat sosiale bemarking meer deelnemend sal maak en derhalwe ook meer in ooreenstemming met Bybelse riglyne vir kommunikasie.

Kernbegrippe: Bybelse perspektiewe op kommunikasie; deelnemende benadering; nie-winsgewende sektor; ontwikkelingskommunikasie; sosiale bemarking


 

 

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