In this issue of Communicare, the focus falls on content and how issues regarding content may be addressed. Perhaps this is not surprising - given that brands and companies everywhere are in the midst of an historic transformation - one that centres on content. Content is information and experiences that provide value to an end-user/audience in specific contexts. Corporate communicators are increasingly realising that if business delivers consistent, ongoing and valuable information to buyers, stakeholders will reward them with their support and loyalty. However, this edition of Communicare seeks to examine both beneficial and detrimental aspects of content, whether these be in relation to the span of communicated ideas or the absence or prevalence of desired or unsought content.
Since the establishment of ISO 26000, which is the international standard for social responsibility, companies around the world have increased their focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and on how their actions, products and services affect society. CSR is often seen as an extension of corporate communication but it is not always practised as such, and where it is, it may not always be practised according to the principles inherent in the standard. The objective of this study was to identify the span of the communicated ideas - the range of predominant beliefs - on the labour dimension of CSR in Peru. Q-methodology was used to identify four dominant perceptions on the topic. A significant finding of the study was that while there was consensus on the need to address specific issues of Peruvian labour, CSR, particularly CSR as an instrument of corporate communication, was not held up as the vehicle with which to do so.
Nyamnjoh (2005:1) argues that "... the media ... can, in principle, facilitate popular empowerment as a societal project". The problem is that the news media do not seem to be doing this for young people in South Africa. This paper provides an analysis of selected news media and their representation of young people through coverage of the education sector in South Africa. The aim is to examine whether the media are fulfilling two key functions in their role as facilitators of popular empowerment in the public sphere: Do they provide citizens with the information they require to engage in issues that affect them (such as education), and secondly, do the media provide a space for citizens to voice their concerns and debates about those issues? A content analysis of print and online media provides an overview of the kind of coverage young people are exposed in reports on education. On the strength of the evidence thus acquired, this paper argues that the news media are failing to enable young people to be active citizens because they do not provide information that engages the youth in respect of education coverage and, when they do cover education, the reports do not feature the voices of young people.
The marketing of intangible services - particularly of unsought services such as those of the funeral industry - can be said to pose inherently unique challenges to marketers. Because of the unsought nature of funeral services, consumers generally avoid the industry, primarily because the services offered by the funeral industry are associated with death and grief. This article reports on some selected findings of an evaluation of the effectiveness of funeral-home websites of members of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) of South Africa. The focus of this paper is on the user-friendliness of the websites under consideration. A quantitative content analysis of the websites in question was conducted to collect the relevant data. The findings indicate that the majority of the websites may be considered satisfactory in terms of their overall ease of use. As well as some recommendations for improvements to the websites, a few suggestions for future research are also provided.
There has been much debate over whether the use of social network sites (SNSs) isolates people and truncates their relationships or, alternatively, provides beneficial connections with others. This debate has been framed by a growing body of international literature that explores the triadic relationship between the intensity of use of SNSs, the maintenance of social capital and the relationship between social capital and well-being/life satisfaction. Our exploratory research findings among students at Rhodes University, a small South African higher education institution, indicate that the historically shaped race and class cleavages impact on how this triadic relationship plays out.