This edition of Communicare takes a broader view of the discipline and explores the production and consumption of communication content through a diverse range of articles. All of these articles focus on the context within which communication content is consumed or produced.
Craft producers struggle to access the retail market because of their inability to communicate effectively. Understanding craft retailers' buying behaviour, particularly with regard to the communication channels used, could potentially assist craft producers to create better awareness of their crafts. The purpose of this article is to investigate the communication channels used by formal craft retailers when searching for craft suppliers and craft products.
A survey of formal craft retailers resulted in a total of 233 useable questionnaires. Principal-component factor analysis was used to identify the various types of communication channels while ANOVA analysis was applied to test the hypothesis.
The results indicated that craft retailers differ in their use of certain communication channels and that they tend to use particular channels more often than others. The factor analysis identified three types of communication channels: internal and personal, promotional, and print advertising. The results further indicated that craft retailers consult internal and personal channels more frequently than promotional channels and print advertising. The results also revealed that different types of craft retailers differ in their preference of promotional channels, whereas no such differences could be found in the way these craft retailers used internal and personal channels or print advertising.
The results presented in this article provide useful insights - especially to informal craft producers - on how to improve their visibility and product availability by communicating more effectively with formal craft retailers.
This qualitative study examines the role of the mobile phone in negotiating the day-to-day experience of social immobility for young users in a low-income area in a small town in South Africa. What does the mobile phone become when one is not part of a mobile globalised elite, but poor, unemployed and living on the margins of society in the global south? While research on mobile phones in developed countries suggest these devices facilitate the creation of a society free from the confines of local geography and community, where the user can craft an individualised networked sociability, this may not be the reality in the global south. In our study, mobile phones were seen to amplify a communal sociability where privacy is largely absent from the densely contiguous neighbourhood where life happens on the streets for all to see. This study demonstrates how, in a particular context, mobile phones and the mobile Internet do not necessarily facilitate a mobile world where individual networks allow an escape from local norms and structures, but may instead facilitate communal networks that bind users to the local and the co-present and so facilitate "stuckness", a term we use to reflect social immobility and the inability to escape the disciplinary surveillance of the co-present.
One of South Africa's most successful recent branding initiatives is the rebranding and repositioning of SABMiller's Castle Lite beer. Light beer branding has a long and successful history in the United States, where brand names like Bud Light have long held a significant market share. However, sales of Castle Lite were low, leading into 2009. SABMiller's approach to bolster sales was to build a narrative around the brand that moved away from the concept of 'light', or 'low calorie', or even 'low alcohol' and reframe the consumer perception of this beer around the symbolic value of 'Extra Cold Refreshment'. This article examines the means through which Castle Lite consumers were invited to form a unique, imagined community of beer drinkers through a number of media formats. It offers advertisers, academics and brand managers a concise case study that illustrates how a failing brand can be relatively quickly repositioned to dramatically increase market penetration, consumer brand knowledge and overall sales.
In this article the question is raised of what professionalism means in the context of South African journalism, and if there are deviations from ideas of professionalism as defined in normative liberal frameworks of the news media in terms of how South African journalists perceive their own role in society and as to how they define professionalism.
The research is partially based on in-depth qualitative interviews with journalists from a cross-section of the South African news media, and asks questions about their own perceptions of professional values and their own role in society. The interview findings point to South African journalists articulating their role as one of neither watchdog nor lapdog - instead, the interviewees all articulate their role as based on competing imperatives, in which concerns for the audience and a broader articulation of the public interest take precedent over more liberal conceptualisations of the role of journalism in democracy.