n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - Web-based communication : the need for more valuable on-line information : organisational, marketing and management communication : research article




Numerous studies about the Internet have already been conducted or are in the process of being conducted. However, after several years there still is no clear understanding of what form Webbased or on-line communication should take to make it really valuable to the consumer. The contribution of this article is its attempt to address the current contents of Web-based communication and to provide some ideas with regard to the shortcomings in this regard. It addresses the impact of the Internet on the South African society, the Internet as a new communication medium as well as its effect on organisational communication. It also argues that an on-line presence is no longer enough and that online customers want more value in terms of their online experience. <br>Although Web-based communication has become an integral part of many organisational practices, traditional communication channels or media will not necessarily become obsolete. The Internet is a new communication medium with much potential and can eliminate problems associated with traditional media and channels. <br>Web-based communication has become a powerful new means of communication in South Africa. Information has become more accessible, more affordable as well as more manageable to both individuals and organisations and has in the process also empowered South African society with more knowledge. However, new technologies are not only concerned with the availability of new communication channels, but also with the development of new credible communication messages for successful communication. <br>Web-based communication is a more complex task and requires a much more skillful approach to be successful than is the general belief among communication practitioners. After the initial rush to obtain an on-line organisational presence, organisations are currently concerned with the effective integration of the Internet into their traditional marketing communication mix. Marketers, public relations practitioners and advertisers today benefit from the advantages of Web-based communication in conjunction with traditional media. However, even though it is clear that the Internet has an impact on organisational communication (integration), it is less obvious what form on-line information should take to make it really valuable to the consumer.


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