Department of Communication Science

Prof TC Du Plessis

College of Human Sciences
School of Arts
Department: Communication Science
Tel: 012 429 6525
Fax: 012 429 3082


  • PhD Communication (Unisa, 2005)
  • MA Communication (Unisa, 2002) - Cum Laude
  • Advanced Short Course in Conduct Outcomes-based Assessment in Higher Education and Open Distance Learning  (Unisa, 2008)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Management (Unisa, 2010)
  • Certificates in Introduction to Research Ethics and Research Evaluation: Online TRREE training programme in Research Ethics Evaluation (Unisa, 2018, 2020)
  • Brand Management (University of Cape Town, 2018) - Cum Laude

NRF Rating


Fields of academic interests

  • Brand communication with a focus on content marketing in social media
  • Social media communication
  • Q Methodology
  • Online Communication
  • Brand Management
  • Brand semiotics
  • Social media research

Field of Specialisation

  • Corporate online communication
  • Marketing communication and Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)
  • Corporate and product brands/branding
  • Branded journalism/integrated branding/content marketing
  • Social media communication within organisational communication/marketing communication context
  • Q methodology
  • Brand Communication



Du Plessis, C & Abdool-Satar, A. 2020.  Introduction to Social Media Research: Theory and Application.  Juta:  Lansdowne.

Book chapters

  • Du Plessis, C. 2005.  The corporate website as an effective marketing and public relations tool.  In Lesame, NC (ed) New Media: Technology and policy in developing countries.  Pretoria: Van Schaik’s Publishers, pp 176 - 189.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2013.  The marketing context.  In:  Angelopulo, A and Barker, R. (eds) Integrated Organisational Communication. Lansdowne: Juta.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2013.  Advertising management. In:  Angelopulo, A and Barker, R. (eds) Integrated Organisational Communication. Lansdowne: Juta
  • Barker, R, Du Plessis, C & Hanekom J. 2013. Integrated online communication. In:  Angelopulo, A and Barker, R. (eds) Integrated Organisational Communication. Lansdowne: Juta.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2017.  Using social media for branding. In Fourie, PJ Media Studies Volume 4: Social (New) Media and Mediated Communication Today. Lansdowne: Juta, pp. 349 - 377.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2018.  Writing for Search Engines. In Pritchard, M & Sitto, M. Connect: Writing for Online Audiences. Lansdowne: Juta, pp154 - 180.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2018.  Blogging. in Pritchard, M. In Pritchard, M & Sitto, M. Connect: Writing for Online Audiences. Lansdowne: Juta, pp 181 - 205.
  • Waititu, P & Du Plessis, C. 2021. Employees’ Acceptance and Adoption of Online Communication Tools as Part of an E-Government Strategy in the Public Sector in Kenya. Book Series: Digital Literacy and Socio-Cultural Acceptance of ICT in Developing Countries. Springer. ISBN 978-3-030-61089-0.

  • Du Plessis, C. 2021. Achieving brand sustainability through brand purpose, authenticity and engagement.   Edited by Beneke, R, Verwey, S & Phumo, T,   in Southern African Perspectives on Strategic Communication Theory and Practice.  Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780190751234

Journal articles

  • Scriven, T C. 2001. The importance of  IMC in dealing with negative,  nongenerated publicity in the organisation. Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research 27(1): May/June 2001: 36 – 43.
  • Scriven, C. 2002. Marketing public relations (MPR) - a critical perspective of current literature. Communicare: Journal of Communication Sciences 21(2). December 2002: 29 - 41
  • Hanekom, J A & Scriven T C. 2002.  Traditional and online advertising: an explanation of current and future trends. Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research  27(2): 49 - 56.
  • Scriven, T C. 2002. The printed house journal in a new communication paradigm. Ecquid Novi 23(2): 318 -323.
  • Du Plessis, T C. 2004. Web-based communication: The need for more valuable online information.  Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research. 30(1): 113 - 132.
  • Du Plessis, T C, Angelopulo GC & Du Plessis DF.  2006. A conceptual framework of corporate online communication: a marketing public relations (MPR) perspective. Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research 32(2): 241-263.  0250-0167 (Print), 1753-5379 (Online)
  • Du Plessis, C. 2010. Theoretical guidelines for social media marketing communication. Communicare: Journal of Communication Sciences 29(1):1-20. ISSN 02590069
  • Pritchard, M & Du Plessis, C. 2010. An exploratory analysis of citizen journalists as editorial gatewatchers: a case study of Gautrain blog posts vis-à-vis completion for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. Communicare: Journal of Communication Sciences 29(2): 48-68.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2011. A computational text analysis of the South African banking sector’s representation of its core values: A corpus-driven approach. Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research 37(3): 236-256.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2013.  An exploration of digital rhetoric in a social  networking  environment. Communicare: Journal of Communication  Sciences 37(1): 1-20
  • Le Roux, C & Du Plessis, C. 2014. An exploratory Q study of corporate brand identity elements governing corporate brand image formation. South African Business Review 18(3) 3, December 1998-8125.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2015. Brand storytelling:  The case of the Coca Cola Journey website. Communitas: Journal for Community Communication December (1). 84-103.
  • Du Plessis, C.  2017.  The role of content marketing in social media content communities. South African Journal of Information Management 19(1): a866.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2017.  Mobile marketing: building blocks for mobile content marketing to add value and relevance for mobile users. Communitas  22: 31.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2018. Social media crisis communication: Enhancing a discourse of renewal through dialogic content. Public Relations Review. 44(5):  829-828

  • Du Plessis, D & Du Plessis, C. 2018. Afrikaans op Twitter in ‘n wêrelddorp: ’n McLuhaniaanse perspektief/Afrikaans on Twitter in a global village:  a McLuhian perspective.  Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe. 58(4-1), Desember. 788-808.

  • Du Plessis, C. 2019.  Prosumer engagement through story-making in transmedia branding.  International Journal of Cultural Studies  22(1): 175-192
  • Du Plessis, C., 2019. Augmenting Social Media Research with Q Methodology: Some Guiding Principles. The Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods, 17(3):155-164. DOI: 10.34190/JBRM.17.3.005, available online at

Paper presentations

Peer reviewed Conference Proceedings

  • Du Plessis, TC.  2006. Conference Proceedings. 8th Conference on World Wide Web applications, 6-8 September 2006, Bloemfontein.  A theoretical framework of corporate online communication. Publisher: Cape Peninsula University of Technology ISBN-10: 0-620-37309-1/ ISBN-13: 978-0-620-37309-8
  • Du Plessis, C. 2008. Conference Proceedings European Applied Business Conference. 18 – 20 June 2008, Rothenburg, Germany. Building long-term relationships: a South African perspective. Publisher: Clute Institute, Orlando United States of America.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2010. Conference Proceedings. ICE-B 2010 - International Conference on e-Business. Mobile marketing communications to the youth. An analysis of the MXit platform, 26 – 28 July 2010, Athens, Greece. Publisher: SciTePress. ISBN: 978-989-8425-17-1
  • Du Plessis, C. 2012.  Conference Proceedings.  International Conference on Business, Economics, Management and Marketing (ICBEMM): Communicating a mega sporting event in a social network environment.  25 – 26 June 2012, Paris, France: 1209-1214.  ISSN: 2010-376X/eISSN: 2010-3778.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2013.  Conference Proceedings International Conference on Economics, Business, Finance and Management (ICEBFM). An exploration of brand storytelling in a video sharing network, 26 -27 September, Rome, Italy. ISSN: 2013-376X.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2014. Proceedings of the International Conferences ICT, Society and Human Beings, Web Based Communities and Social Media, e-Commerce, Information Systems,   Post-Implementation, Change Management and e-Health. Social media branding for meaningful conversations: a message strategy perspective, 15 – 19 July, Lisbon, Portugal. Publisher: International Conference on Computer Science and Information Society (IADIS) ISBN: 978-989-8704-11-5.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2015.  Proceedings of the LCBR European Conference on Marketing. Academic guidelines for content marketing: research-based recommendations for better practice, 29 -30 June, Lisbon, Portugal.  Publisher: Lupcon Center for Business Research.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2015.  Proceedings of the 2nd European Conference on Social Media. An exploratory analysis of essential elements of content marketing, 9 – 10 July, Porto, Portugal. Publisher:  Academic Conferences Publisher International. ISBN: 9781910810316.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2017. Proceedings of the 6th Business and Management Conference. Towards a more universal understanding of content marketing: the contribution of academic research, Geneva, Switzerland, pp. 41 - 54. ISBN 978-80-87927-40-3.
  • Du Plessis, C. 2018.  Proceedings of the Communication, Mass Media & Society Conference. Examining the brandjacking phenomenon in the digital age,  19 – 21 July, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, pp.22- 29. Publisher: International Center for Research & Development (ICRD). ISBN: 978-955-4543-46-1.

  • Du Plessis, C. 2019. Proceedings of 18th European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies. Using Q methodology to test Perspectives and Attitudes: Experiences from a Study about Content Marketing, 20-21 June 2019, Johannesburg, South Africa, Academic Conferences Publisher International (ACPI) ISBN: 978-1-912764-20-4.

Some other recent Conference Presentations

Social marketing: where should we go? School of Social Sciences Conference, College of Human Sciences, co-presented with Chauke, G. Unisa, 2015.

Reframing Transmedia Brand Storytelling within Content Marketing: Conceptual thoughts. 7th International Conference on Social Sciences, Cape Town, 2016.

Using Q methodology in Mixed-method Research in the Social Sciences: a primer. School of Arts Conference, College of Human Sciences, Unisa, 2016.

Social Media Crisis Communication: Facilitating Stakeholder Support and Relationships with Organic Content during and after a Crisis. The South African Communications Association (SACOMM), University of Johannesburg, 2018.

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • NRF rated researcher
  • International Programme Committee International Conference on E-Business (ICE-B)
  • International Programme Committee International Conference on Futures of Media
  • Member of the South African Communication Association (SACOMM)
  • Member of the International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences


  • Youth Citizens Action Programme (YCAP) Sustainability Community Engagement Project (Project leader)