Brand Policy Statement for www.metal4africa.com and it’s ancillary activities
The M4A (metal4africa) brand was created in 2006 with a singular objective in mind: to optimize the visibility of an existent metal music scene/sub-culture within the African continental space to a potentially global audience.
In order to achieve this goal, certain activities were encouraged and consequently formalized; chief of which was the creation of a community owned and operated website location and an appropriate re-brand from metal4africa to www.metal4africa.com with M4A as its shorthand identity.
For all intents and purposes, what M4A is to be identified and promoted as is primarily a news/archive website, committed to that which is African or primarily of African interest, as well as that which is Metal music or primarily of Metal music interest; and this asset and its activities defined as The Means by which to achieve the Primary Objective
As a community project, The Authority can be defined as members of the community as a whole; those being, members of the public which make up the African Metal music sub-culture/scene.
Furthermore, those members of the public are defined as any who attend those welcome-to-the-public open meetings held by the M4A management body, thus the authority is a dynamic formula which can be recreated at any time that the public deems necessary simply by participating.
The Authority as it currently stands consists of resolutions taken by attendees of a public meeting held in 2009.
Brand policies are defined on Pages 2 and 3
Brand policies, as established in 2007 and renewed in 2017, include:
1. To be International in character
M4A and those who are entrusted to engage activities on behalf of the brand are to conduct brand presence in a manner conducive to a large multinational entity. Whilst the brand serves African and Metal interests first (as described by the Primary Objective), it also aspires to serve the interests of those who wish to study the phenomenon of the
brand’s focus, regardless of which part of the world such interested parties might originate from.
Interpretation/examples: to limit to within reasonable proportions the use of local-specific languages, mannerisms, lingo or slang in content served, and to encourage use of internationally recognized English. To conduct public liaison in broadly accepted standards of professional courtesy.
2. To remain impartial in affairs of public differences
As an International brand, M4A and those who are entrusted by The Authority to represent the brand must acknowledge that the world is filled with many differing views incubated within the context of many different social/cultural norms and standards. In no ways is M4Ato be used as an authority over moral values.
Interpretation/examples: metal music is, has always been, and should remain a powerful conduit of artistic expression, which by nature may be regarded as offensive, volatile, and often transcending the frontiers of morality and socially acceptable exploration. Our position is not to attempt to police or realign this flow of expression, but to observe it as an impartial body. Should brand representatives (particularly those who fulfill the role of human resource) find themselves opposed to a view contained within the music/lyrics/theme of a particular artists/item to which they have been assigned some work, that representative has the right to refuse their attention to such an item/artist.
They may not use the M4A vehicle as a means by which to voice an authoritative opinion over the item/artist.
3. To maintain ethical practices
As a community-focused initiative, M4Amust use its resources in a manner which is deemed as trustworthy to the community. The brand is not focused on private for-profit activities, except in sanctioned cases where such activities are agreed as widely beneficial to the community as a whole. Additionally, the brand is discouraged from engaging in activities which can be seen as aggressively competitive in nature towards other operatives within the
community – although it must be noted that M4Ais also encouraged to not yield up its own assets upon the arrival of other entities which may emerge as aggressively competitive towards already established, and otherwise successful operations.
Interpretation/example: M4A is not to be used as a vehicle to dominate/monopolize activities within
the local community. It must not be viewed as a competitor to other operatives, but rather as a
support structure to be utilized by them. Notwithstanding, the brand has a responsibility to also
maintain community assets such as it’s bi-annual event series, news services, and other activities
which it had pioneered during times when the local metalscape was barren of such things.
4. To remain free from internal abuse
No resources or assets belonging to, or committed to the M4A brand may be used for purposes outside of the
Primary Objectiveof the brand.
Interpretation/example: should a brand representative be tempted by an agent (eg: publicist of a non-African and/or non-metal band) from outside of the context of the Primary Objective to perform work on behalf of M4A, or to use M4A resources on behalf of the agent/agent’s client, then the representative is obliged to justify the means by bringing the work/expenditure of resources to within a relevant context to the Primary Objective as can be sanctioned by The Authority.
Whilst there are numerous brands and resources operated from abroad and within a local context which aid in similar objectives to that of M4A, virtually none have committed resources exclusively to local interests as their Primary Objective.
M4A policy is to place local-first, non-local after; particularly when it comes to the allocation of resources (ie: man-power, finances, risk, etc). In the event of resources remaining after the Primary Objective has been attained within a work-cycle/budgetary constraints, only then might non-local interest be considered.
Interpretation/example: in recent years, there has been a lot of activity with international visitors which has been unprecedented at the earlier times of the M4A brand existence. Whilst this is exciting, we cannot allow it to distract from the Primary Objective. For example, when an international band is touring to South Africa and an item of media coverage has already been allocated, the priority of resources must immediately thereafter be focused back on fresh happenings within the local news context rather than repeating the hype train of the same news item of
international interest. Only during available gaps can we afford to revisit and expand on such items, and not at cost to local needs.
Any questions, concerns, or complaints regarding the M4A (www.metal4africa.com) Brand Policy can be directed via email to [email protected] with the subject line specified as “Brand Policy”.
A .pdf version of this text can be downloaded here: 2017 M4A Brand Policy Statement