A Comparative Assessment Of Public Relations Functions In The Nigerian Banking System And Government Parastatals (A Case Study Of Anamco Nigeria Ltd Emene Enugu And All State Trust Bank Plc Lagos)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

A Comparative Assessment Of Public Relations Functions In The Nigerian Banking System And Government Parastatals (A Case Study Of Anamco Nigeria Ltd Emene Enugu And All State Trust Bank Plc Lagos)


Abstract


Inn this project, the researcher undertook a comparative assessment of public relations functions in the Nigerian banking system and government parastatals. Towards this end, the researcher randomly selected 92 staff of ANAMMCO LTD.and ALL STATE TRUST BANK PLC.to forms the study sample. These 92 members of the study sample were given 92 copies of the structured questionnaires to complete. Their responses are analysed using percentages. The result of the analysis led to the following findings:

  1. There are some shades of differences in PR activities as a being practiced by banks and government parastatals in Nigeria. For instance, banks are more serious and regular in terms of embarking on PR activities than government parastatals. Also government parastatals are usually stingy in terms of spending on PR activities.
  2. The effects of the difference in PR on the corporate image of banks and parastatals are two – fold. One is that people have a greater confidence dealing with banks, than with government parastatals. Also unlike banks, government parastatals are seen as been a comatose by the members of the public
  3. Amon the PR activities embarked upon by the banks and government parastatals (to some extent) are the following: lobbying sponsorship of community development projects (eg scholarships, health programmes, and the production of documentary films.)
  4. Government perastattals need to be more serious about PR activities.

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of Study

According to Webster is new international dictionary third edition, public relations is “ the promotion of rapport and goodwill between a person, firm or institutions and other persons, special publics or community at large through the distributions of interpretative materials, the development of neighbourly interchange and assessment of public reactions”

The international public relations association defines public relations as management functions of a contuining and planned character, through which public and private organizations and institution seek to win and retain the understanding, sympathy and support of those with whom they are or may be concerned.

According to Mbachu(2000) refers public relations as any activity concerned with creating and maintaining favorable relations between an organization and its publics, such as the customers, employees, shareholders, and the community at large. This implies that public relations (PR) is any deliberate, planned and sustained efforts aimed at establishing mutual understanding between an organization and its publics.

From the above explanation, it is cleared that public relations is about “ an organization blowing its trumpet” ( Anyakora, 1999). Thus, there is no0 gainsaying that many firms are facing growing image and credibility crisis caused partly by growing public awareness of the social responsibility of business, consumerism, environmentalism and increase government legislation are all part of this growing awareness. It is also true that business are being judged on their conduct and responsibility as members of the society and not first on their product quality and prices. Public criticism has been aroused by numerous instances of defective product, outright deception, and other forms of irresponsibility. The critics are seeking corporate openness, as opposed to secrecy, cooperation in industry rather than harsh competition and increased satisfaction rather than industrial exploitation. These and other factors are causing many companies to think strongly about PR campaign. Public relations is thus used to support all the organization’s communication efforts ( Ndianagwa, 2001).

Ekwudu (2000) identified the five major functions performed by the PR oractitioners. These includes the following:

  • Press relations
  • Corporate communication
  • Product publicity
  • Lobbying
  • Councelling

Press relations refer to the placement of news story in the media to attract attention to a person, products and services (Eze, 1999). Many large corporations in Nigeria usually undertake this PR. Notable among them is the following.

  1. Banking institutions e.g. –
    • First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
    • Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.
    • UBA Plc.,
    • Standard trust Bank Nig. Plc.
    • Access Bank of Nigeria Plc.
  2. Breweries e.g. –
    • Nigeria breweries plc.
    • International breweries plc.
    • Jos international breweries plc.
    • Guiness breweries plc.
  3. Food and beverages manufacturers e.g. –
    • Nestle Nigeria plc.
    • Cadbury Nigeria plc.
    • Flour mills Nigeria plc.
    • Union dicon salt plc
  4. Pharmaceutical companies e.g. –
    • Glaxo – smithkline plc.
    • May and baker nig. Plc.
  5. Conglomerates e.g. –
    • Scoa Nigeria plc.
    • PZ industries plc.
    • Unilever Nigeria plc.
    • John Holt Nigeria plc.
    • A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc.

Product publicity on the other hand, refers to the use of news media and other means to publicize specified products and events related to the products. Ideas such as “ bicycling”, “wall to wall”, carpeting are examples of the product publicity (Ukaegbu, 2000).

Corporate communication involves internal and external communication designed to give attention and understanding to the organization. Its purpose is to build awareness and favorable attitudes towards the whole organization (Ndiato, 2001).

Lobbying refers to any attempt to defeat unwanted government legislation and regulation or to promote wanted legislation and regulation (Okafor,1999). According to Ndukwe (2000), lobbying involves the following activities:

  • Digging out information from officials in government
  • Persuading government officials
  • Promoting legislative action for government
  • Obtaining government cooperation or sponsorship.

Counseling involves the provision of useful advice to the company on what is happening in the society and what the company might do in the way of changing its ways or improving its communincations. (Obika, 1999). It is important to note here that counseling is a very relevant aspect of PR activity and is being adopted many corporation world – wide.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Public relations (PR) has been identified as being indispensable for the effective operation of any organization. Many organization in Nigeria engage in PR activities on a regular basis to maintain mutual understanding between the organization and its publics. The PR activity adopted by any organization varies depending on the type of organization involved as well as on the corporate targets or objectives of the organization. The question then are: what are the features of the PR activities practiced by the bank and government parastatals in Nigeria? Are there any difference in the PR activities as is being practiced by the Nigerian banks and government parastatals? What are the strategies for harmonizing the PR practice in Nigerian banks and parastatals so as to enhance the operational efficiency of these organizations? These questions present the problems that necessitated this research.


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The objectives of this research are as follows:

  1. To examine the features of public relations(PR) activities as is being practiced by the Nigeria banks and government parastatals.
  2. To ascertain the differences in the approach to PR activities/ programmes by the Nigerian banks and government parastatals.
  3. To ascertain how the different approach to PR activities affect the corporate images of the Nigerian banks and government parastatals.
  4. To suggest strategies for harmonizing the PR practice in Nigerian banks and government parastatals so as to enhance the operational efficiency of these organizations.

1.4 Research Questions

This study is guided by the following research questions

  1. What are the features of PR activities practical by the banks and government parastatals in Nigeria?
  2. Are there differences in the PR activities as is being practiced by the Nigerian banks and government parastatals?
  3. How does these differences in PR affect the corporate images of the Nigerian banks and government parastatals?
  4. What are the strategies for harmonizing the PR practice in Nigeria so as to enhance the operational efficiency of these organizations?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

Both the Nigerian banks and the government parastatals as well as the Nigerian citizens, will benefit from this study. Public relations activities involves the sponsorship of community development projects (eg rural electrification, pipe – borne water, scholarship programmes, etc) geared towards the improvement of the image of organizations. Hence, while sponsoring these projects, the organization involved will gain good public image and credibility, while the Nigerian citizens will gain by the improvement of their living standards by the PR activities of the organizations. All the above would be the case of findings and recommendations to be made in this study.

This research will also expose the areas of differences in the approach to PR activities by the Nigeria banks and government parastatals. The good part of these differences, when modified and harmonized will further improve the image of these organizations. (ALL STATE TRUST BANK and ANAMMCO NIGERIA LIMITED).


A Comparative Assessment Of Public Relations Functions In The Nigerian Banking System And Government Parastatals (A Case Study Of Anamco Nigeria Ltd Emene Enugu And All State Trust Bank Plc Lagos)


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