The Effect Of Strategic Communication And Public Relations In Management Of Hotels
This research study is an effort in line with the researchers in communication to explore the magnitude and effect of public relations in management of hotels. The research borders on three questions and objectives with particular concern on strategic communication and public relations as it works with the management of hotels. The population of this particular study comprised of all staffs, from the cleaners to the room service, the management and customers. Questionnaire was used as data collection tool. The result shows that there was significant effect of strategic communication and public relations in management of hotels.
1.1 Background of the Study
Communication may be defined as the activity aiming to constitute an arrangement to convey information as one of the fundamental pillars of social life and organizational structure as well as the activity of forming relationships between organizations and groups. A healthy communication is needed for people to know and understand each other better, to create better functioning organizations and to resolve problems easier (Ruck & Welch, 2012). If an adequate importance is not placed on communication problems in an organization, it may not be possible, for example, for people to have better relationships within that organization. Communication has various definitions and descriptions in the literature. Writers have suggested that communication is the activity of exchanging messages or thoughts through speaking, pointing or writing; on reciprocal terms, however, they define it as a message exchange process and they suggest that communication event happens when messages have been completely conveyed. Communication has also been defined as the process of conveying a message containing information from a source to a recipient and has been indicated to be a term expressing the exchange of feelings and thoughts between people (Okay & Okay, 2011).
Human factor comes forth as the most important factor for the organizations in tourism sector due to its labor-intensive quality. Communication is considered as an important factor in tourism establishments and especially in accommodation establishments where human factor is significantly important for the constancy and regularity of the activity of workers as well as sustainability and efficiency of organizations. An accommodation establishment which does not use communication channels properly may not be able to conduct operations regularly and correctly as well, since this specific sector provides services for human beings by human beings as a labor-intensive sector. Human beings who are positively or negatively affected by any behavior, spoken word and attitude make their decisions as a result of these interactions.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Communication and public relations is one of the fundamental characteristics differentiating human beings from all other living creatures. Brownell (2010) has pointed out the importance of employees and the obligation of the management to communicate effectively with their employees in accommodation establishments and has indicated that the need for effective communication skills could increase even more due to the newly emerging international quality of labor in tourism sector and continuous changes in customer demand. He has also emphasized the quality of “racing against the clock” which is specific to accommodation establishments as well as the increased importance of timely and clear communication between employees in this specific sector.
Frontline employees play an important role in connecting with and providing service to customers, and forming long-term relationships with them (Kusluvan, 2013). Employees’ understanding and perception of the information related to the work to be done in accommodation establishments, and the clarity of employees’ roles within the organization, in other words clear expression of the expectation of the organization from the employees play very significant roles in the relationship between employees and customers. The employee who has all the information needed for the work to be done, would be able to increase the quality of service by managing relationships with customers more effectively due to increased self-confidence and would contribute to the positive perception of customers with regard to the service quality.
As one of the determinants of success in tourism establishments as in all kinds of other organizations, communication is the fundamental condition enabling the coordination of organizational functioning.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
Specific objectives are as follows;
- To find out whether strategic communication and public relation is adopted in the management of the hotel
- To examine the strategies used in communication and public relation in the management of the hotel
- To investigate the effect of strategic communication and public relations in management of the hotel
- To determine the benefits of strategic communication and public relations in management of hotels.
1.4 Research Question
- Why is public relations important for the hotels?
- What is the effect of public relations on hotels?
- What is the current situation of public relations and storytelling use for hotels in Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study cannot be overemphasized. This is because the effective communication and public relation promotes:
- Positive Stakeholder Relations
- Good relations with Government and local authorities
- Support from local Communities
- Understanding from the Enforcement Agencies
- Appreciation from Non Government Organizations (NGO’s)
- Employee satisfaction and loyalty
1.6 Scope of the Study
The general scope of this study covers some few hotels in port Harcourt, Nigeria. Port Harcourt is the capital of Rivers state located in the southern region of Nigeria.
The research work discusses the effect of public relations in the management of these hotels.
1.7 Limitations of study
The limitation related to my research was connected to the issue that it was hard to establish contacts and to interview specialist because big number of them refused to do it for not revealing their strategies. Another issue related to the research is related to the absence of statistics and data on the topic in Nigeria.
1.8 Organization of this Dissertation
This study consists of five chapters.
- Chapter one presents the introduction and background to the problem, statement of the problem, the main and specific objectives of the study and research questions. Other sections presented in this chapter are: scope, significance, limitation, delimitation and organization of the study.
- Chapter two deals with literature related to the study. It covers introduction, definition of terms, theoretical review, empirical review and the conceptual framework.
- Chapter three comprises research methodology in which research paradigm, research design, study area, population, sample and sampling techniques, instrumentation, validity and reliability of instruments, administration of instruments and data analysis plan were spelt out.
- Chapter four presents data analysis and discussion of findings.
- Chapter five covers the summary, conclusion, recommendations and further areas of study.
Recommendations and Conclusion
For future research on this topic, it is recommended to be focused and concentrated on observing the ways of implementations and approaches hotels of different cities and tourism spots in Nigeria have/lack connected to the Public Relations and Storytelling as a part of a their Marketing Strategy. Conducting research in different cities and tourism spots in Nigeria can reveal the big picture of the current situation that will display how much the use of Public Relations and Storytelling has been developed in the hotel industry of Nigeria, the answer of which will provide the directions for the specialist to work on.
In conclusion, based on the research I have conducted and other noteworthy sources from literature review it can be asserted that the involvement of Public Relations in Hotel Marketing strategy is very important, while the use of storytelling as Public Relations technique is necessary for the hotels in order to gain or maintain competitive advantage over competitors, meanwhile to deliver and spread the messages hotels have for their targets. The result of survey tells that Nigerian Hotels are using Public relations and consider it both useful and beneficial for their strategies. Many professionals in hotel industry use Public Relations for the purpose of enhancing the existed relations with their clients, guests, partner organizations and for building strong relations with the new ones in the future. Conducting surveys, following the rates and comments, maintaining the database composed of information about guests, suggesting special offers to: guests and partners, being open and collaborative with media organizations, using social medias and the internet, planning ahead for months and years, thinking about creative solutions are all activities that Public Relations involves in it that hotel specialists perform as their duties. The result of the interviews showed that Nigerian Specialists who worked in hotel industry are familiar with the concept of storytelling. However, only 50% of specialists treat storytelling as a useful, beneficial technique for Public Relations and use is part of their daily work. It is important to mention that the hotels, which are branches of international hotel chains in Nigeria use Public Relations and Storytelling as required strategies in their marketing. While small hotels use it to be competitive with the big hotels around them. Finally, the research was conducted among the hotels in Yerevan and further a deep observation can be done among other regions of Nigeria.
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