Impact Of Effective Public Relations In Marketing Expansion Of Banking Services
The study focuses on the impact of effective public relations practice in the marketing expansion of banking services in Enugu metropolis. a case study of All State Trust Bank Plc operating in Enugu state. It aims at identifying the areas of potential problems in order to enable corrective measures to be taken. Although All States Trust Bank plc maintains a corporate affairs department that performs public relation functions, yet the management is not happy because the bank does not have good image, in the opinion of it’s customers.
It was based on this that the research decided to embark on the present study, with the following objectives in mind;
- To determine whether All State Trust Bank considers as important the public relations policy of the organisation as strategic.
- To determine whether All States Trust Bank plc communicates effectively major policy issues to its publics.
- To ascertain and discuss whether public relations activities of the bank has any significant impact on the existence, growth, profitability and survival of the bank.
- To make appropriate recommendations based on the findings.
Both primary and secondary data were used. Some high – ranking executives of the bank were interviewed. The information gathered from the were quite helpful in pursuing certain areas of inquiry and which later formed the basis for construction of the questionnaire and the formulation of hypothesis.
1.1 Background of the Study
The success of an organisation can be derived from the efficiency and effectiveness of its resources use. Some organisation can do well with minimum resources, but thee are others which do not do well even with abundant resources – both human, financial and material resources. The difference between depends on the method of allocation of resources and the use to which they are put. As a result, the importance of resources management in achieving organizational success cannot be under estimated.
And so, the need for planning arises. Planning is the part of management process that attempts to define the organisations future (Dalton, 1986) it is the process by which managers examine their internal and external environments, ask fundamental questions about their organisation’s purpose and establish a mission, goals and objectives (Ivancevich et al, 1994).
Simply put, planning is the process of determining organizational objectives and identifying the ways and means of realizing them. since objectives are derived from plans, organisations are bound to set objectives so that they can, in the long-run, achieve corporate goals.
is in this perspective of achieving corporate goals and objectives that public relations is a half-way house between transforming corporate objectives into corporate goals. This is why public relations practitioners are always on the lookout for time bombs and landmines. Therefore, the first assignment of the corporate affairs people/department in any organisation is to have full grasp of an organisation’s objectives.
Having done this, it believes them to use relevant public relations strategies and tractics to achieve a corporate culture that is profit driven.
All over, whether private or public companies, organisations’ first aim is to make profit. This is because profit maximsation is the core of a business, this claim is justified by the fact that most companies that have not been able to break even, talk les of making profit, have gone under. To this extent, profit maximization is a thigue measurement of efficiency, just as it ensures the sustainability of the company.
Since good public relations can be a catalyst to profit making, the public relations unit of an organisation as an engine room of corporate reputation of their organisations are saddled with the responsibility of not only creating sales, but also of making customers and sustaining them. and so, public relations professionals have no choice than to dabble into market research, branding, advertising and other promotional campaigns. As such public relations people are always in the vanguard of finding out how customers could be better served life the Chinese saying goes “a man without a smiling face must not open a shop”. In a nutshell, customers’ care is all that it takes to keep business flourishing, no matter the size of the business.
In a hostile environments, companies would face a lot of troubles because of negative attitudes by their host communities. Instances abound where companies have been made to lose a great chunk of their host communities.
Consequently, the public relations unit has the responsibility of ensuring that it’s organisation is a good corporate citizens and is socially responsible to the community in which it is situated. The central argument here is that companies which widely accepted by their host communities is likely to translate the collective patronage of the host communities assistance well as that of other customers, into revenue.
It is common knowledge that some business organisations which paid up service to their host communities has left in their trail adverse, social and political consequences which effects snow-baled into negative publicity of unimaginable dimensions. In some cases, these organisations have been made to retreat rather than much forward.
This study is aimed at exploring the impact of effective public relations in marketing expansion of banking services in Enugu metropolis. In the banking sector the banks needs their customers to remain relevant in business and ensure the sustainability of customers patronage, the bank image must be maintain through stimulating quality customer service and creating good public relations. It is in this sense that public relations – automatically becomes the basic foundation for organisation, particularly bank in this age of global competition, that strive towards profit maximization and marketing expansion of banking services.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Communication as a profession is multifaceted. It helps to establish and promote goodwill and mutual understanding (rapport) between an organisation and its various publics.
This explains why most companies in this country have adopted the practices, and All States Trust Bank is not an exception.
Although All States Trust Bank maintains pubic/corporate affairs department charged with the responsibilities of performing public relations functions, yet the management is unhappy because there is a lot of complains by customers of the bank of poor services (bad image), despite efforts to promote mutual understanding and corporate image among it’s various publics.
The following problems arises:
- Most policy decisions by companies operating in Nigeria, including All States Trust Bank are taken without regards to the effects they will have on the life’s of the people in the area in which they operate provided such policy will maximize the companies profits.
- Majority of companies operating in Nigeria do not consider social responsibilities as a managerial function and as such they regards it as an obligation not as a right of society or community in which it operates.
- Several factors accounts for their effectiveness in the performance of corporate social responsibilities in Nigeria.
- Non performance or discharge of social responsibilities creates instability in operating environment of these companies, thereby having serious negative effect on the companies turnover, profitability, growth and survival.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
Base on the problem identified, the purpose of the study includes:
- To find out whether All States Trust Bank Management consider the public relations effects of it’s policies to it’s customers as strategic.
- To ascertain whether All States Trust Bank Communities effectively major policy issues to it’s public.
- To ascertain whether corporate gifts contributes to good image management of the organisation.
- To ascertain the factors which are responsible for the effectiveness of the performance of corporate social responsibilities in Nigeria that contribute to bad image.
- To ascertain and discuss whether public relations activities of the bank has any significant impact on the existence, profitability and survival of the bank.
- To make recommendations based on the findings.
1.4 Hypotheses Formulation
The following have been put forward for testing
- H0: The use of public relations in marketing strategies does not enable banks achieve their financial intermediation.
H1: The use of public relations in marketing enables banks achieves their Financial intermediation objectives.
- H0: Banks that adopt public relation tools in marketing are not likely to build/sustain customer’s confidence in the banking industry.
H1: Banks who adopt public relations tools in their operation are likely to build/sustain customers confidence in the banking industry.
- H0: Banks adoption of public relations in marketing does not increase customer’s patronage.
H1: Banks adoptions of public relations marketing principles increase customers’ patronage.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research study is of importance because it is done at a time when most organisations, including the All States Trust Bank, are saddled with image problems.
The significance includes:
- The outcome of this research will enable All States Trust Bank discover the extent of harm the company had suffered due to it’s bad public relations practices and consequently improve on it’s promise to provide effective, efficient and reliable services to its customer publics.
- It will be used by the company’s management to decide on how to improve on it’s customers relations and public relations practices.
- Similar organisations will use it as a tool in repositioning their business practice and how to avoid negative image.
- It will be of help to future researchers on how public relations can be used to strengthen relationship between customers and stay afloat in business.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is limited to the achievement of the objectives of this study, impact of effective public relations in marketing expansion of banking services in Enugu metropolis – a case study of All States Trust Bank Enugu.
In other words, the study will be focused on All States Trust Bank and it’s customers located along Okpara avenue Enugu as representative of the banking industry, which constitute the population of this study. Therefore, the research will be carried out in Enugu metropolis.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
This study has been limited by a numbered factor which is as follows:-
Time is a hunting factor as the students are given limited period to complete and submit his project
It is another major problem, as the researcher has to travel to various places in search of materials it sudden rise in the transport fare in the country.
Problem of Data Collection;
Some people find it difficult to release one data needed by the researcher, although some of them cooperated to a great extent.
1.8 Definition of Terms
In order to make work a bit clearer, certain terms will be defined:
Any person who carries on banking business and includes a commercial bank, a mortgage bank acceptance house a discount house, a discount house and other financial institutions.
The sensing and serving of customers needs through an exchange relationship aimed at creating value in from of profit; and satisfaction to the consumers.
This is a technique developed to gain advantage over the competitor; it is a tactical plan for carrying out formulated policies, to achieve a set objective.
4. Promotional Activities:
These are various promotional techniques used by marketers. They are called promo tools or elements of the promotion mix and include advertising, person selling, ales promotion and public relations.
Summary of Major Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations.
5.1 Summary of Major Findings
Based on the analysis and interpretations of data the following findings were made:
- Consistent use of strategic marketing strategies makes banks achieve their individual financial intermediation objectives.
- When banks adopt marketing public relations tools in their operation there is every likely that customer’s confidence on the banking industry is built or sustained.
- It was also found out the banks’ adoption of strategic marketing principles increase customer’s patronage.
- Banks use persuasive strategic marketing communication strategies such as public relations, advertising, promotion, etc in carrying out their saving or fund mobilization.
- Among the needs of customers, total satisfaction is rated as highly needed.
Based on the finding of the study, it can be seen that strategic marketing has strong place in the operations of banks. Most especially, strategic marketing tools are needed in the marketing of financial services and products
Banks who have recognized the paradigm shift from old marketing of selling to the market to the customer concept, which emphasizes customer satisfaction will benefit in the long run. Given the volatile nature of banking environment coupled with competition marketing concepts and principles become the only answer that can help banks to remain a lot in business.
In carrying out her intermediations services’ a bank needs to employ resulted-oriented marketing strategies, such as customizing services/products, bringing in more innovations and above all retraining her staff especially, the font office staff (cashier) in the new techniques of scouting for customers. Finally, we conclude that marketing strategies have been recognized world over as among the antidote that can represent a bank for a greater test ahead. Its contribution cannot be over-stressed.
The following recommendations are made in the instance of the findings and conclusion:
- Banks which have not really explored the advantages of strategic marketing in the performance of financial inter-mediatory role should do so. The earlier the better because the business in which the banking industry operates is faced with stiff competition.
- Banks should confine to adopt sound and ethical marketing practices in the savings mobilizations. They should also adopt the new marketing concept, which aims at satisfying customer needs at profit.
- Both bank executives and cashiers should always be retrained to meet up with marketing challenges of banking services.
- Total quality service or product should be the hallmark of the banking industry’s total market offerings. If there is no quality in the service delivery of a bank, there is every prospect that the customer will not be this satisfied. They may likely turn their back against that particular bank.
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