Public Relations Policy Implementation And Audience Perception Of Government Parastatals (Case Study Of Nigerian Railway)
This project is design to cover a reverse side of public relations policy implementation and audience perception of government parastatals using Nigerian Railway corporation as a case study. Public relations policy is as old as man, which indicates that even at the time of Adam who was created firstly was then communicating and relating with the creator (GOD) and he (Adam) was also adhore to policy imposed on him by God. Public relations policy and its implementation is known to be the way at which individuals carry out actions, policy and orders initiated from another body in order to maintain peace, harmony, orderliness and effective communication without leakage. This also means that public relations is a body of related principles that regulates and guides external individuals or bodies. Nevertheless, as the case study of Nigerian Rail-way corporation, (NRCS) public relations stipulates how the corporation maintain mutual understanding with customers and staff of the corporation.
1.1 Background of the Study
Public relations is a management function that helps define organizational objectives and philosophy. Public relations practitioners communicate with all relevant internal and external publics in the effort to create consistency between organizational goals and societal expectations declared Otis W/Graig E.A (1988)
Public relations practitioners develop, execute, and evaluate organizational programs. Their goal is to promote the exchange of influence and understanding among an organizations constituent parts and publics.
Attempts to define the public relations is frequently conflicting and generally diversen. The statement has to do with the various definitions being given by different scholars. As the day dawns, scholars come up with their own definition of public relations which sometimes contradict what others have written or beef up what others have written.
Some definitions list the kind of organizations that utilize public relations (all kinds), somedwell on the media used for public relation communications (all media ) and still others focus on the publics, or target audiences, with which public relations communicates (all publics) many authorities give exhaustive list of what public relations is not, while a few even claim that public relations as such no longer exists, preferring another name for the process.
Public relations is practice in organizations that range in type from giant, multinational oil companies to small, human service agencies. A public relations manager or staff of a large corporation may be responsible for the firms relationships with customers, suppliers, investors, employees, and even foreign governments or local government parastatal.
The concern of the researcher is to determine to what extent the much he valid neglect, in efficiency and negative image of the government parastatal could be apportioned to the public relations policy and its implementation.
The current need for public relations to become more thoroughly integrated into the organizational decision –making process cannot be questioned. government agencies at all levels retrench in the face of new fiscal limitations according to James A.F. stoner (1978:103) successful managers in today’s environments are those who maintain a higher batting average in accurately assessing the forces that determine the most appropriate behaviour of any given time and in actually being able to behave accordingly.
Whenever the potential for influencing public opinion exist, the issue of social responsibility becomes significant. During the past twenty years social responsibility has become a major concern in Nigeria society. Many thoughtful observers feel that institutions should assume responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Within the context of public relations, according to Donald Wright 91979:56) implies that public relations people should act at all times with the best interest of society in mind.
Rex Harlow said that a public relation practitioner suggests way the organization can adjust its behaviour to meet social, political and economic responsibilities and the needs created by shifting human standards an attitudes.
Moreover, the practitioner tries to help the organization demonstrate a keen sense of social responsibility along with profit responsibility. The logical extreme of this position, which suggests that public relations be defined as representing the public and attempting to influence management, has been argued. It could be asserted that public relations gives the public a voice at policy-making level.
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
There is generally dissatisfaction among members of the public with the public relations policy implementation (Ifay) practiced by the government parastatals. It is a widely held view particularly by those who have one thing or the other to do with the government parastatals that there is no existence or practice of public relations policy.
Since most of the government parastatals negate this aspect of communication which is very vital in public circles, it becomes a burden and the intention of the researcher to find out:-
- To what extent public relations policy and implementation has helped the government parastatals in their relationship with the publics.
- To determine if there exists anything like public relations policy in the parastatals.
- To examine the implementation of public relations policy in the parastatals.
- To find out the perception of the publics as regards parastatals public relations implementation.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The study will aim at investigating public relations policy implementation and audience perception of government parastatals.
This the researcher has set out a number of objectives which will help her to accomplish this task.
- To show the impact of public relations policy in government parastatals.
- To establish that good public relations policy and its implementation can turn a government parastatal around for better.
- To show the influence of public relations in an organizational set up.
Finally, this research study will through thorough analysis of the data gathered proffer some useful suggestions that will improve the implementation of public relations in government parastatals.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study stemmed from the fact that most public relations policies are never implemented in government parastatals and this has contributed to the problems of poor public relations in government circles.
Although this research is purely an academic exercise, it is envisaged that the outcome of the study will help Nigerian Railway corporation to reappraise her public relations polic and implementation by her public relations polic and implementation by her public relations department so as to be in position to look at its activities the way the public see it and possible readjust the style applied.
The study also will certainly help the corporation to understand correctly the basic principles of public relations and its place in an organization of its nature.
If the result, findings, conclusion and recommendations of this study will be taken serious and implemented, it is believed that it will be of immense help to Nigerian Railway corporation, government agencies, users of information public relations practitioners and so on.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions were posed for this study
- Does Nigerian Railway Corporation have a defined public relations policy?
- Is the public relations policy of the corporation fully and efficiently implemented?
- Are the public satisfied with the services of the corporation?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
- HO: Nigeria Railway Corporation does not have a defined public Relations policy
HI: Nigerian Railway corporation has defined public relations policy
- HO: The public Relations policy of the corporation is not fully and efficiently implemented
HI: The public Relations policy of the corporation is fully and efficiently implemented
- HO: The publics are not satisfied with the services of the corporation.
HI: The publics are satisfied with the services of the corporation.
1.7 Conceptual and Operational Definitions
For the purpose of clarity, the following words are defined as used in this context.
Work of presenting a good image of an organization, a commercial firm etc to the public, especially by distributing information.
The public conduct of the affairs of an organization with regards to its reputation and standing in public opinion.
The people at large or the community Attribute of concerning people in general.
- A course or plan of action especially of administrative action.
- Written statement of the terms of a contract of insurance.
- Any insight or intuitive judgment that implies or involves thrust or the knowledge, thinking, opinion and attitude of the public.
- Thus subjecting the students to a very serious time constraint.
A thing that limits or restricts, consequently all the economic factors within the country have contributed in no small measure to the limitations of this study.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to evaluate public relation policy implementation and perception on government parastatals.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of public relation policy implementation in government parastatals.
The researcher is of the opinion that there is no standard, formats or universal solution to Government policy formulation and implementation as any public policy adopted or implemented depends on the impact of the institutional arrangement of the government and the acceptability of the public. It is important to know which condition made a public policy feasible and how this policy changes will affect the life of the people and its environment. To this end, the problem of public policy formulation is amongst the most difficult task that individuals, business organizations, governments and nations faces in determining the best policy(s), its implementation and the difficulty of deciding which issue(s) should the policy address. Government should therefore handle the issue of policy formulation and implementation with caution so as not to make a costly mistake as it is difficult to reverse a policy after implementation.
This research has identified that a public relations is everything that is calculated to improve mutual understanding between an organization and all with whom it comes in to contact with, within and outside the organization. It is also action directed towards achieving the above, discovering and eliminating rumors or other sources of misunderstanding on a target audience.Public relations has strong influence and contributes extensively to the enhancement of Governmentparastatal revenue base, if properly implemented.
Haven completed the study, the researcher therefore makes the following recommendation; Effort should be made to educate and enlighten members of staff more on PR and its programs, and the different ways it can contribute to the growth and development of any organization. If need be, the services of consultants could be engaged for effectiveness. Public Relations department should be made to function separately under a PR Executive, with the following units: press relations unit, publications unit, and community relations unit; this is to effectively and efficiently achieve the best desired result. In planning any Public Relations programs for the purpose of revenue enhancement, the right Public Relations tools must be put in place, most importantly are tools like documentary films, and mobile cinemas which will be targeted at the rural dwellers who have no access to radio, television, magazines and newspapers.
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