Public Relations As A Strategic Tool For Managing Polytechnic Students

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Public Relations As A Strategic Tool For Managing Polytechnic Students


The study examined public relations as a strategic tool for managing polytechnic Students (A case study of Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic ). Public relations has remained a powerful tool in building and maintaining mutual understanding in every organization including creating and maintain good relationship between and among its various public, it also help in building good image and satisfy the needed information by the public. The role of public relations cannot be overlooked in higher institution as it creates a good name in higher institutions of learning. Survey method was adapted for thestudy whereby questionnaire was used to gather information from respondent’s .Probability sampling techniques was used to draw 120 respondents and 110 questionnaires were returned. Findings show that majority of respondents agreed that Public Relations plays a vital role in the management of higher Institution of learning. Also, respondents agree that Public Relation serves a management function in higher Institution of learning. It is recommended that public relation should be regarded in higher institutions to enhance mutual understanding and mutual relation among the students, staff and management in higher institutions.

Table of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • Abstract

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Scope of the Study
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 The Concept of Public Relation
  • 2.2 Historical Background of the case of Study
  • 2.3 Types of Public Relation
  • 2.4 The Public Relation Process- RACE
  • 2.5 Functions of Public Relation
  • 2.6 The sub-functions of Public Relation
  • 2.7 Public Relation as a management Function
  • 2.8 Organization factors for excellence for Public Relation
  • 2.9 Evolution of Public Relation in Nigeria

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Research Method
  • 3.4 Study Population
  • 3.5 Sample Size
  • 3.6 Sampling Technique
  • 3.7 Data Collection Instrument
  • 3.8 Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument
  • 3.9 Data Collection Process
  • 3.10 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Analysis and discussion of Findings

  • 4.1 Data Analysis
  • 4.2 Presentation of Data based on research question
  • 4.3 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • 5.4 Recommendation for further studies
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Public relations (PR) in the context of educational institution is defined as a planned and systematic management function to help improve the programs and services of an education system (especially tertiary institutions of learning) (Ofuani, Sulaimon, & Adebisi, 2018; Okwelle & Agwi, 2018). According to the scholar, PR in (tertiary) academic institutions depends on a comprehensive two-way communication process which involves both internal (e.g., staff and students) and external (e.g., general public, parents, communities and the government) publics with the aim of arousing enhanced grasp of the tasks, goals, accomplishments and needs of the institution. Hence, PR performs a reinforcement role to organizational communication (Okwelle, 2010; Yahaya & Abubakar, 2017). PR is a critical tool for enhancement of employee performance, establishing, fostering and developing growth and stability in any institution (Austin & Pinkleton, 2001).

A growing trend in the corporate world is the creation of an office for corporate communications or public relations to facilitate the propagation of an organisation’s mission. Quite often, the office has a cross-functional responsibility of maintaining a constant link with the public and with all functional units of an organisation including top management. Its operations vary from one organisation to another principally because of differences in mission, vision, goals, values and the products that an organisation is established to offer its customers. It is therefore not surprising that some organisations have public relations department that operate under just one office whereas in others, you would find many units within the public relations department. In some institutions, there is a form of decentralization with a central coordinating body.

Whether an organization is a profit making or non, whether it is owned by government or a group of individual, it need the services of public relations for such organization to dwell and eventually succeed in achieving it set goals. No wonder an individual personality are now engaging the service of public relations to help build, maintain and polish their image and reputation in the public sphere. Some of the individuals and politicians, business tycoon Footballers, Wrestlers, Boxers, Musicians, Actors and Actress e.t.c

Public relations unlike advertisement and other Marking Mix, Place all it efforts in building good image, name and public confidence in the mind of the various publics dealing with the organization public relations did not only see to good image for the products and services of the organization it serve but also ensure good image of the workers and management of the organization

For the above reasons, to define public relations become subject of individual perception of what public relations is and what it does, however many scholars have contributed to the success of defining what public relations is some scholars believed and wrote on it as act (deed) representing a group or organization.

It could also be seen that public relation is a process that helps an individual to learn about others in the environment through exchanging or sharing of experiences and information. This is very essential in the establishing building and maintenance of relationship that could be social, domestic, and business or professional in nature.

According to Roger Hayward as quoted by Adegoke (200:1) says that public relations is the propagation of the personality of the organization. This states the importance of communication between the organization and its public Roger Hayward’s definition has something to do with the (IBPR) definition because both state the duty of public relations officers in promoting projecting and representing the organization and at the sometime relating with the public of the organization both the internal and external public.

Public relation also projects the management personality of which the public relation department represents, through their activities with the use of their perspective tools (i.e. print and electronic media).

The aim is to create Favorable atmosphere between an organization and its publics. Sam blank (1962:62) asserts that public relations involve any thing that is focused, improving and enhancing the flow of communication between institution and its publics.

The main words that can be drawn out from Sam Black definition in the crucial role-played by any public relation department through the means of using mass media. However, in this research work, impartial assessment will be done on the role of public relations in higher institution as the main crucial and prominent tool in day running of academic affairs especially in building peaceful environment for learning.

Efforts shall be extended to all media mostly employed by the public relations department which could fall under print and electronic media to carry out their activities such as Billboards, Calendar, Notebooks, Release, Bulletin Board, Opining Box or Suggestion Box, Magazine, Pamphlets, Radio, Television even the Recent Internet e.t.c.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines public relations as: “a distinctive management function which helps to establish and main mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance and operation between an organization and its public”

The international public relations association of Mexico in north America defines public relations as “the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizations’ leaders and implementing planned programmes of action which serve both the organization’s public interest.”

It is obvious that the work of Public relations is needed in almost in every society, organization, both the profit and non-profit organization, to include higher institution of learning (universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and other colleges). In fact, individual in the society also need the service of public relations especially those individuals that are profession or expert such as musician, athletes, politician e.t.c .

Because PRs is a backbone for every organization that is ready and willing to survive. To this end the research examined the Impact of public relations in enhancing harmony in higher institutions of learning using Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

This research has observed that in so many organizations, management neither recognizes nor appreciate public relations efforts in Nigeria. The management does not realize the potential of public relations activities in building and enhancing a good image for the success of the organization. It has been observed that the management’s attitude is lukewarm and non-challant toward public relations department and their activities.

Besides, they don’t want to spend money on its activities such as organizing seminars, workshops, symposium e. t. c because of the erroneous and selfish belief that public relations efforts bring little benefits to the organization. Therefore, this study looked at the role of public relations in higher institution of learning, using Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic as a case study.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the public relations as a strategic tool for managing polytechnic Students.

The following are the specific objectives of the study:

  1. To ascertain the importance of Public Relation
  2. To verify whether public relations enhances in higher institutions.
  3. To know some of the problems facing public relations in higher institution.
  4. To know examine whether public relations assist in preventing crisis in Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic.
  5. To examine whether public relations help in building and maintaining a mutual understanding between the management and the students of Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic .

1.4 Research Questions

  1. To what extent is Public Relations recognize as management function of Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic.
  2. To what extent has public relation has Public Relation enhance cordial relationship between Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic and its general public?
  3. To what extent can public relations assist in preventing crisis in Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic?
  4. To what extent can PR help in building and maintaining a mutual understanding between the management and the students of Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic?
  5. What are the problems facing public relations?

1.5 Scope of the Study

With the selection of Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic as a case study, this project work has been limited because visiting all higher institutions of learning in Nigeria cannot be possible. However, the demography of the staff, students and management of such (Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic) as age, sex, working experience, academic qualification were considered before the distribution of questionnaire.

1.6 Significance of the Study

Work like this will benefit a lot of people. Few among the beneficiaries include but not limited to undergraduate and graduates of mass communication and public relations.

It will as well benefit the public relations practitioners on what is expected of them in higher institutions. It will serve as eyes opener to the management of higher institution of learning on the need to have a functioning public relations department or unit on their campus

In addition, this research work tries to provide satisfactory answers to some questions that are disturbing the mind of policy formulators, students and researcher.

Researchers will know how the public relations promote mutual understanding between the organization and publics; Students in various institutions will benefit from this project work by knowing the roles of public relations in the society.

Moreover, policy formulators will benefit from this research work because they will be able to identify the usefulness of public relations to them on policy formulations and corporate management.

1.9 Definition of the Terms


This is synonymous to functions, impact or contributions.

Higher Institutions:

It means all colleges such as: polytechnics, universities, colleges of educations and host of other post secondary schools.

Public Relations:

Public relations are a deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its publics. British Institute of Public Relations (IBPR).


In this research publics means all the groups or organizations, Entity that are one way or the other associated with an organization.

Two- Way- Communication:

It has to do with enlightening self interest. There must be a readiness to share. You must concretize your own interest by minding the interest of others.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

This research project study is been set to establish The role of public relation in the management of higher institution. Therefore, Akwa Ibom state Polytechnic is used as a case study. This was with the view of determining its role in the enhancement of peace in Higher institutions.

Chapter one of this project works focus on the introduction of study and the background of the study, statement of the problems, significant of the study, it does not leave out the limitation of the study and some important definition.

Chapter two however reviewed the literature related to the study. This focuses much on the sub-heading as the history of public relation, some of its functions and sub- functions and the purpose of public relation.

While chapter three present the methodology through which the study is been carried out. The method of research use in these studies is surely by the administration of questionnaire that ensures adequate data collection from selected respondents of the sample population of the study.

It is obvious that the use of public relation in higher institutions is embraced as most of the respondents confirmed the use of public relation to persuade and inform not only the students of the institution but the general public at large. Also the finding indicates that the use of public relation affect daily activities. Research also makes it known that public relation helps in the maintenance of mutual understanding between an organization and its general public.

Finally, chapter five gives the summary of what the study is all about and based on this certain important suggestion and recommendation which are being made to prove that not only higher institutions requires the use of public relation but every organization.

5.2 Conclusion

It is a known and proven facts that public relation has contributed in creating mutual understanding and goodwill in higher institutions because of its great impact and usefulness on the audience. It was also discovered that public relation plays vital and important role on the public’s and also the emergence of media organization has enhanced the social value and unity of the institution.

The response from the respondents clearly shows that public relation in an institution plays a lot of roles in all institutions including every organization. Research also reveals that public relation therefore is a compulsory and inevitable tool for higher institutions. It clearly shows that public relation helps an individual to learn about his environment.

The study which also highlights the role of public relation in the management of higher institutions. It makes us realize that public relation is also use as a tool for the progressiveness of every organization.

In conclusion, this research therefore concludes that organization can’t enjoy a long time success without public relation and organization should also not take public relation with levity hands.

5.3 Recommendation

  1. The research of this study is hereby recommended to every higher institutions to cultivate the habit of taking public relation as a vital department in its organization.
  2. Institutions should allow public relation to doing their job as public relation moves sales.
  3. Public relation informs us about every events happening across institutions.
  4. It also ensures mutual understanding, ensures goodwill and therefore should be seen as a major tool to be used.
  5. Public relation also assists in promoting the image of an organization and therefore should be considered as a major tool in every institutions and organization.

5.4 Recommendation for Further Studies

  1. Public relation should be made compulsory in higher institutions.
  2. Public Relation should also be seen as a compulsory tool in the maintenance of peace.
  3. Public relations should also be recognized as management function in higher institutions.

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