The Role Of Public Relations In Image And Crisis Management

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Role Of Public Relations In Image And Crisis Management


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the role of public relations in image and crisis management. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprises public relations staff of Delta State University Abraka. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 41respondents while 38 were received and 35 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and mean scores. The result of the findings reveals that public relations plays a significant role in enhancing the coverage and connectivity strategies to effectively engage the public. The findings also revealed that the role of public relations in image making in Delta State University Abraka includes News feed, evaluation of responses, clarification of misleading information, coordinate public perception, and public relations practices in Delta State University Abraka is very effective. In regard to the findings, the study recommends that the management should ensure that the public relations team continues to be trained and retrained so as to be equipped with modem public relations knowledge and skills. This will ensure that they keep abreast with development in modern public relations practice. And The public relations team should always embark on research and come up with modem knowledge of image laundering in times of crisis. This will ensure that they package effective proactive public relations measures that will always nip conflicts in the bud. To mention but few.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypotheses
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms
  • 1.9 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • REFERENCES
  • APPENDIX

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Human relations have been a major aspect to human existence. Due to behavioral differences the need to establish mutual understanding came up. This is what public relations do in any society. Olalekan (2003:19) “public relations is the art and science of studying societal behaviour, environment want and culture capable of influencing one’s undertakings with a view to reaching mutual understanding with eh people and organizations, in general communication, social responsibility activities and image management”. Individual understanding and community understanding is paramount in human existence.

According to Ogunsanya (1991:77) “public relations is a scientific management function which involves the creation building and maintenance of mutual understanding and respect between an organization or government and its publics, based on truth, using an effective two –way communication process within the framework of a credible strategic management agenda with a view to improving the performance of corporate institutions or government and enhancing the social and economic development for a society”.

According Jefkins (1978), public relations is a set of communications techniques which are designed to create and maintenance favourable relations between and organization and it publics. Well, Burnett and Moriarty (2003) pointed that public relations is management function practices by a wide range of organizations, companies, governments, non-profit organizations, the educational system, labour unions, politicians, organized sports, and the media. Their goal is to achieve positive relationship with various publics in order to effectively manage the organization’s image and reputation. Every organization wants to maintain good image in the eye of publics.
The focus on corporate communication by organization is of management of issue related public opinion. This is achieved through managing of image of the organization. Sandin and Simlin (2006), views corporate relations as corporate relation programmes that focuses on organization’s image and reputation. The goal is to persuade the public to perceive the company in a positive light. This can be use to manage crisis. Public relations have been a validated strategy in conflict resolution. Since, human are different in attitude and understanding, it take, public relation activities to bridge the communication flow for mutual understanding and respect of individual positions.
In human society, no man is self-sufficient or totally independent in the strict sense of word. Every man is ruled by the conflicts in the society. Olalekan (2003:11) states “conflict originates from everyman, so all men have to learn to manage the conflicts as members of the interdependent human society”.

It is important to note that virtually all human interactions and relationships contain characteristics of conflict that is disagreement. Ezeukwu (1998:328) views conflicts at interpersonal to be “a level reveals differences in personalities, values, and opinions. People become much more sometimes group members clash. This period of dissent and controversy is ripe for interpersonal communications failures. The more emotionally charge the discussion, the more prone group members are to jump to conclusion, lose their tempers, or interpret the comments of others as threats or criticism. Ogunsanya (1991:17) “public relations is a scientific management function which involves the creation, building and maintenances of mutual understanding and respect between an organization or government and its publics, based on truth, using and effective two-way communication process within the framework of a credible strategic management agenda with a view to improving the performance of corporate institution or government and enhancing the social and economic development of a society”

Public Relations are concerned with creating good image. The international Public Relation Association in Hague, in May 1960 defined Public relations as “a management function, of a continuing and planned character through which public and private organization and institutions seek to win and retain the understanding sympathy and support of those with whom they are or may be concerned by evaluating public opinion about themselves, in order to correlate, as for as possible their own policies and procedures, to achieve by planned and widespread information more productive cooperation and more efficient fulfillment of their common interest. Every organization is established to serve a purpose to the publics.

The very way the public perceive the organization is the very way the organization will be patronized by the public. Management of organizations keeps their publics so close through public relations.

Olalekan (2003:40) “Publics generally signify the different groups of people, associations and organizations that can be influenced by or affected in one way or the other by the existence and activities of another organization and vice versa. The effects on them can be good and desirable or bad, offensive and unwanted. They are the forces to reckon with in the assessment of its corporate image too”.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Conflict has been a common phenomenon in the society. Any attempt for human relationship will generate conflict as such, conflict is sine qua non. The means of managing conflict is paramount as their will help to foster peace and clear undefined terms and conditions of Bach party to conflict. In maintaining cordial relationship between and organization and it publics the need to use public relations as that which is concerned with not only elimination of communication gaps, but gives a prior attention to the analysis of trends, predicting their likely consequence and with planned programme of action tries to many the interests of the organization together with that of its publics.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives to this study are;

  1. Ascertain the place of public relations in Delta State University Abraka.
  2. To ascertain how public relations is used in crisis management in Delta State University Abraka.
  3. To determine the role of public relations in image making in Delta State University Abraka.
  4. To ascertain the effectiveness of public relations in Delta State University Abraka.

1.4 Research Question

  1. Does public relations play any significant role in enhancing the coverage and connectivity strategies to effectively engage the public?
  2. How has public relations been used in crisis management in Delta State University Abraka?
  3. What is the role of public relations in image making in Delta State University Abraka?
  4. How effective is public relations practices in Delta State University Abraka?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

H0: Public relations do not play any significant role in image and crisis management.

Ha: Public relations plays a significant role in image and crisis management.


1.6 Significance of the Study

Public relations practitioners become heavily involved in crisis management in order to help in building and rebuilding an organization’s image. The main objective is to provide uncertainty.

Therefore, the utmost beneficiary of public relations activities in crisis management is the Delta State University Abraka because the reputation on the academic institution should be guided judiciously. The study will elicit information on how Delta State University can use public relations to project good organizational image that will make the Publics aware that the institution care for its public.


1.7 Scope of Study

The scope of this study covers the public relations role in the making of Delta State University Abraka and how to manage crisis between the university and its publics. The respondents for this study will be obtained from the public relations unit in Delta State University Abraka.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Management:

The art of coordinating and maintaining organizational policies in the favour of stakeholders.

Crisis:

A point of disagreement between two or more parties claiming to maintain their interest which metamorphoses into disruption of peaceful coexistence.

Public Relations:

A planned action for the establishment and maintenance of mutual understanding through effective communication.

Role:

The duty of which one plays in achieving a particular objectives.


1.10 Organization of the Studies

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the role of public relations in image and crisis management. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the role of public relations in image and crisis management. The study is was specifically carried out to ascertain the place of public relations in Delta State University Abraka, ascertain how public relations is used in crisis management in Delta State University Abraka, determine the role of public relations in image making in Delta State University Abraka, andto ascertain the effectiveness of public relationsin Delta State University Abraka.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 35 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent weresome public relations staff in Delta State University Abraka.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. Public relations play a significant role in enhancing the coverage and connectivity strategies to effectively engage the public.
  2. Public relations facilitates the offering advise and guidance, handing press and media attention, and providing continuous support in Delta State University Abraka.
  3. The role of public relations in image making includes news feed, evaluation of responses, clarification of misleading information, and coordination of public perception.
  4. Public relations practices in Delta State University Abraka is effective.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. Management should ensure that the public relations team continues to be trained and retrained so as to be equipped with modem public relations knowledge and skills. This will ensure that they keep abreast with development in modern public relations practice.
  2. Management should continue to make adequate budgetary provisions to the public relations unit to enable the unit finance the media adequately. This will help sustain their effectiveness in their work at the sch.
  3. The public relations team should always embark on research and come up with modem knowledge of image laundering in times of crisis. This will ensure that they package effective proactive public relations measures that will always nip conflicts in the bud.
  4. For effective laundering during crisis, the public relations team should always provide the right information at the right time to employees as well as the media. While it will help ensure effective employees relations, it will also ensure establishment of effective media relations. This will help the organization to obtain favourable publicity during crisis.
  5. The public relations team should always bear in mind that the organization’s image is at stake when there is conflict in the organization. To this end, they should alwaysbe ready to fight propaganda through adequate and effective communication with internal and external public.

The Role Of Public Relations In Image And Crisis Management


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