Role Of Public Relations In Improving Nigeria International Trade
The purpose of this study was to examine the role of public relations in improving Nigeria International Trade using Enugu Urban as case study. The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A 15 minutes survey containing 10 questions was administered to the participants. The research instrument (RPRNIT) was administered. The reliability and validity of the research instrument was determined. The results showed that the extent of awareness among multinationals and exporters in Nigeria of the international PR strategies and practices is practical very low. However the attitude of these multinational and exporter towards the application of international PR in international marketing is practically positive. There is need for discovering and exploring the strategies of international business strategies and practical oriented approaches.
1.1 Background to the Study
We all believe in communication we also say that any management which endorses good communications in house and externally in enlightened. Why anyone should be regarded as enlightened in simply propagating and explaining their own policy or point of view escapes the researcher. As Henry Tames put it “it must be part less to work in the dark, or pursuing a relentless chche- hidden train of thought to made you light under a bush”.
Public relation as one of the making promotional tools (promo tools) is now an important part of modern business management is not realized. This is because PR is often suspect, and is equated in the eyes of some members of the public with an attempt to deceive, to “pull the wool over our eyes: yet this is the very opposite of its real purpose, which is to explain that which may not be fully apparent and to remove that which may not be fully apparent and to remove prejudice and misunderstanding, based on ignorance of the facts.
In the highly competitive world in which we are however, It is not enough merely to be virtuous one must be seen to be virtuous. PR takes account of this need to focus public attention on all the favourable aspects of a company’s activities. By so doing, it endeavours to create a good climate of opinion in which the organization can pursue its legitimate aims.
The task of PR therefore is to ensure that the organization is seen to have an effective and valuable influence upon the well being of the trade or industry in which it operates. A good public image is not something that occurs accidentally it requires conscious effort, and that effort needs to be channeled to be effective.
Good PR is synonymous with good communications this requires knowledge of communications media, especially the press, radio and televisions. This study attempt looking into the problems that hinder the utilization of PR at the international marketing level by focusing on multinationals and exporters in Nigeria. It is done in the light of the fact that face of the world is changing rapidly and with it the tasks of the marketing executive.
For the modern business organization, public relation’s role is often vital. This is because it is as much apart of management as human resources management or financial management. But it should be noted that for organization to attain its main objectives only well – managed public relations activities”, as was stressed by Dr. Nwosu.
We can probably all think of organizations, which manage their P.R. well. They are the organizations we trust and are familiar with, with which we fell comfortable and would want to do business. For a marketing executive, the interesting questions how do these organizations with respect and convene people that they are organization to support Dr. Jon White will simple tell you that performance is part of answer. By this answer we can decipher that people will go back to organization which have proven themselves and their products and service reliable. But there is more support at time of crisis, because it has failed to build and sustain important relationships for occasions when they are needed.
Attempts also, will be made to explore the ways in which PR is used to establish and maintain relationships in International business. Relationships do not necessarily develop along satisfactory lines, rather their development has to be managed to support the interests, objectives, aspirations, products and services of the organization. In recent years, multinational and exporter companies in Nigeria are increasing doing business with overseas partners and associates in their national image abroad the implication is that they are compelled to deal with people of different nationalities, language, customs, senses of value, social and economic views. The question that may arise from this is how do they win the support of all these people (public).
PR as a means of marketing communication pervades all aspects of our socio- economic life. The meaning is conceived by various organizations in different ways.
Some organization conceives the meaning from functional point of view as image-maker or hidden persuader and so on. However, in this particular contest the purpose of all that is labeled PR is to influence the relevant public opinion or attitude at the international marketing level in such a positive direction as to ensure good will and mutual understanding in order to achieve the marketing concept objectives.
Finally, the approach to public relations adopted in this study is intended to be practical and to provide multinational and exporters in Nigeria with guidance towards making proper decisions regarding effective management of international marketing activities.
1.2 Statement of Problem
There are so many problems facing international marketing all over the world in general and Nigeria in particular from the recent happenings, we can decipher that those problems have been preventing international marketing from optimizing its goals of earning sufficient foreign exchange which enhances the per capital income and national reserve of the country.
When we look around the world, we can see the fast changing economic, political and social climate every country (nation) wants to succeed, to be heard, to be seen, to be involved in one reasonable thing or another, in order to succeed. We can see the former union soviet socialist Republic (USSR) disintegrating towards capitalistic reforms, south North Korea going towards industrial cum scientific revolution, south African founds transitional programme that will achieve good will and mutual understanding with the outside world and a lot of others. No matter how large or small, however, every nation in the world, including our own, must take very much into account what its own limited resources, It must gain their co-operation. There is need to get other nations to know more about us, what we are doing and what we have to offer.
In the face of the global economy today. It is on record that Nigeria, is rated to be thirteenth (13th) poorest country in the world the great “Giant of Africa most foreign countries are scared to do business with Nigerians. Again, we have the current “419” syndrome which is making us look dreadful to our foreign visitors and prospective business associates. The political instability in the country does not help matters. According to recent report by Sunday mail “overseas suppliers have reduce level of shipments of automotive component to Nigeria customers as far has griped them that the present political crisis can lead to civil unrest.
The question that might be asked is what are multinationals and exporters in Nigeria doing all these problems? How are they coping in the face of all these problem?
Working Definitions of Public Relations in International Marketing Activities:
In the modern business activities, especially in the international marketing scene, there is so much competition and rivalry. This made it necessary for the need to get other people to know what one is doing, communications activity consists of using various elements in a planned, balanced and systematic way in order to achieve objectives therefore public improve/increase mutual understanding with the relevant public will be desirous when an organization find its, kind of situation. But first and foremost the scale of activity to promote good pubic relation may very considerately according to the size and nature of the interested parties, but the philosophy, the strategy and the method adopted here is designed to influence international understanding to improve relation between a company and its customers, agents and employees abroad.
Kanu Offony pointed that the common dememinator for achieving this objective is public relation which is best defined as the business of creatly and maintaining public understanding and support through effective communication.
Sam Black a renewed British author of PR sures it up by saying that the purpose of public relations practice is to establish two- way communications seeking common ground or areas of mutual interest and to establish understand based on truth, knowledge and full information’s while the international public Relation Association (IPRA) defines PR as the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicating their consequences of action which will serve the public interest. This IPRA definition is of much interest because it emphasizes research, the analysis of trend, and the predication of their consequence. This should most often be adopted because preventive PR as meaning a process by which organizations effectively, interact, communicate and mutually adapt to its key public. These definitions are not exhaustive, but most relevant to this study.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objectives of this study are as follows:-
- To determine the level of awareness among multinationals and exporters in Nigeria of the international PR strategies and practices,
- To determine the extend of their knowledge and application of international PR in their marketing activities.
- To determine the problems encountered by them on the application of international PR techniques and strategies in international marketing.
- To determine the attitude of these multinational and exporters towards the application of international PR in international marketing.
- To determine or measure the level of their knowledge of international political issue and problems.
- To determine their knowledge and attitude to know how international political problems in their business.
- To make appropriate recommendations.
1.4 Scope of the Study:
This study will be carried out in Nigeria the study will be limited to multinationals and exporters, whom the researcher presume have more international dealing and connections.
The study will concentrate in Enugu urban which has the greatest number of multinational and exporter in country.
1.5 Definition of Terms:
Those who engages in sales of a country’s good and services overseas.
2. International Marketing:
The performance of business activities that direct the flow of a company’s goods and services to consumers or users in more than one nation or across the national boundaries of a country.
This means international public Relation and is used when dealing with other nations or across the boarder PR.
This is a company which maintains assets in an overseas territory and is actively involved in sale of product or service in overseas markets.
This is the short form of writing public Relation and is widely used by most writers/authors.
1.6 Significance of the Study:
The age- old marketing system, as noted in production concept that consumers will favour those product that are widely available and low in cost has gone such system these days will be suicidal. Country or state or organization with the best available technology in the world, with stable economy political and social climate still needs the good will and mutual understanding or others to survive. The adage no man is an island holds here.
No country or organization can be self sufficient in everything, even when such count or organization is sound economically, she still needs people to talk good of her, to relate favourable with her and so on. The Nigerian business image today has been battered, and needs great face life. This can be resuscitate through a management functions of a continuing and planned character upliftment through public and private organization, individuals and institutions who will seek to win and retain the understanding, symthathy empathy and support of these with whom we are and may be concerned with how and in the future.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
This chapter summarizes the findings into the Role Of Public Relations In Improving Nigeria International Trade using Enugu Urban as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
5.2 Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was to examine the Role Of Public Relations In Improving Nigeria International Trade using Enugu Urban as case study.
The study specifically was aimed at determining the level of awareness among multinationals and exporters in Nigeria of the international PR strategies and practices;
- To determine the extend of their knowledge and application of international PR in their marketing activities;
- To determine the problems encountered by them on the application of international PR techniques and strategies in international marketing;
- To determine the attitude of these multinational and exporters towards the application of international PR in international marketing;
- To determine the extent or level of their knowledge of international political issue and problems;
- To determine their knowledge and attitude to know how international political problems in their business.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 44 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are active multinationals and exporters in Enugu Urban.
Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:
- The extent of awareness among multinationals and exporters in Nigeria of the international PR strategies and practices is practical very low. This is concluded with respect the responses of majority of the respondents in table 4.2.
- The extent of their knowledge and application of international PR in their marketing activities is not impressive as it is also low. This is portrayed in table 4.3
- The problems encountered by them on the application of international PR techniques and strategies in international marketingas disclosed by all of the respondents in table 4.4 include; Language, Cultural Differences, Politics or Political Environment, and Communication Channel.
- However the attitude of these multinational and exporters towards the application of international PR in international marketing is practically positive.
- The exporters level of knowledge of international political issue and problems is quite very high as they encounter them in their international marketing.
- The multinationals and exporters in Nigeria has a negative reaction in attitude on the knowledge of how international political problems affects their business.
Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:
- For the sole purpose of the advancement and growth of multinationals and exporters business, there is need for discovering and exploring the strategies of international business strategies and practical oriented approaches. Hence this will tremendously widen the knowledge and application of international public relation in their marketing activities.
- Since these multinationals are willing to apply international PR in their business, the challenges encountered should be analyzed and pondered on so as to portray better ways to deal with the most pressing once.
- The multinationals should be optimistic of their business as every business is the survival of the fittest
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